Globally respected games designer Hideo Kojima has revealed that he has no plans to develop a classic Metal Gear Solid title for Sony's recently unveiled PSP, owing to what he sees as the technical limitations of the system's inputs.
Speaking to CVG behind closed doors at last week's E3 2004 event in Los Angeles, Kojima explained the decision making process behind Metal Gear Acid for PSP, a turn-based affair, as opposed to the traditional mix of real-time stealth-action Snake fans have become accustomed to.
"You know, MGS the series is about stealth-action and requires very delicate, very fine button controls, button inputs," Kojima told us. "If you make a little mistake with the button input you might be spotted by an enemy - a handheld is just not suitable for that kind of fine button input." This news will likely cause disappointment amongst Snake fans clamouring for a true version of Metal Gear for PSP, and also raises concerns over the complexity of titles we can expect from PSP in the future, despite the obvious power of the hardware.
However, rather than developing a sub-standard title which would been little more than a cash-in, Koijima-san and his team have thought outside the box, so to speak, to create a unique Metal Gear adventure, exclusively for Sony's new platform.
"When I discussed [the problems of creating Metal Gear for PSP] with the team, we came up with the idea to have a game that has the Metal Gear Solid look, feel and flavour, but something that isn't action based, because of the way the buttons and controls work," Kojima said. "That's why we've come up with something more strategic."
While Metal Gear Acid is an undoubtedly intriguing and promising prospect (you can read our enthusiastic initial hands-on impressions here, fans would undoubtedly have welcomed a traditional update with unrestrained glee. It appears this is now out of the question, but Snake fans should instead look forward to the unique take on the series offered by Acid.
Shedding further light on his inaugural PSP title, Mr Kojima told us: "It's more of a side-story [to the main MGS universe]; but in Metal Gear Acid you'll probably see all of the characters from Metal Gears 1, 2 and 3."
More revelations from Kojima-san later in the week, when we'll be bringing you the full transcript of our E3 interview.