Gamers wondering what to do between Halo 3's September 25 release and Grand Theft Auto IV's October 16 ship date got their answer today. Valve Software has confirmed to GameSpot that it will release Half-Life 2: The Orange Box on October 9, putting it at the front end of an increasingly crowded holiday release season.
Half-Life 2: The Orange Box is being billed as a new way of selling games. The bundle compiles the critically acclaimed 2004 game Half-Life 2 with its Episode One and Episode Two (2007) expansions as well as two other games--the resurrected and reimagined Team Fortress 2 and the new dimension-hopping title Portal. Earlier this year, Valve canceled plans to release Half-Life 2: The Black Box, which consisted of the PC versions of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2, and Portal.
Half-Life 2: The Orange Box will be distributed by Electronic Arts via its EA Partners program. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will retail for $59.99, while the PC edition will run for $49.99. The game has not yet been officially rated, though Half-Life 2 was rated M for Mature when it was released. GameSpot's previous coverage has more details on the games.