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Artist's rendition of Metal Gear Solid 4 Japanese box art  (Source: Kotaku)
Metal Gear Solid 4 hits Japan, North America, Europe and Asia on the same day

There are enormous expectations for Metal Gear Solid 4. Not only is it likely the final chapter from the series’ creator Hideo Kojima and the fourth entry in a long line of exceptional PlayStation games, it’s also been heralded as sort of a savior for the PS3.

Whether or not it’s fair to put such a responsibility onto MGS4, Sony Computer Entertainment America has confirmed the game’s significance to growing sales of the PS3. A brand new PS3 bundle with MGS4 that will bring back the 80GB model, underlining the game’s importance.

After several delays, Konami has finally announced a launch date for Metal Gear Solid 4 – Thursday, June 12. Unlike with nearly all other games, MGS4 will launch simultaneously in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia, so no gamer will have to be envious of his or her counterpart across the various ponds.

"Blockbuster events and premieres are a tradition of the summer," said Kazumi Kitaue, Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. CEO. "We anticipate that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots fits that bill perfectly, and consumers will be waiting in line to get their copy of the game just like it's a hit Hollywood movie."

While the extra storage afforded by Blu-ray Disc often helps transitions between territories, as multiple localizations can exist on the same pressing, the 50GB disc won’t help Metal Gear Solid 4. In fact, the developers may have hit the storage wall, as there will be insufficient storage to fit both the English and Japanese voice tracks on the same disc.

Launching alongside MGS4 will be a Metal Gear Online "Starter Pack" supporting online gameplay with up to 16 players. Those who pre-order MGS4 will receive download code for the Metal Gear Online beta test as well as a special Metal Gear Saga 2.0 DVD.

Now the only thing left undetermined is if Konami will sell a special/collector’s edition of MGS4 outside of Japan.

Japanese gamers will get two versions: the "Standard Version" including Metal Gear Online Starter Pack, and the "Special Edition" including a Blu-ray Disc of bonus features in addition to everything included in the Standard Version.





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Konami does it again
By cyyc009 on 2/29/2008 6:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
With the global number of video-gamers all around the world increasing everyday (as well as the recent rise in PS3 sales), MGS4 has the potential to be the most successful game ever released for a console, so much so that the developers of the game expect (or at least hope) for it to sell over one million copies on the first day of release ( http://kotaku.com/gaming/exclusives/mgs4-needs-to-... ) to compensate for the work put into making the game. In order words, it has to become a "Greatest Hits" game in one day. Insane. I don't know how Konami plans to pull this off (especially since it does not look like there will be an Xbox 360 counterpart), but MGS4 will definitely be a popular, not to mention worthwhile, game that many of us will be talking about for years to come. Besides, it's a 50GB game people. Need I say more?




RE: Konami does it again
By Master Kenobi on 2/29/2008 8:44:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
With the global number of video-gamers all around the world increasing everyday

On the Wii sure, but not on the PS3. MGS4 is really for the hardcore gamer demographic which is rapidly slipping further into minority status.

quote:
but MGS4 will definitely be a popular, not to mention worthwhile, game that many of us will be talking about for years to come.

It depends. There have been several MGS games that didn't really make the cut. This one will have to live up to an inordinate amount of hype. We could see a repeat of the PS3. Hype was out of control and the product failed to live up to expectations. MGS4 will have to surpass these very high expectations, which may or may not be difficult. Very little information about the game is available so it's hard to say.

quote:
Besides, it's a 50GB game people. Need I say more?

That just means they didn't bother to use any sort of compression. Sounds more like a marketing gimmick than some sort of accomplishment. So they can cram 50GB of cutscenes, and audio uncompressed onto a BR-Disc with some gameplay. Big deal?


RE: Konami does it again
By someguy123 on 2/29/2008 9:08:35 PM , Rating: 1
i agree for the most part, except the size.

The audio is probably going to be 7.1 dolby HD, and although lossless it's still highly compressed compared to uncompressed audio. People have had the audio systems to handle what MGS4 is going to deliver (not necessarily dolby HD compatible, just high quality speakers) in terms of audio quality for years. Audio quality has sort of been stagnant for the past decade and I think its a good to finally see something that can make better use of such systems. Lossy dolby 5.1 has done very well but like HD video audio needed an upgrade as well.

Also I believe the reason it's filled to 50gb is because of the length of dialogue. It's not because of lack of compression, although dolby HD isn't necessarily the most efficient form of compression.


RE: Konami does it again
By TerranMagistrate on 2/29/2008 10:42:06 PM , Rating: 3
On the Wii sure, but not on the PS3. MGS4 is really for the hardcore gamer demographic which is rapidly slipping further into minority status.

Why not the PS3? Do you think only the hardcore gamers are buying PS3s like with the Xbox 360? Think again. Many are buying it for the Blu-Ray capability and may eventually get into using it for games as well. That's one way to expand the market. The Wii is yet another way.

It depends. There have been several MGS games that didn't really make the cut. This one will have to live up to an inordinate amount of hype. We could see a repeat of the PS3. Hype was out of control and the product failed to live up to expectations. MGS4 will have to surpass these very high expectations, which may or may not be difficult. Very little information about the game is available so it's hard to say.

MGS1,2 & 3 were all highly rated and successful games that have sold millions of copies each. And after seeing the 15 minute gameplay demonstration at the Tokyo Game Show 2007, MGS4 is on track to meet the hype, if not exceed it. Perhaps your irrational Sony hate is making you cynical? Seems like it.

That just means they didn't bother to use any sort of compression. Sounds more like a marketing gimmick than some sort of accomplishment. So they can cram 50GB of cutscenes, and audio uncompressed onto a BR-Disc with some gameplay. Big deal?

Yea, it is a big deal. As in, compression typically decreases the quality of the audio and video and thus that's something that the team at Kojima Production won't have to worry about. When Snake fires that Mosin-Nagant rifle in the gameplay video, it's sounds pretty damn amazing even heard on a Youtube video.

Acknowledge a good thing when you see it, downplaying it only reveals your hidden fanboy-ish envy.


RE: Konami does it again
By OutpostCommand on 3/1/2008 7:57:37 AM , Rating: 2
I am 100% with Magistrate here.

Besides, I thought all the other Metal Gear games were incredible.
MGS1 is still a great moving story (which shows how gameplay and storyline can triumph over graphics), MGS2 was one of the best games ive ever played (I dont understand a lot of the negativity around MGS2 - I thought this game was (and still is) breathtaking (in terms of graphics, audio, and even storyline (although the ending left a little left to desire)), and MGS3 was a the logical evolution of the series (corridors to open spaces) and was a fantastic game too.

Im primarily a PC gamer, but I will say firmly that the Metal Gear Solid series of games is the greatest game series ive ever played !


RE: Konami does it again
By 3kliksphilip on 3/1/2008 9:54:55 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't got a Playstation 2. I played MGS1, really liked it. Saw all the trailers, images and videos of MGS2 and thought 'WOW This will be the best game ever!!!!!!!1'
...My friends got the game, I saw them playing it, still thinking it was the best game ever. I then borrowed a copy from the library to play on my PC. 8 GB was a lot for a game back then. The ship was fantastic. Sure, the graphics couldn't stand up to the PC games coming out at that time, but it was atmospheric and the gameplay was fun. Then the oilrig started. I know why they excluded the oilrig (About 80% of the game) from the trailers. It was so lifeless compared to the beginning of the game. Dull, orange(Can't remember if it was but it but oranges remind me of MGS2 so it must be) and who the hell is Raiden?

Since then I've forgotten pretty much everything about the game, apart from that the ship was amazing and the rest was okay. Ragdoll physics were good, um... and the ending sucked. I love holding enemies up.

Where was I? Ah yes, MGS 1 was brilliant, MGS2 was mixed and I've never played the others. My prediction? MGS4 will have about 2 good ideas, this will keep fans impressed, will draw the series to a neat conclusion and everybody can then focus on the next big game out. I can't take games with vampires, girls pretending to be men and cyber jumpy things that seriously.


RE: Konami does it again
By Master Kenobi on 3/1/2008 12:38:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why not the PS3? Do you think only the hardcore gamers are buying PS3s like with the Xbox 360?

People that buy a PS3 with the sole intention of playing movies are highly unlikely to jump into a game like MGS4. Nice try though. If MGS4 were a "casual" game then you would have a fair point, but it's pretty deep into the "hardcore gamer" category.

quote:
MGS1,2 & 3 were all highly rated and successful games that have sold millions of copies each.

So was Halo 1, 2, and 3. They didn't get into the "casual" demographic either. Neither did MGS1, 2, and 3 for that matter, even though there were people that bought a PS2 because it could "play DVD's".

quote:
Yea, it is a big deal. As in, compression typically decreases the quality of the audio and video and thus that's something that the team at Kojima Production won't have to worry about.

Decreases by any noticeable difference is a key phrase here. The VC-1 video codec used by Blu-Ray uses compression yet manages an excellent picture at the same time, I don't hear anyone complaining. Using the movie Transformers the audio beat out several other movies who used true lossless encoding, simply because of the way it was mastered. Compression does not mean it's "not as good", it's merely a marketing term.


RE: Konami does it again
By ancient46 on 3/1/2008 1:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
Just like the other PS3 games that were supposed to be the ones that are supposed to make the console the industry leader, MGS4 is being hyped to the max. However like the other similarly hyped games we have only seen what the developer wants you to see and that isn't really much at all. Until the actual game is released and people have actually seen and played it you really can't tell from the carefully chosen (Lair?) and possibly enhanced (Gundam?) snippets you can see now.

By saying Master Kenobi should acknowledge a good thing when he sees it, before he actually does see it. reveals the hidden fanboy in you. I side with him in this matter, waiting to see what you really get is the proper attitude, 15 minutes of carefully prepared gameplay is not proof of a great game, it is only a teaser and nothing more. Remember the hype of other gameplay reveals and beware.


RE: Konami does it again
By someguy123 on 3/2/2008 3:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
i do agree with most of what he said with the exception of the lack of high compression he labeled as a "gimmick". truthfully, isn't everything about this gen a gimmick? better graphics, better audio, interactive environments can all be considered gimmicks, and yet they all greatly improve on atmosphere and overall experience of a game. I think kojima is going in the right direction making use of blu-ray's ridiculous storage capacity.

I also think, even if the game doesn't meet hype, that it'll be successful solely due to graphics and the hardcore fanbase. MGS4 is constantly labeled as a PS3 seller and I think that there are millions of people willing to buy a ps3 and MSG4 just because past games were so highly praised.


RE: Konami does it again
By Master Kenobi on 3/2/2008 11:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
truthfully, isn't everything about this gen a gimmick?

To the most part that is correct.

quote:
I think that there are millions of people willing to buy a ps3 and MSG4 just because past games were so highly praised.

Yea, there is no doubt about this. The only question is, how many? That will be an interesting statistic.


RE: Konami does it again
By bighairycamel on 3/7/2008 11:33:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That just means they didn't bother to use any sort of compression. Sounds more like a marketing gimmick than some sort of accomplishment. So they can cram 50GB of cutscenes, and audio uncompressed onto a BR-Disc with some gameplay. Big deal?


Just like the MGS games before, all cutscenes are done in real time... hardly any extra space requirements are needed other than dialogue and some programming.


Fans
By rdeegvainl on 3/3/2008 1:33:57 PM , Rating: 2
I care not what others say about these games. I pre-ordered it based on my opinions of all the other metal gear games I have played and own. They have been, to me, the closest example of Video Games being art, and expressing viewpoints. And the Fact that it is being released on my bithday is just Icing on my cake, that I will soon eat, and have too.

Your experience may vary




RE: Fans
By luigionlsd on 3/4/2008 8:31:27 AM , Rating: 2
I bought a PS2 to play MGS2, and a PS3 with the main intention of MGS4 (20gb, a year ago). DVD and BD (respectively) were just icing on the cake! June 12th can't come any sooner!!!!111


Beware fo bundles!
By LatinMessiah on 3/4/2008 2:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
It is a known fact that bundles are a way of selling crappy merchandise by bundling it with good merchandise. I wonder which item here is the crappy merchandise? Hmm...




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