At previous E3 Expos, Sony took flak for showing off video trailers of games in developement for its then-forthcoming PlayStation 3 console, including an installment of Konami‘s Metal Gear Solid tactical espionage franchise. The trick, it turns out, was that much of that game footage was pre-rendered, and therefore didn’t show off so much what the PlayStation 3 could do as what Sony imagined it would be able to do—you know, once they got it out the door.
Fast forward: now, the PlayStation 3 has shipped, and while sales may not be living up to Sony’s expectations, Sony redeemed itself a bit at this year’s E3 event by not only showing off a forthcoming installment of Metal Gear Solid, but making a point that what people were watching was the game being played in real time on a PlayStation 3. And the company also revealed news which may make action gaming fans finally decide to buy a PS3: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will ship in early 2008 exclusively for the PlayStation 3 platform.
The news of MSG4 exclusivity for the PlayStation 3 isn’t a terrible shock: Sony purchased the game’s developer, Guerrilla Games, back in late 2005. But a seriously revved-up installment of the venerable franchise title may give the PS3 some additional clout amongst hardcore gamers, especially those old enough to remember when the Metal Gear Solid saga got its start in 1998, although the ship date will miss the big end-of-year holiday buying season.
The Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer (available online from Konami) shows an older main character, Solid Snake, embarking on a new mission which takes him to a variety of locations in the Middle East and South America, and put him face to face with characters from previous Metal Gear Solid installments, including Meryl Silverburgh, Raiden, and the Metal Gear Solid 2 villian Vamp. The game’s story is scripted by franchise creator Hideo Kojima, and Konami is already heralding it as a “masterpiece.”
Konami has also announced a new installment in its movie-spawning Silent Hill horror franchise. Silent Hill 5 will ship for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2008. The new game will center on war veteran Alex Shepherd investigating the disappearance of his younger brother, Joshua; events will lead players from Shepherd’s Glen to the empty streets of Silent Hill, where player will have to solve a variety of puzzles—and defeat terrifying incarnations of evil. The game will continue the series atmospheric, subtle environmental world, and feature a soundtrack by composer Akira Yamaoka.