Microsoft has denied that a re-release of Halo with added Xbox Live support is on the way, quashing speculation fuelled by what has transpired to be a budget release of the hit game, scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks.
A number of factors had aligned to make the Halo re-release look likely - with the discovery of a pre-release announcement for a "Halo Deluxe Edition" Prima strategy guide being one of the key pointers. However, this guide has now turned out to simply be a re-working of Prima's original Halo guide, with new content and the addition of a DVD featuring Halo 2 footage and concept art.
Microsoft has mentioned repeatedly over the past few weeks that it plans to announce something major on November 15th to celebrate the second anniversary of the Xbox launch in the USA, and has warned retailers to save shelf space for a new product which will be a major seller for the holiday season.
However, it's now clear that the other parts of this puzzle - namely the Prima guide and the information that a major US retail chain had cleared out its warehouse stock of original Halo - are actually from a different puzzle entirely. Retail sources now report that Halo's name only became embroiled in the November 15th speculation as a result of a forthcoming launch for the best-selling title on the Xbox Platinum budget range in the USA.
This of course leaves the question of what's happening on November 15th wide open. However, it seems increasingly unlikely that the announcement will be a new software product - with the (admittedly less interesting) reality being that a new bundle deal for US retail is by far the most likely candidate.
Such a deal would not affect European retail, since Microsoft here makes its European pricing and bundling decisions independently of the USA - not to mention the fact that the console doesn't celebrate its second anniversary in Europe until March next year.