Kojima and E3 2011

Thought I’d share some thoughts about Kojima Productions and its showing for E3 2011. It is a shame that Hideo Kojima can’t make it to the E3 show next week, but in retrospect there are some things to take note of when we consider the 30-minute reel that was prerecorded for our viewing.

Metal Gear Solid 3D
Generally speaking, the game looked interesting last year when it was merely a technical demo using features from Peace Walker and showing generally higher-polygon models. However, it became clear that this was not sustainable, and we’ve ended up with something akin to MGS3, except on the 3DS with stereoscopy, gyroscope, camera camouflage, and other features unique to the Nintendo 3DS. I don’t know what to say, but it comes off to me that the game has ended up being more of a port to the Nintendo 3DS instead of the ambitious high-polygon sneaking game it initially revealed itself to be, which is disappointing.

MGS Collection
Who didn’t see this coming? MGS2, MGS3, and Peace Walker in HD on the PS3. It was bound to happen sooner or later, the question was a matter of when. I’m eager to see what the Transfarring feature will be in-between my PSP and Peace Walker, however. MGS3 should also look graphically pleasing.

ZOE Collection
Oh my god, they’re actually doing this. Seeing Jehuty in (1080p?) HD is already going to be a day one purchase for me. Though Transfarring with the NGP… well, should be interesting, though I wonder what they’re going to do with the lack of pressure-sensitive buttons. I just wish they made ZOE3 as well.

Kojima has already alluded to this kind of concept, where one can share savedata between the PS3 and portables, being able to play on the go on your PSP or NGP, come back home, and play on your PS3. He did this since last year, which made Sony rather nervous, and then he again alluded to it during the showing of the NGP. Sony again tried something similar with PSP Remaster, but they have yet to announce a concept for sharing savedata between the PS3 and NGP. So Sony got the first dibs on PS3/PSP savedata sharing, but Kojima will likely have the last laugh on PS3/NGP savedata sharing. Ultimately, I suspect Transfarring will use something like a cloud data service where savegames are stored and can be picked up by both the PS3 and NGP. I worry though about whether this will require Playstation Plus, or if it will make the feature free altogether, or be something totally independent of Playstation Plus.

Fox Engine
This was a long time coming, and I thought it really did take Kojima a while before finally coming upon this idea. This is pretty much the same as Capcom’s MT Framework, except Kojima’s take on it. If you’ve read my blog entries before about MT Framework, you already know my take on the Fox Engine. I suspect it won’t be used for the PC, but you never know in this day and age.

Generally speaking, Kojima’s showing for this E3 was actually rather small in comparison to a lot of the other E3 appearances he’s made. His studio has only been able to announce ports of existing games (ZOE especially, though I am looking forward to that), as well as plans for a streamlined engine to make games on the PS3, NGP, and 360 easier to develop in one shot. This essentially highlights the stress brought about by the generation of high definition console gaming; studios, even Kojima Productions, feel the heat from not being able to produce a game per year like the western studios generally do, and yet at the same time they don’t want to be putting out mindless sequels nor do they want to take the risk with IPs without having to invest a lot. I suspect Fox Engine is the end result of Kojima’s analysis of the situation, but why it didn’t happen sooner is a mystery, since Capcom already fielded their MT Framework.

Overall, a little disappointed that new games weren’t announced by Kojima Productions, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Though, I would really like a ZOE3, not an MGS5, for example. Go risky with the new IPs and go all out; but I suppose it’ll have to wait until they’ve finished the Fox Engine.

By the way, Transfarring is a very strange word, don’t you think?

It appears a lot of the news sites have been reporting that MGS2-3, Peace Walker, and ZOE1-2 will be 1080p. So far though, MGS2-3 have been stated to be 720p, and Peace Walker is 1080p. That’s all according to the official website. As far as I know, there’s been no confirmation what ZOE1-2 will be.

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