Update 4: Xbox head Don Mattrick confirmed that Bungie is working on a new Halo title. Whether this is related to the announcement is unclear.
Update 3: Luke Smith has commented to Joystiq: "We still have an exclusive publishing agreement with Microsoft, as we confirmed when we announced the split last year. That arrangement has not changed." Also, all teased images of an announcement have now been removed from Bungie.net and within Halo 3. View images in the gallery below.
Update 2: Luke Smith replied to a comment made in NeoGAF confirming the publisher in question is in fact Microsoft. Reponding to the comment, "Bungie is the one who made this great little hype machine. And--although this will just add to the fire--they never say it's Microsoft." Smith replied, "Our publisher is Microsoft."
Update: Bungie community lead Luke Smith has confirmed the postponement is legitimate. "We already are deeply disappointed with how things unfolded to this point without getting our fans to the intended payoff." When forum goers at NeoGAF assumed it was a joke Smith responded with the above comment and added, "Nope. Not our style." It's real everyone. Sorry.
It appears that the wait is over. Forgoing the original plan of waiting for the countdown clock to reach zero, Bungie.net has been updated with new information regarding the mysterious Superintendent. According to the newly refreshed site, the Superintendent is ... well, we don't know. According to the site Bungie was working toward a reveal when its publishing partner, presumably Microsoft, canceled the announcement.
Right now on Bungie.net a letter from Bungie president, Harold Ryan is displayed and reveals the cancellation of the announcement.
Note: To clarify the speculation that Harold Ryan is not the president (effectively the studio manager) of Bungie LLC, you may want to listen to the January 18, 2008 Bungie Podcast [link opens iTunes]
Jump in to read the letter.
Gallery: Bungie Announcement Cancellation
From: Harold Ryan
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 7PM
Subject: E3 Announce
Over the last several months, we've been building toward a reveal of something exciting that Bungie is working on. We were looking forward to sharing that with out fan community during the week of E3. However, those plans were just changed by our publisher.
We realize that many of our fans are disappointed by this turn of events; members of the Bungie team share that disappointment.
When the right time comes, we look forward to sharing this exciting announcement with you. Until then, we appreciate your continued support and patience.