Today, Solid Snake accepts his most difficult mission ever.
The latest (and likely final) installment of Hideo Kojima's monumentally successful Metal Gear saga hits store shelves today in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. And series protagonist Solid Snake should finish the story arc he started on the 8-bit NES two decades ago.
But the true mission of MGS4 is shilling the slow-selling PlayStation 3, a challenge that not even Solid Snake may be able to complete.
It's Sony's hope that this penultimate installment will boost sales that saw a slight rise with Grand Theft Auto IV's release this spring but levelled after the PS3 version of the game was plagued with freeze-up issues. It was another gut punch for a system staggering from the three strikes of a high introduction price, late entry into the next-gen console market, and a weak catalog of games. Even the console's inclusion of Blu-Ray, which triumphed over HD-DVD, may not be enough to help.