Metal Gear Solid 4 is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 3, which - if you've been paying attention - you probably knew already. What you may not know is that that series creator Hideo Kojima, world-renowned for creating damn fine stealth action games and having a rather tenuous grip on reality at the best of times, is back at the helm for this next instalment of the series.
Kojima had previously indicated strongly that he was going to hand over the director's chair, but has now changed his mind - and will be serving as designer, producer and director on the game, with Zone of the Enders 2 director Shuyo Murata joining him as co-director.
The news was revealed in an actually rather funny trailer video for MGS4 which could be found at the Konami stand at E3 last week. Okay, it was something of a cop-out in that it didn't actually have any PS3 footage of the game, and was comprised entirely of amusing sequences using models from the PS2 games - but we do get to see Solid Snake winning a game of musical chairs against a number of enemy soldiers with the judicious use of an assault rifle, and beating up Raiden in an argument over who gets to sit in a chair labelled "Main Character".
Although the game is set after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2, Snake will indeed be the central character - which is likely to please the many ardent Raiden-haters who felt a bit upset at having to run around listening to a foppish pretty-boy's relationship problems with his vacuous girlfriend while Solid Snake was off saving the god damned world in MGS2. (Yes, I for one will be welcoming the return of the mullet.)
Artwork on the Konami press materials for the game also reveals that Otacon, Revolver Ocelot and Meryl Silverburgh are all set to make a return as well, along with several new characters created by veteran designer Yoji Shinkawa, whose unique art style has become an iconic part of the MGS series.
The game - which will also feature online play of some description - is under development at Kojima's new studio within Konami, which is imaginatively named Kojima Productions, and is also working on a pair of other Metal Gear titles, namely PSP sequel Metal Gear Acid 2 and PS2 update Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, which adds online play and a number of other new modes to the recent wildlife-munching series prequel.
You can check out the rather odd MGS4 trailer yourself on Konami's website, where you'll also find some artwork from the game. As to when we'll see actual footage of MGS4, your guess is as good as ours - but given how many PS2s were sold by the trailers of MGS2, we'd imagine that Sony is rather keen to get Kojima's latest in front of as many eyeballs as possible sooner rather than later.