yeah, i have also read that a bit as well. and it does make sense. i cant remember whether they were focusing halo 3 on someone other then the master cheif, or they were working on a completley different game.
The tone I got from the message was "there will be a Halo 3, but it won't be our next project". It's possible that they just want to give themselves a break, like Rockstar is doing with a Table Tennis game between GTA releases.
And as far as when the PS3 will ship, Sony has officially announced what many have been predicting...
So assuming that there are no other delays, and production goes fully according to schedule without delays in manufacturing, and Sony releases in their standard "Japan first, with everybody else waiting at least a few months", North America will get the PS3 some time in 2007. That is, unless Sony wants to save the 2006 holiday sales by doing a global release. So the only Spring 2006 launch they're getting is for Japan, when it's Spring 2006 in Australia.