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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