rumor

Bill Gates says Halo 3 will be out in time to counter Sony's PlayStation 3. Frankie said, just last week, not to expect announcements from Bungie anytime soon, and they aren't even exhibiting at E3.

What's going on? Everyone knows Microsoft would be crazy not to make a Halo 3; but could it be that Bungie will not be the studio to make Halo 3?

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Bill Gates is quoted in this month's Time Magazine, featuring the Xbox 360 on the cover, as saying that when the PlayStation 3 launches, it will "walk right into Halo 3."

In last week's Weekly What's What Update, Frankie said:

We're quite some time away from announcing what our next game is and for which platform.

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Some more Xbox 360 related items:

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Gaming site news.botros.net has linked to scanned magazine pages including specs and photos of the Xbox 360 and supposed shots from Ghost Recon 3.

It looks to me to be a Swedish or Norwegian gaming magazine, although botros incorrectly guesses it to be German.

UPDATE: Apparently this is in fact the Danish magazine Game Reactor, which is getting a lot of attention for reporting the rumor that Halo 3 will be out in one year. Take that with heaps of salt, folks.

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Halo.fr is touting a rumor found by an intern that speculates Halo 3 will be out in March 2006. Move along, or check the Babelfish translation if you must.

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Somebody at Microsoft better get the sump pumps running, because just two days out from the console's official star-studded pre-E3 MTV launch event, the whole PR machine has sprung more leaks than a water balloon at an acupuncturist convention. Engadget has a long list of Xbox 360 technical specifications, as well as a feature list for two levels of Xbox Live subscription (free and paid, or Silver and Gold in their nomenclature).

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As the date for the Xbox 360's MTV coming-out party nears, information is seemingly seeping out of cracks everywhere. Gaming blog Kotaku has apparently signed an NDA with Microsoft in order to get access to exclusive content to be released after the show, but that didn't stop them from pointing out all the other information that's been leaked so far. They'll just be not mentioning any more rumors between now and then.

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magnum76 on the Project Torlan-Nexus forum has posted an update on what is and is not acceptable to do in creating a Halo-themed mod, like theirs for Unreal Tournament; basically, it seems that extracting Halo content from PC Halo is okay, but extracting Halo 2 content from the Xbox is not. Keep in mind that the information comes from a supposed "Microsoft insider" and is not an official company statement.

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Xbox365 has an image that purports to be from Relic, one of the five remaining upcoming new Halo 2 maps, described as an island map similar to Halo 1's Silent Cartographer or PC Halo's Death Island multiplayer map.

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Xbox365 says it thinks it has received a copy of the actual Xbox 360 logo. Kotaku thinks it's got a picture of an Xbox 360 memory card. (I think I feel dizzy. Comments saved for later... --Ed.)

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The web is abuzz with news about more images from ourcolony.net that purport to be of the Xbox 360, as well as some that appear to come from other sources, and still others that were apparently debunked months ago but have come back to haunt us. If you haven't been following the action at ourcolony.net, here are a few links to other gaming sites that have the images:

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Gamesindustry.biz has another story up speculating on exactly what the Xbox 360 is going to be when it finally launches. This one suggests two editions; a stripped-down, games-only edition without a hard drive, and a premium edition with a hard drive and Internet access. However, the point of interest to most owners of Halo and Halo 2 probably this:

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Aside from bringing in Frodo and the Killers (there's a band name--Ed.) it appears that Microsoft's MTelevised launch for the Xbox's successor is going to leave a lot to the imagination, with more details to be fleshed out at the later pre-E3 event and then still more at E3 itself; at least, so says corporate VP Peter Moore to GameSpot. Thanks Eurogamer.

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Littlebigman pointed out GameSpot's latest Rumor Control column, that sports purported images of the Xbox 360's controllers that seem consistent with the partials seen at ourcolony.net. (Mini-editorial: For all the ribbing Microsoft took for the original "Duke" Xbox controllers, I grew to like them, not for their bulk, but for their button layout.

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