This conference started off with a showing of ads based off the Metal Gear Solid universe, fake of course.You can view those ads at the official website for the game as they are all online now.
After the commercials, Konami Digital Entertainmnt president Fumiaki Tanaka took the stage.
“In recent years, casual games have become extremely popular. With the rise of new consumers, the [game industry] is expanding into new directions,” said Tanaka. “While it’s said that the current mainstream is casual games, we took the challenge to make a blockbuster title, Metal Gear Solid 4, headed by Kojima.”
He continued, “Metal Gear Solid 4 surpasses the scale of its previous titles in all aspects, including their story, visuals, and music. Using the PlayStation 3’s high capabilities to its capacity, I believe that our developers have realized Metal Gear Solid 4 without any compromise.”
However, Tanaka mentioned that they love the power of the PLAYSTATION 3 and it is not Konami’s last huge project on the system. “We believe that the PlayStation 3 still has some undiscovered capabilities, and there’s still many points where we can be more clever to take its full advantage,” he teased. “We will continue to create more good products in the future.”
Following Tanaka, director Hideo Kojima appeared on stage to announce the completion of his four-year long project. “I’m very happy that we can announce the completion of Metal Gear Solid 4 in front of everyone here today,” he said, beaming. “Metal Gear Solid 4 has been an extremely difficult project. At one point, it was like an eternal spiral where the game felt like it would never get completed no matter how hard we worked on it.”
“We took on all sorts of challenges in the making of Metal Gear Solid 4,” reminisced Kojima. “We were challenged to make Metal Gear Solid 4 on the Cell-processor-operated, unknown monster of a hardware called the PlayStation 3. We were challenged to make Metal Gear Solid 4 in high definition graphics and 5.1ch surround sound so that it’d play in the leagues of movies. We were challenged to give Metal Gear Solid 4 the most [content] in the series, and so we had the largest number of developers working [on the franchise] ever. We were challenged to release the game simultaneously worldwide for the first time. And, we were challenged to make it the last title in the series, as the game will be the conclusion to the Metal Gear Saga.”
Kojima then took the opportunity to comment on the current situation in the gaming industry.
“Casual games have become mainstream in the industry,” he declared. “It’s not just a Japanese phenomenon but also something that’s happening worldwide. There are new markets and possibilities opening up thanks to the trend, which is great. But on the other hand, we shouldn’t forget about the hardcore gamers whose lives are about videogames. The gamers who consider video games a subculture, and enjoy taking their time to sit down and play games that gives them energy and courage. I wanted to remind those gamers about the fun of video games. I know that we’re going against the trend, but we’ve been working hard for the past four years so that the fire [of non-casual games] won’t blow out.”
“I believe that video games are a form of synthesized art that evolves by adapting new technologies,” continued Kojima. “It’s a business, so there are difficult decisions, but when you think about the future of video games, I think that you need to take some risks to move on forward. Once you halt, it’s really hard to go [back on track] and take steps forward. Unfortunately, overseas game production companies, which are well-funded and extremely skilled, have surpassed us by a couple of steps. It was once said that Japan molded the world’s video game [industry], but that’s becoming a thing of the past. Sad as it may be, it’s the truth.”
“We developed Metal Gear Solid 4 for fans that love Metal Gear. But at the same time, I was creating it with some hopes to stir a revival of [non-casual] videogames.”
After that, Kojima headed off to play the game, revealing that Metal Gear Solid 4 will be chapter based, unike previous installments. The first chapter is titled “Act 1: Liquid Sun”. Kojima played it on hard mode.
After he went through the game, Kojima revealed a number of new collaborations in the game, with the biggest being the Apple iPod. Snake carries one around in the game, letting him play music tracks he finds during the game. They can be played in the background while you play, and additional tracks will be offered for download on the PLAYSTATION Network.
Some other collaborations hitting the game include Triumph Motorcycles, Sony Ericsson, Regain, and Uniqlo. The Erricson includes a downloadable Metal Gear Solid 4 version of “Ganbare Salary Man”, a cell-phone game about a middle-age salary worker.
Regain is also being featured in the game, which is a popular Japanese energy drink. It will heal snake when he drinks it in the game.
Uniqlo is also teaming up with Konami to release six different types of “Metal Gear Solid 4 UT Design” t-shirts available on June 12, 2008.
Kojima also took the time to confirm that the Assassin’s Creed Altair robe will be an unlock able costume in the game.
Konami is planning a “Metal Gear Solid 4 World Tour” as well. Kojima and the team at Kojima Productions will travel the world to meet up with fans of the series. Look out for him in London, Madrid, Milano, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
In Japan, Konami will also be collaborating with Sony to push Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PlayStation Network. The daily “Toro Station” show will feature three consecutive days of Metal Gear coverage, possibly with a sneak peek into the latest game’s development facilities.
As you know, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will be arriving in stores June 12, 2008.