Just days before the start of this year's E3, Valve Software revealed that Portal 2 had not sufficiently assumed the proper position to be escorted to its Fall 2010 release, and would have to be subsequently delayed. It was just one of the half-a-dozen major Q4 releases that have been pushed to next year, leaving the Thanksgiving release season looking a little dryer than it has been in years past.
However, it looks like we won't have to wait too much longer beyond Turkey Day before we can head back to Aperture Science; Today, Game Informer revealed on its website that Portal 2 would be hitting retail and digital shelves on February 9, 2011. As Valve has stated previously, Portal 2 is aiming to launch on all announced platforms simultaneous, so hopefully the PC, Mac, 360 and PS3 versions will all make that February 9 launch.
In addition to the release date, Game Informer also revealed a taste of Portal 2's voice cast. As Valve has shown in previews of the game, Portal 2 will see you exploring the remains of Aperture Science with several different personality spheres, helping to progress the story as well as solve some of the game's new puzzles. The E3 demo of Portal 2, in particular, shows off one of these personality spheres: a nervy, excitable, and slightly incompetent sphere named Wheatley.
Valve has told GI that, in the final version of the game, Wheatley will be played by actor Stephen Merchant, the co-creator, writer, and actor on the original British version of The Office. The E3 demo of Portal 2 did not feature Merchant playing Wheatley, but, at the very least you use this gameplay video to get a sense of the character he will portray in the game.
Let's just hope that this release date isn't a lie, and that Valve can hold to its newest projected date for their highly anticipated puzzle game.