Following a memorable day which saw UK retailer Argos selling Halo 3 to consumers a week before release, and Microsoft seemingly willing to ban gamers from Xbox LIVE for playing the game, Microsoft has issued an official statement which should put the debacle to bed.

"We can confirm that Microsoft is not taking any action (such as banning Xbox Live accounts) against gamers who are playing Halo 3 before the official street date. Any rumours or speculation to the contrary are false," reads the statement issued by Microsoft this evening.

Halo 3 is scheduled for release in North America on September 25, across Europe on September 26 and in Japan on September 27.