rumor

Most people long since acceded that Halo 3 would sell well, and it has. The big question for the platform, though, was whether it could move consoles; whether it could take back some of the ground gained by the Nintendo Wii since it launched last year, as well as ensure they'd stay ahead of Sony's lackluster PlayStation 3.

Early indications are that the answer to that might be "yes".

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This is the most definitive link I can find for what is so far a non-story story about Microsoft somehow letting Bungie become independent again.

The official Microsoft response to reports in Jacob Metcalf's blog that allege Bungie is leaving Microsoft was:

There's been no such announcement.

That's the kind of non-denial denial you'd expect from a company that is the subject of so many non-story stories.

Todd Bishop, on his Seattle Intelligencer blog, gets Robbie Bach at Microsoft to comment on that non-denial denial, and ends up getting an explanation of why the non-denial denial exists:

"The problem is, I can't comment one way or another on any of these rumors. Because then, every time you ask me a question about a rumor, I have to comment definitively, and there's times when I don't want to, and times when I do want to. I just don't. You should interpret it that way. You should interpret it as a neutral 'don't.' "

All in all, it seems very likely that people in Bungie might want to, you know, work on a game that isn't Halo, or isn't a shooter, or, God forbid, isn't a Halo shooter. Farming out Halo Wars to Ensemble and Halo Chronicles to Wingnut seemed to me like Microsoft setting up the Halo franchise to continue while Bungie moved on to other things; but perhaps it was just a move to try and maximize the revenue from the Halo property by developing ancillary products with a series of Halo shooters at the center, developed by Bungie.

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The Wideload reports on an IRC chat with Wideload Games' Matt Soell; he says that things at the Load have been busy, but that fans can expect some developments Soon™.

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PlanetXbox, among others, is tracking forum posts from Halo 3 players who say they're having some disc error messages as well as some freezes; there's also a known issue where transferring a hard drive to another console will prevent you from using the "resume" feature to play from where you left off (although unlocked levels/checkpoints are accessible).

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GameGuru interviews Mohit Anand of Xbox India, who makes some pretty ludicrous sounding sales claims for Xbox 360:

GG: How is the Xbox 360 currently doing in India?

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That's what BeyondUnreal forum poster Quaz51 asserts that these screenshots he's taken illustrate.

If true, might this be the source of all the cantankerousness over Halo 3's "not quite next-gen" graphics?

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Kotaku says that Halo 3 sold out in at least one store in Japan. Who'd have thunk it?

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Of course, we've heard this before.

After Halo 2 was released in 2004, there were rumblings and vague remarks about Bungie wanting to do something else, non-Halo-related, for a change.

Which is entirely understandable.

Now, Pro-G is quoting Bungie's Joe Tung as saying Bungie wants to work on something else for a change, and is not working on Halo 4.

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zOMGWTFUDIED has gotten ahold of an early copy of Halo 3 and discovered what he thinks is a superbounce while dying near the Froman base on Last Resort (Zanzibar).

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It's unconfirmed for now (see the "rumour" category) but Pro-G is reporting they have unofficial news that any GamerTags with Halo 3 play associated with them before Sept. 25 could end up with their Live account banned.

Heads up, for those tempted by stores breaking street date... even playing offline may result in getting booted once you hook back up.

-- Steve'll keep an eye out for something more reliable than rumour... and isn't certain whether he hopes it's true or it's false.

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The second-to-last Bungie Weekly Update before Halo 3's official release date is well worth the read. The highlights, though, are you should stay out of random Bungie.net player profiles from now on, since you may end up seeing screenshots taken by people who've gotten copies early. Also, Miguel Chavez, invited to play through the game last week, says the ending is "perfect". You've heard it from Bungie's #1 fan.

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1Up is running a story to the effect that the alleged Halo film script by Alex Garland, famously referred to at Latino Review, and that I also wrote a few pieces on back in 2005, has been "recovered".

As if it had been lost.

1Up's just running a few pages of it at a time, of course.

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Whagi in the Xbox Live Forums warns that US and UK subscribers to Xbox Live may be targets of a phishing attempt. An email arrives that claims to require you to login to XBL due to changes to your account, but the links in the message go to a fake XBL login page that allows the perpetrators to record your username and password.

Check the forum post for full details and don't fall for it.

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Gamasutra has prodded Wideload Games' Alex "The Man" Seropian into admitting that the company he founded has a second team working on an Xbox Live Arcade title. The author suggests this may be the object of the cryptic reference, "Coming Soon: Project: Hot Sauce and the Rainbow Space Car" that appears on the company's recently-revamped website.

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Kotaku is liveblogging the Microsoft press event at E3 Lite, and Brian Crecente has Marathon on his list of XBLA titles being mentioned. Stay tuned while we confirm.

Rumors of such a port have been floating around for some time, and recently a German ratings board had the title appear briefly in its database according to a German gaming site.

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