Following the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last month, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has spoken out to say "technology is at a crossroads." In an interview on the Xbox Wire, the industry veteran explained why he believes technology is moving in a horizontal direction rather than the vertical progression of the past.
"Technology is at a crossroads, facilitating evolution perpendicular to the path we've taken thus far," Kojima said. "It's not just about the next level of gaming hardware anymore, it's about how that hardware will allow games to interact with multiple devices and SNS platforms. Technology is fanning out in a horizontal direction as opposed to the vertical evolution of the past."
Kojima's latest body of work, the two-part Metal Gear Solid V, will feature some kind of second-screen support. In an October interview, he said, "Metal Gear Solid V will have many more elements that aren't limited to one console. You'll be able to play the game on whatever you want, whenever you want." No other details have been made available.
Also in the interview, Kojima said he is excited by the cloud functionality featured on the Xbox One and PS4, but said the "true" cloud-gaming revolution remains a ways off.
"I'm most looking forward to the 'pseudo-cloud' era that the next generation of hardware will bring," he said. "It's still one step away from the 'true' cloud revolution, but it will allow players to interact with their games, and each other, in new and exciting ways using multiple devices such as tablets and smart devices. Social experiences and player interaction are what will drive the next wave of games."
Switching to the subject of Metal Gear Solid V specifically, Kojima pointed out that his definition of "open-world" may be different from the mainstream perception of the term.
"A more accurate way to describe it would be a 'stealth simulator' in an open-world environment," he said. "The open-world elements exist to remove the rails from the stealth experience, allowing players to freely plan their own routes and experiment with their own unique infiltration strategies. However, at its heart, the gameplay is all about stealth, and we don't intend to shift the focus away from that."
Also in the interview, Kojima said 24 actor Kiefer Sutherland's performance as Snake in Metal Gear Solid V is going to help the game "raise the bar" for the level of expressiveness that a character can provide. In addition, with the Metal Gear Solid franchise marking its 25th anniversary this year, he was asked about the potential for the series to live on for another quarter century.
"I honestly have no idea," Kojima said. "The only thing I can say for certain is that I personally will not be able to carry MGS forward for another 25 years. However, with new talent at the helm guiding the series through each new stage, I can easily imagine a world 25 years from now where a new MGS franchise continues onward into the future."
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, launches on March 18, 2014.