Half-Life 2 taps up Xbox 360?

US retailers suggest Valve's radioactive shooter coming next year

Half-Life 2, Valve's iconic shooter, could be coming to Xbox 360 next year - if a couple of big US games retailers are not just shooting in the breeze.

The game has popped up on the schedules of EB Games and Gamestop, with a 2007 release date tagged. This follows a recent announcement by Valve Software that it was looking forward to working on Xbox 360 titles, but also refusing to name names on any specific games.

Yet while Valve won't confirm a 360 version of HL2, significantly, it's certainly not denying it either. "We've only announced development for 360," Valve told IGN. "No specific titles to reveal just yet, but folks can expect to hear more before the end of this year."

While HL2 is available on the original Xbox, would Valve want a 360 version of a two-year-old game, unless it planned to add new features and episodic content downloadable from Marketplace? Steam showed the way forward there, so it's not out of the question that HL2 could debut on 360, with Episodes One, Two and Three debuting via Live to add additional interest.

And even if Valve's first Xbox 360 title isn't Half-Life 2, it seems certain big things are in store for the console. "Whether developing a traditional FPS, RTS, RPG or delving into new genres, the Xbox 360 is a great platform for expanding Source and our game experiences," said Valve head honcho Gabe Newell recently, suggesting that his game could be something totally unexpected.

When we hear any more, we'll of course let you know, but actually we wouldn't rule HL2 appearing on just about every next-gen platform eventually, especially with that crucial episodic content arriving over the next year and a half to freshen things up. We'll keep 'em peeled for more HL2 next-gen goodness as it happens.