Games slipping is an all too common fact of modern gaming life. Like British train timetables and the Sell By recommendations on canned food, game release dates should be treated more as loose guidelines than an inalienable truth.

The problem seems particularly pronounced in the world of handheld consoles of late, with PSP and DS titles proving tougher to pin down than a WWF wrestler. Hence plaudits must be due to Metal Slug Anthology, which despite packing no fewer than six Metal Slug games within its UMD frame, actually looks set to appear before its originally schedule date.

When we first looked at the title back in April, it seemed as though our itchy trigger fingers would have to wait until November for a helping of 2D sideways scrolling shoot-em-up action. But publisher Ignition Entertainment has now confirmed that an Autumn outing is on the cards for the apparently arcade-perfect conversions.

It has also confirmed that the feature list will include two-player co-op play via wi-fi, support for both widescreen as well as the original screen format, bonus galleries containing classic poster and character art, and a host of other unlockable and exclusive Metal Slug goodies.

Oh, and just in case we were still a little sceptical of the timing, it has hurled a few screenshots in our direction and launched a dedicated website to underline its intent.

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