During Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct, Konami showed off a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol.1. The upcoming collection of past Metal Gear games includes some of the earliest and biggest games from the popular stealth series. However, 2008’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots isn’t included, and I’m worried Konami isn’t going to include it in a future, theoretical Vol. 2.
Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 was first announced in May. The collection contains the first seven games of the series and will be released on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and 5, and (just announced earlier today) Nintendo Switch. These games aren’t being remastered and they aren’t remakes. Instead, this is a new collection of classic MGS games that will make it easier to play these older titles on newer platforms. The collection will also include screenplay books of each game and some other goodies, too.
However, not included in this collection is the PS3-exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which is a shame as the game is currently only playable via emulation or on original PS3 hardware. At one point, MGS4 was available to stream via PS Now, but that is no longer the case. While most other MGS games have been ported to multiple platforms, MGS4 remains locked to the PS3. Why? What is the reason for never porting MGS4 to any other platform?
If you ask the internet about this, and you’ll not doubt see some of this in the comments, a popular theory that is often spouted off as if it’s a fact is that MGS4 is incapable of running on anything but a PS3. But that’s not true. You can, right now, download an emulator and play MGS4 at 60fps without much trouble.
And assistant producer of the game Ryan Payton suggests in Steven L. Kent’s book The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2 that, at one point, MGS4 was actually running on an Xbox 360 and looked and played fine. Reportedly, that version never happened due to Microsoft’s console using DVDs and not Blurays. Konami didn’t want to spend the extra money on shipping multiple discs for the Xbox 360 version. This is more than likely the main reason MGS4 remained a PS3 exclusive and was even alluded to by former PlayStation boss Jack Tretton in 2008. Konami also said this was the reason in 2014.
Now, in 2023, most consoles use Bluray discs and all of them support digital games—which can be as large or small as you want. So that problem is solved. Yet, I’m still not convinced Konami will actually bring MGS4 to modern machines or to PC. It’s certainly not easy to port a game to new hardware, especially one that exists natively on just one platform. Plus, this whole process wouldn’t be cheap, would involve a good deal of resources, and would likely require tweaks to how the game plays as it heavily relied on the Dualshock 3/Sixaxis controller.
Sadly, it seems Konami isn’t going to do the necessary work to help preserve this entry in the Metal Gear franchise. A previous report from Windows Central, which correctly revealed information about the Metal Gear Solid Collection and the MGS3 remake before release also stated that a potential Vol. 2 would not include MGS4, but instead would feature Peace Walker, Portable Ops, Metal Gear Rising: Revegance, and a few other spin-offs.
Sadly, it seems Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots—with all its long cutscenes, weird live-action bits, creepy monkey, and cool stealth camo—will remain a PS3 exclusive. Likely due to technical issues, but also, maybe Konami just forgot about it. There are a lot of games in the series. It’s easy to forget one or two of them. I get it. I forget Metal Gear Acid exists.
Still, I hope that one day, someone over at Konami remembers this game exists and that it deserves a second life on new hardware.