Over at Hexus.net they are reporting
that Halo 3
is done and just sitting in boxes at CD duplicators around the world, waiting word from Microsoft and Bungie to release them for shipment. If you really believe this then I have some ocean front property to sell you in Columbus, OH.
Of course it has all of the trademarks of a nice prank including the ever present "industry insider" who guarantees that the information is real. There's also a nice cloak and dagger feeling to it and it does build a bit on comments that Bill Gates made a few years ago about how Microsoft will release Halo 3
to help distract gamers from the Sony Playstation 3 announcement.
Believing something like this does force you to completely ignore a large number of facts. The first is development time. While Halo 3
was probably started before Halo 2
shipped there is no way the game is already at the gold master stage. There simply isn't enough time to have the game ready by now. Are there playable levels and will we get a glimpse of the game at E3 this year? Almost certainly but there is no way the game is ready to ship right now.
This also forces you to believe that Microsoft is willing to sacrifice Xbox 360 momentum just to spite the PS3. While Xbox 360 supply is finally catching up with demand, announcing Halo 3 right now would more than certainly create another rush on the consoles and the PR boost alone would go along way. Microsoft has never operated like this in the past and I don't see them changing their tune just to screw with Sony.