Konami is considering publishing ´Metal Gear Solid 4´ not just for the PlayStation3, Reuters reports. Their article cites Kazumi Kitaue, head of Konami's North American and European operations.
Kitaue said Konami may need to expand the target hardware for its blockbuster fighting game Metal Gear Solid, which has so far been developed for Sony's PlayStation machines, to other consoles in the future to recoup development costs.
"Since Metal Gear Solid was born for the PlayStation, we would like to keep it a PlayStation game. But we might have to take some steps," Kitaue said. (...)
Following Kitaue's comments, shares in Sony closed down 1.1 percent at 6,460 yen on Tuesday in Tokyo, while Konami, known for such games as Dance Dance Revolution and Pro Evolution Soccer, gained 0.9 percent to 2,940 yen.
Kitaue also questioned whether the PS3´s recent price cut would be able to get Sony out of third place.
I wonder if Sony can win back user support by the price cut of just $100. I don't expect a substantial impact ... With $500, you can buy a personal computer.
Parts one through five of the never-ending saga regarding ´Metal Gear Solid 4´ going multi-platform have been posted with a ´rumour´ tag. It has finally come to the point where the story is legitimate news.
I am sure that we can overlook the significance of the little word ´might´ in above quote. Japanese rarely say no directly (いいえ), but usually substitute it by saying something is difficult or different (ちがいます). Also: why else would a Konami executive raise this matter in an interview with Reuters if it had not already been decided behind closed doors?
It is also interesting that the executive connected the question of ´MGS4´ exclusivity to the PS3´s price cut. In my mind, Konami had been considering taking the game multi-platform for some time, but waited to learn the full scale of Sony´s price cut. Unsatisfied with it, they went public with this news.
I have consistently predicted that this will happen and it did, albeit unexpectedly. Mark my words, this will also happen to the last big third-party exclusive the PS3 has left. ´Final Fantasy´ is going to be next.
In terms of driving hardware sales, a multi-platform ´Metal Gear Solid 4´ is going to hurt Sony a great deal more than ´Final Fantasy´, though, I believe. While the ´MGS´ series may not have sold as many units (it also has not seen as many instalments as ´FF´, to be fair), only this one has huge potential in all three major territories. In Europe, ´Final Fantasy´ is sadly associated by most people with the CGI movie.
For a good summary of most other past rumours concerning this topic, please read ´Metal Gear Solid 4´ no longer PS3 exclusive?, part IV.
EDIT John Yamamoto, president and CEO of European and North American operations at Square Enix, has refused to comment on the exclusivity status of ´Final Fantasy´, speaking to Games Industry.
What about PlayStation 3? Konami has said that they're concerned Sony's planned price cut isn't enough, and hinted that Metal Gear Solid may not always be a platform exclusive...
We're watching the hardware trends closely and also the marketing strategy of the platform holders. I think USD 500 for PS3 is still a bit expensive for most gamers. Most of them think that price is still high. (...)
If sales don't pick up, if Sony doesn't cut the price further, would you - like Konami - reconsider making Final Fantasy exclusive to PlayStation 3?
When it comes to platform strategies I talk with the entire group, so maybe I'll avoid answering that.
[At this point, a Square Enix spokesperson added "At previous E3s and other shows we've announced different Final Fantasies for different platforms, and I think that will continue."]
EDIT So much for this being the final episode in this saga. First, Sony says that ´MGS4´ will launch "only on PlayStation 3" at their E3 press conference. And now, the Official Xbox Magazine apparently knows about an Xbox360 version.
I stand by my prediction that the game will not be exclusive to the PS3. Konami would be insane to tie this multi-million dollar project down to a console that has sold less than four million units and whose low tie ratio promises only a small share from a small user base.
It is funny, however, that everyone seems to infer that Konami´s comments about making ´MGS4´ available on other consoles can only mean that it may be heading to Xbox360 and nothing else. From a business point of view, Wii may be a much more attractive platform, if not in terms of hardware power.
EDIT Now, CVG have come across an HMV page, offering pre-orders for both the PS3 and Xbox360 versions, as well as giving release dates.
Metal Gear Solid 4 will apparently be available from April 18, 2008 on PlayStation 3 only according to the listing. Then, just over five months later, the Xbox 360 will be blessed with Solid Snake's presence on September 26.
Thanks to: Joystiq, Kool.K