Surprise, Microsoft just announced Gears of War 3 will ship worldwide on September 20 for Xbox 360. That's September 20 this year, not next, or in some weird, alternative universe where September's a euphemism for November.
I'm calling that "earlier than expected" because the last two games debuted during November. Also, because developer Epic's third-person shooter was originally due in April of this year, but pushed back to "holiday 2011" because the company wanted "to make it the marquee title for the holiday season."
Nothing wrong with padding out the "holiday season" by a couple extra months, right?
In the meantime, you can lock in access to the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta with a copy of Epic's Bulletstorm, just out yesterday.