Bayonetta stabs stores Jan. 5

Sega nails down release date for third-person action game from Devil May Cry, Okami director; EU getting the point Jan. 8.

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One of this year's big trends has been highly anticipated holiday games being pushed to early next year. While Johnny-also-come-latelies like Alpha Protocol, Blur, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Starcraft II, and more have made delays to 2010 seem like the "in" thing, Bayonetta was one of the trendsetters, with Sega announcing the North American and European delay in mid-July.

Witch may weep?
Witch may weep?

Sega announced the game's official release date today, and while it was indeed pushed to 2010, it wasn't pushed very far into the year. Bayonetta will launch on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America on January 5, with European gamers able to pick it up January 8. In a statement, Sega America and Sega Europe CEO Mike Hayes cited the January launch window as the best time to launch a new intellectual property in the West.

Hayes also said the January release will help the game "push for a #1 retail slot." If Bayonetta is going to take the top spot, it will have to do so against stiff competition. In addition to lingering holiday blockbusters, Bayonetta will also be competing on the charts against an unusually strong lineup of January releases, including Army of Two: The 40th Day, Dark Void, MAG, and Mass Effect 2.

Sega also promised exclusive preorder bonuses for customers, but did not detail the incentives. However, specialty retailer GameStop is currently offering a $5 price break and a pack of eight posters for customers who preorder. For more on Bayonetta, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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