Oh, how sweet the Fallout 4 release date news would be if we got to see the game debut at E3 this year. And, obviously, in the weeks leading up to the game there have been a TON of rumors floating around. But, dear reader, if you've been coming to read my articles here on idigitaltimes.com you no doubt possess a greater knowledge of what's real and what's bogus than most casual fans. Because I, like you, have a total bonerd for Bethesda and have been hoping for a Fallout 4 release date since I put down Fallout: New Vegas.

In this latest installment of what has become my (almost) twice-a-month Fallout 4 release date news column I'm going to talk about an intriguing leak from Sweden, all the rumors floating about in the lead-up to E3 (and why they're all pretty much bullsh-t) and, as a refresher, a quick rundown of why I think Fallout 4 is definitely in the works and will be announced very, very soon. Like, probably-at-E3 soon.

Fallout 4 Release Date 2014? Swedish Retail Website Says Yes

This is the first retail leak of a Fallout 4 release date, but it appears fairly legit. The site responsible, WebHallen.com, is a Swedish retailer who has listed numerous unannounced titles on their site. According to Gamepur, which pulled the story from a post made by neoGAF user Ekim, WebHallen has posted dates for games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Uncharted 4, etc. But, just because they're taking wild shots on some games doesn't mean they can't be on the money with their Fallout 4 release date page. As you can see on the page, there's not much info at all. No cover art and no product description. The Swedish caption reads "price, images, product description and release date are preliminary and subject to change."

All it takes is a little common sense to see how flimsy this purported leak is. Yes, it looks legitimate enough. But a vague release date of 2014 doesn't do much for fans waiting for the Fallout 4 release date. It pretty much tells us what we've already been expecting: the next-gen version of Fallout 4 will release sometime next year. Not exactly bombshell stuff. It also lists the game as a PS3 title, which seems to contradict one of the bigger Fallout 4 release date rumors out there ...

Fallout 4 Is An Xbox One Exclusive

This piece of Fallout 4 release date news is just a hot, steaming circle of garbage. As far as I can tell, the root cause is The Examiner, which posted this story about a Fallout 4 Xbox One exclusive. According to the Examiner, there has been some "industry chatter" on neoGAF that says there is some deal being worked out between Bethesda and Microsoft. It takes a pretty significant stretch of logic to assume it means the Fallout 4 release date would be an Xbox one exclusive event.

Why? Because (dummy) Bethesda wants to make money. How many Xbox One units will even be available if Fallout 4 releases in, say, early 2014? When the Xbox 360 launched there were only around 400,000 available in the first month. It took months of manufacturing for them to get into the millions. Do you really think Bethesda is going to take one of their AAA franchise titles that's been in development (for, what, five years?) and make it available on, at best, a couple million consoles? Microsoft would need to pay Bethesda tens of millions of dollars to cover the potential loss of revenue. And it's tough to put a dollar amount on the negative fan backlash it would generate since it would alienate 99 percent of gamers.

However, I don't think that SOME kind of Fallout 4 release date exclusives are out of the question for Microsoft. After all, they received the Skyrim DLC months ahead of Sony. We saw Microsoft re-up their exclusivity deal with Activision and Call of Duty: Ghosts, so it's not unreasonable to assume they might work out another DLC deal with Bethesda.

And that would also be why ...

Fallout 4 Reveal Will Be Part Of Microsoft E3 Event

I'll be blunt. I am attending E3 this year and have scheduled a meeting with Bethesda reps and nowhere in the agenda I've received does it say anything about Fallout 4. Bethesda hasn't mentioned Fallout 4 in any official capacity ANYWHERE so, when people report that Fallout 4 won't be part of E3, it's easy to understand why they think this.

But (I think) they're dead wrong.

Back in April, I ran a Fallout 4 release date news story about Inon Zur, a composer who has worked on games like Dragon Age and the Fallout series. While at PAX East, Zur hinted that he was working on a big project that had to be kept under wraps. He said details about the project would be announced on May 15. I speculated that he was talking about Fallout 4 given his history with Bethesda and the franchise. So did others. I was contacted by Zur's PR rep and told he wasn't working on Fallout 4 and that he couldn't say anything about the game he was working on.

May 15 came and went without any announcement, and when I reached out to Zur's PR guy I was told that the announcement had been delayed. Now, obviously Zur isn't in a position to say anything about Fallout 4 and, based on the pressure that ThreeDog actor Erik Todd Dellums reportedly received from Bethesda when he tweeted about it, he knows to keep his trap shut.

But I can't imagine a project that is so close to being done it was scheduled for a May announcement that would also need to be top secret. Except Fallout 4. It's really the only major AAA title we don't know any official info about. When you think of the big, BIG games what else could it be? And the timing of the delay is important.

May 15 was six days before the Xbox One reveal. If Microsoft penned an exclusivity deal with Bethesda (which is likely, given the companies' shared history) would it really be such a stretch for Microsoft to ask Bethesda to reveal the game at their E3 event instead of an independent news release or series of Vine videos? Especially since Microsoft HAD to anticipate the negative gamer reaction they would get after their TV/Sports/TV/COD hardware reveal.

Microsoft knows it needs some big gaming guns at E3, and with all of the major next-gen titles sharing platforms with Sony they can't really bank on the strength of an exclusive like Ryse. But a Fallout 4 reveal? That would be a big deal.

Speaking of things that have become a big deal ...

Fallout 4 Will NOT Be Based In Boston

I'll keep this brief, but there is some bad Fallout 4 release date info out there that needs to be cleared up. I've been seeing a lot of the reckless rumor sites (Examiner, Sidhtech, etc.) talking about how the Fallout 4 release date will bring gamers to Beantown. Since we don't know anything official about the game, I will admit this is a possibility. But so is Chicago or London or any other city. The problem with the Boston rumor is that it was based on a hoax and yet, somehow, is still being reported as legit.

It's not. A redditor calling himself "GNR_Informant" wrote a post about how he had some buddies at Bethesda that were scouting MIT and Boston because it was going to be the setting for Fallout 4. After being hounded by gamers and reporters, and seeing the rumor take off, he issued the following retraction.

"I have no proof because this was all a lie. Got bored and posted this," he said.

So, if Fallout 4 DOES take place in Boston, it's a coincidence and was in no way predicted by anyone online. I really hate deliberate trolling like this, because it takes away from the fact that ...

Fallout 4 Is Happening And Here's Three Reasons Why

In my last Fallout 4 release date news post I detailed reasons why Fallout 4 is happening. In case you missed it, here's a rundown of the three big clues fans have that the game is in development and will be coming soon.

First, Pete Hines (VP of Marketing for Bethesda and basically the company's mouthpiece) went on the OXM podcast and talked about how the company is going to do really big things in 2013 and they were going to get a lot of people talking.

"I think you'll hear us making considerably more noise this year than we did last year, as a publisher," he said. "Obviously the Elder Scrolls Online is out and we've got the Dishonored DLC, but we will be announcing new stuff and making some noise, and I think when we get the chance to show you guys what we're up to, that you'll sit up and take notice."

So far this year, all we've heard about are Bethesda Softworks titles like the Evil Within and the new Wolfenstein game. And while both titles look promising, fans of the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series know that it's Bethesda Game Studios that makes these AAA beauties Bethesda is known for, while Bethesda Softworks typically works with other studios in the production of games like Dishonored or Rage. Last month, Bethesda announced that the Skyrim team is done working on that game, meaning there will be no more DLC because the team is moving on.

"Parts of our team have also been in pre-production on our next major project, and that game is at the point where it requires the studio's full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet," Bethesda said in a blog post.

Sounds a lot like Fallout 4, no?

The second reason comes from the aforementioned ThreeDog tweets. It all started with this tweet back in January:

Fans jumped all over the hint that Fallout 4 was in the works and Dellums had to do some damage control and deleted the rumor-tastic tweet. The damage, of course, was already done.

"I let [Bethesda] know that fans were clamouring, trying to figure out if there's any chance that Three Dog would be back sometime," Dellums told OXM. "And, you know, they let it slip that it looks like Three Dog will. And they said that, 'Well, maybe you could tell your fans.' I don't think they even anticipated it would explode like this."

That was in January. Then in March ThreeDog sent out a BUNCH of tweets about how he was sorry to have misled fans and that Bethesda was really mad at him and on and on and on. Basically, if there was nothing going on he did a piss poor job of ACTING like nothing was going on. Why would Bethesda be mad if he hinted at a game that didn't exist? They wouldn't. But they would be mad if he let word of the game out before it was supposed to be pubic knowledge, especially if they had some kind of big money deal in the works with Microsoft to give them exclusive debut privileges at E3.

Finally, the third big reason I think a Fallout 4 release date is imminent is the simple fact that Bethesda has been hiring people to work on the game. A report from Italian gaming site Io Videogioco unearthed a job posting on Bethesda's site looking for "experienced programmers to work on cutting-edge technology for an unannounced game on future-generation consoles."

While it doesn't specifically say "This is for Fallout 4 everybody!" the ad lists "experience playing Bethesda Game Studios games a plus" in the requirements. The speculation is that the post refers to the Fallout series since it's for Bethesda Game Studios and not their sister company the not-Fallout publisher Bethesda Softworks. Here's the full posting so you can draw your own conclusions about whether or not it could be related to Fallout 4.

That's all I have for now loyal readers. Like I said, I'll be at the Microsoft event at E3 next week and meeting with some Bethesda people so, if the game gets announced, hopefully I can get some exclusive info for all of you to enjoy. If you don't drown in your own tears of joy.

If you're interested in the latest Fallout 4 news (or some breaking gaming news in general) you can follow me on Twitter, I guess.