In July 2006, Electronic Arts blindsided attendees at its summer showcase by announcing that it was publishing The Orange Box for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. After bringing Gabe Newell onstage, the publisher outlined the contents of the compilation, which contains five Valve Software games: Portal, Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2, and the two Half-Life 2 expansion packs.
At the time of the announcement, The Orange Box was set for release in the fall of 2006. One year later, it is finally arriving in retail. Today, Valve confirmed to GameSpot that Xbox 360 and PC versions of the M-rated compilation have gone gold, and are set to go on sale October 10 for a respective $59.99 and $49.99. Those who preorder the PC edition at GameStop or via Valve's Steam download service will receive a $5 discount and an invitation to the ongoing Team Fortress 2 beta test. (GameStop is also offering $5 off the 360 version.)
Unfortunately, PS3 owners will have to wait a while before they can pick up Half-Life 2 hero Gordon Freeman's iconic crowbar. Valve revealed earlier this month that development for the Sony console game is lagging behind its siblings, with the SKU currently bearing a mid-November release date.
PC gamers who've played through Half-Life 2 and its first expansion, Half-Life 2: Episode One, have another option. Valve is also offering Half-Life 2: Episode Two à la carte on Steam for $29.95 starting October 10.