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Waiting For the Man

Written By mista sense on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | 4:57 AM

September 1, 2007: D-Day for MGS fans. That's everybody, right? Not you? Then don't talk to me anymore. Just... go. Leave me alone with my grief. Because we're not going to see Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots until March of 2008.

Sony's probably sweating blood; I'm going to take the extreme-- but common-- step of stating that MGS4 is the only reason most people would buy a PS3 at the moment. I actually don't own a PS3, but would have bought one late summer in anticipation of my dear darling Snake coming home to me again. Now it looks like I won't buy one until early next year; maybe not even until after taxes are squared away in April. And I'm sure I'm not uncommon. A development like this is heavy enough to cut PS3 out of the Christmas rush.

Despite this, I'm still on Sony's side. If you haven't heard, SCEA Prez and CEO Jack "$1200" Tretton is banking on a ten-year plan for the PS3. While that sort of talk may seem optimistic to the point of blindness, there's a ring of truth to it.

Patience is a virtue-- unfortunately, it's one that's anathema to the game audience. And really, who can blame us? The heavy-hitting titles are announced farther in advance than the modern presidential candidate. We're glutted on hype spoon-fed to us by journalists-- who can't really be blamed either, because if they lapse in the hyperbole, they risk having their quintessential industry access rescinded. And, grinding under the pressure of anticipation-- not to mention to urgent ticking clock of their financially-minded publishers-- developers frequently shove less-than-perfect oeuvres off the assembly line, inevitably to the disappointment of an increasingly cynical audience.

And then, there's the refrain I seem to be constantly repeating these days-- no sooner have we gotten a taste of this month's must-have than it's buried under an avalanche of hyperbolic previews for the Next Big Thing. I haven't finished-- really finished-- a game in some months now, because how could I keep up if I took my time? Precious replay value's a thing of the past-- who has time to replay anymore?

With this week-to-week, continually (far, far) forward-looking hysteria, it's easy to toss patience to the winds and forget the big picture. In a world like this, it's easy to have a chuckle at Tretton's expense and start digging the PS3's grave. But not so fast-- the console that still gets the most playtime in my house is the PS2. By the time MGS4 comes out, the PS2 will have been available in North America for eight years-- just shy of Tretton's decade. And not only is PS2 still kicking, it's still rockin' pretty hard-- tough not to be as titillated by Odin Sphere previews as you are by anything else dropping in the next few months.

I don't really play my Gamecube still, and if I'd gotten the first XBox it'd probably have stopped working by now, so I hear. My prediction? I'll say it again-- this gen's console war will probably end up settling out the same as the previous.

So, come on! Give Sony the benefit of a little patience. Not a few months, but a couple years. If you don't wanna buy a PS3 yet, don't buy it. Hey, I never had any desire for a PSP until just recently when the lineup suddenly lit up. I feel like I roll out this repetitive elocution all the time these days-- kind of like the crazy old dude hanging around the VFW every weekend for the meat shoot who nobody listens to-- so forgive me.

And I didn't say I'm not pissed I have to wait for MGS4. I don't want you coming home late, Snake. You're not with that Chinese slut, are you? Snake? Snaaaaaaaaake!!

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