Valve should really just stop putting release dates on its products. The much-anticipated sequel to the company's infectious Portal puzzle shooter was at one point expected to arrive this holiday season. Just prior to E3 this summer, Valve announced that the game would be delayed until next year. February, we were told. And now, just a few months short, Valve has pushed back Portal 2 yet again, this time until April of 2011. At least the press release finds some humor in the situation.
Valve today announced that Portal 2 -- the sequel to the ground-breaking title that won over 30 game of the year awards, despite missing its original ship date -- will now be available the week of April 18th, 2011. This two month slip not only marks the shortest delay in Valve's proud tradition of delays, it represents the approaching convergence of Valve Time and Real Time. Though this convergence spells doom for humanity, it will not affect the new Portal 2 release date.
If you're planning a vacation around Valve's next helping of cake, note that the 18th isn't necessarily the first day you'll be able to get your hands on the game. According to Shacknews, Valve will have Portal 2 in North American stores on April 20 and on Australian shelves two days later. The press release doesn't indicate when the game will be uncorked on Steam, but I'd expect pre-loading to begin in early April.
Of course, Valve is as infamous for delays as fans are rabid for its releases. The Valve Developer Community has a nice summary of the disconnect between the Valve clock and time as you and I know it. Half-Life 2: Episode 3, for example, was originally slated to arrive in 2007. I'm sure it'll be out any day now.