Metal Gear Solid 4 couldve come to Xbox 360, but it was too complicated

A new book has proved Metal Gear Solid 4 could’ve been ported to the Xbox 360 as Sony didn’t have an exclusivity agreement – the port was just too complicated.

The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming (opens in new tab) is a recent book by Steven L. Kent on, well, the ultimate history of video games. The book points out that, thanks to a quote from former PlayStation boss Jack Tretton saying Metal Gear Solid 4 was “exclusive on PS3,” an agreement between Sony and Konami for exclusivity was always taken as an implied fact.

However, that’s apparently false. Contained in the book is an interview with former Kojima Productions developer Ryan Payton, where the dev reveals Konami staff weren’t in favor of porting Metal Gear Solid 4 to the Xbox 360 because of its “inferior” hardware. “One fateful day, the Konami R&D team hosted a meeting where we got to see the fruits of their labor – Metal Gear Solid 4 running beautifully and smoothly on an Xbox 360,” Payton says. 

The developer further reveals that the port wasn’t released because of the Xbox 360’s inferior DVD-based disc drive. Sony authorized Konami to launch Metal Gear Solid 4 on two Blu-Ray discs, the first game to do so, while porting the game to the Xbox 360 would’ve required far more discs. Payton also reveals Microsoft even petitioned Hideo Kojima to bring the game to the Xbox 360 via pamphlets at E3.

After Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater appeared on Xbox consoles alongside PlayStation, many assumed Sony had secured an exclusivity deal with Kojima Productions for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. You’d be forgiven for making this assumption, since the sequel never came to any platform outside of the PS3.

The state of classic Metal Gear Solid games in 2022 continues to be utterly dire. Metal Gear Solid 4 was removed from the PS Now subscription service earlier this year, while Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 were pulled from digital storefronts over a licensing issue last year in 2021, with no sign of a return. Fans have been desperately hoping the series could see a revival with the PS Plus revamp offering older games via backwards compatibility, but so far there’s no sign of Metal Gear Solid titles joining the roster. 

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