The first details and gameplay footage of Metal Gear Online for the PlayStation 3 were pulled out of the hat today at Konami's Metal Gear 20th Anniversary event in Japan.
The online title, which will shortly be going into closed beta with a select team of 3,000 Japanese beta testers, was one of a series of announcements that the company chose to make at its own dedicated event--as opposed to at this year's E3, where Konami caused a stir with its 15-minute press conference.
The official recruiting period for the open beta will be from July 24 to August 6, and the actual beta testing will run from August 7 to September 3. So far the open beta is also Japanese-only, although Kojima Productions assistant producer Ryan Payton stated that he would like to see the beta go international--but as yet has no official announcements.
The game will be a kind of hide-and-seek for up to 16 players at a time, and is called a "strategic multiplayer experience." It will feature the SOP system, which allows players to keep track of their teammates via nanomachines injected into their bloodstream. The nanomachines allow them to see where the rest of their team are, their condition, which way they are aiming, and their range of sight. Enemy soldiers can also be injected with nanomachines, which will enable the other team to then keep track of their movements.
Metal Gear Online will also feature playable characters and environments from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and is slated as a PS3 exclusive.
Other Metal Gear goodies announced were Metal Gear Portable Ops Plus, Metal Gear Solid Mobile, and Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Desinee, the latter being a graphic novel of the series viewable on the PlayStation Portable.
For more check out our full coverage of the 20th birthday bash..