It would appear that Halo 3 might be closer than expected, with several stores, one pictured, opening preorder channels in the US for the still-unannounced 360 update.
As you will have read here
, Bungie has been coy when it comes to detailing what it is working on right now. The project is merely referred to as 'next-project' and as you'll see from the aforementioned article, seems well underway.
There is no question that Halo 3 will be released in 2006, though many expect an all-new Bungie game to precede it. This strategy would have the benefit of netting vast sales while fledging an all-new franchise, enabling Microsoft to rollout two games from its jewel first-part studio.
Though the fact that several retailers, often briefed way in advance of the press on release dates for key titles, are taking customer cash for the game, hints that Halo 3 is likely to be on sale in the near future.
We'll update you as soon as we learn more.