Ever since I first laid eyes on Tekken 1 being played on a PS1 soon after Sony’s game-changing console first launched, I’ve been hooked on PlayStation games. Some of my fondest gaming memories are forever associated with Sony and PlayStation – from ground breaking early 3D games like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and Final Fantasy 7 to more modern classics like Persona 5. Sony systems have defined my gaming experience for decades.
And creators such as Hideo Kojima have provided me with moments that’ll be etched into my memory forever.
Kojima and Sony have enjoyed a long working relationship, ever since MGS1 debuted on the PS1 and propelled the Snatcher and Policenauts maker into worldwide stardom.
Since Solid Snake’s Shadow Moses mission was first released, MGS games and Sony PlayStation consoles have gone hand-in-hand.
Metal Gear Solid 2 was one of the PS2’s first killer apps, a blockbuster release the likes of which gaming hadn’t seen before.
It ended up arriving a year later on Xbox via MGS 2 Substance, but Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (regarded by many as Metal Gear’s finest hour) remained a PS2 exclusive till the following generation, with MGS3 included on the HD collection for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Sony and Kojima’s close working relationship continued with the PSP exclusive Metal Gear games and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, with the latter remaining a PS3 exclusive to this day.
And in the aftermath of Kojima and Konami splitting in 2015, it was Sony’s PS4 platform that the MGS creator chose to release his next game – Death Stranding – on exclusively.
So the news that has emerged this week, that Kojima’s next game may be heading to Xbox instead of PS5 as expected, may leave PlayStation fans stunned, confused and disappointed.
But there is one reason why this deal makes sense, and could lead to great things for whatever Kojima has up his sleeve.
Kojima has long been a game director who is never willing to compromise the in pursuit of his work.
And with games getting more and more advanced since Kojima first entered the scene, pursuing his vision has come at a cost.
Metal Gear Solid V reportedly had a budget of over $ 80million, while Death Stranding allegedly had a budget of $ 100million.
We’ve seen that Microsoft aren’t afraid to splash the cash in their pursuit of making Game Pass an all conquering service, shown clearly by the $ 7.5billion acquisition of Bethesda.
While it is also seen in the budget of Halo Infinite, which allegedly is $ 500million.
If Kojima does end up teaming up with Microsoft, he could have a partner that is willing to write him a blank cheque, and grant him a bigger budget than he’s ever had before, to fulfil whatever vision he has for his next project.
And that can only be good news for the scope of whatever Kojima is planning next, and for his fans.
For Microsoft, securing the services of a gaming icon such as Kojima – and giving him free rein to do what he pleases – will undoubtedly help on a number of fronts.
Whatever you think of Kojima, he is one of – if not the – most famous game directors around, capable of brining big name stars such as Kiefer Sutherland, Norman Reedus, Lindsay Wagner, Lea Seydoux, Mads Mikkelsen and more onboard to work with him.
His projects generate a huge level of hype, and having the next Kojima game head to Game Pass would likely generate a massive amount of buzz for the Xbox Series X and S as well as XGP.
It could end up being the thing that finally twists the arm for many Sony fans to take the plunge and get an Xbox as well.
A Kojima deal could also help Microsoft finally crack the Japanese market, which the Xbox has consistently struggled to do, and it could also help the Xbox team move one step closer to a long held goal.
A fascinating documentary by CNBC which explored why Xbox has failed to make a dent in Japan featured an interview with Xbox creator Seamus Blackley.
Blackley explained the driving force behind the original Xbox, and why Bill Gates wanted to get into console gaming in the first place.
Blackley said Gates’s motivation with the original Xbox was maintaining “Microsoft’s dominance and position in the ecosystem of software”.
And with Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft are positioning themselves in an extremely strong position on the software front.
Having new Bethesda games as well as titles from the ever expanding Xbox Game Studios portfolio launch on XGP on Day One has arguably put Xbox in its strongest position since they first entered console gaming back in 2001.
And getting Kojima onboard could end up being the big catalyst Microsoft needs to help win over new fans, helping to drive Game Pass subscriptions even further to whole new heights.