You didn’t hear it here first, folks: Halo 3 will appear in North American stores on September 25th. Roughly five minutes later, it will have disappeared from those shelves. Europe gets it on the 26th. See, guys? You are loved. Your polyglot pride is a bit annoying, but we think you’re cool.

1up has an interesting morsel of news regarding the long-lived question: Will Microsoft’s all-out purchase of Rare ever pay off? Though the developer has already released one of my favorite games for the 360 (Viva Pinata) they haven’t exactly been raking in the sales. Apparently, Microsoft are noticing that the price point of the 360 isn’t exactly conducive to the mass-market game designs that Rare has been celebrated for. Any theories on how well Viva Pinata would have done on the family-friendly Wii? Microsoft is still throwing its support behind Rare, with confidence that, as the 360 becomes less of a niche product, Rare’s games will charge to the front of the sales pack.

David Hayter was never in danger of acting as Snake in the developing Metal Gear Solid movie, but, unsurprisingly, he still wanted to be involved in the project. According to 1up again, the long-time Solid Snake voice-actor (and screenwriter and et cetera) pitched a story idea, which didn’t fly for the studio. The quoted source says that Hayter’s proposal was "Metal Gear as the Apocalypse Now of the digital age, with Snake at the center of a swirling whirlpool of Genomic/military madness." With kerotans and incontinent soldiers? Classic!

You might as well just head over to 1up. All the cool stories are over there today. Like this one, a feature on the 40th anniversary of videogames! It’s an entertaining history of the mutable hobby, worth reading for Benj Edwards’ prose than for informational purposes.

Ha! Fuck you, 1up! Now I’ve got a story from Next Generation. The Nordic Game summit is in full swing, and NG has an article about how developers manage the social networks that surround and infiltrate their games. Like it or not, certain games become cultural touchstones, and little societies form around them. Sometimes, those mini-societies affect the development of future games. This isn’t a new concept in the entertainment industry, but recent examples such as World of Warcraft display exactly how much a developer has to keep their audience in mind, and to manage them.

Also, just to give you a heads-up, the Bit Players will have another roundtable here shortly, to give you some of that fast-acting CHUD original content. The topic will be our various State of the Console addresses, with adequate pauses for applause. Keep a weather eye out.