Don't kill the messenger. Don't kill the messenger. Don't kill the messenger. Don't kill the messenger.

We reported a few weeks ago that Gran Turismo 4 had gone gold and that Sony was preparing to ship the game in Japan and North America in December.

Sorry about that. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment retracted their previous "gone gold" statements and has announced a change in the release date for its much-anticipated driving simulator.

The release date for Gran Turismo 4 in Japan has been pushed back to December 28, 2004. Perhaps more pertinent, and disappointing, for our North American readers, is the mention that the release date for the English versions of the game has been pushed back from December 14 all the way to an unspecified January-March shipment window.

This also means that the < Nike Limited Edition bundle (which we told you about last week ) has been pushed back as well. Pre-Orders for that bundle will now begin on December 10th.

A portion of the official announcement reads: "Challenges associated with finalizing all of the key features and localization issues across worldwide territories have led to this difficult decision to push back the release date in order to ensure that Gran Turismo 4 lives up to the standards of the 36 million-plus fans worldwide."