MGS4 solidifying in June, Dual Shock 3 rumbling in April

Konami's stealth-actioner to be available stand-alone, bundled with 80GB PS3, rumble-equipped controller; Retailers list ship date as June 12; New Sixaxis arriving two months earlier for $55.

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As Hideo Kojima's "final" installment in the Metal Gear Solid series, Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is uniquely positioned as one of the most heavily anticipated PlayStation 3 titles from a dying breed of third-party console exclusives. Today, Sony revealed via its PlayStation Blog that Metal Gear Solid 4 would arrive on the PS3 in late Q2 2008, which runs until June 30. The news comes as part of the Destination PlayStation retailer conference, which is currently under way in Arizona.

While Sony wasn't more forthright with an exact date, retailers, which sometimes leak release dates through online listings prior to publishers' actual announcements, seem to be under the impression that the game will surface in mid-June. According to listings on Amazon and GameFly, MGS4 will take to the streets on Thursday, June 12, while GameStop has the game slated for Tuesday, June 17. Publishers typically choose to release high-profile titles on Tuesday in the US.

To promote Metal Gear Solid 4's release, Sony also revealed the game will be available as part of an 80GB PS3 bundle. In addition to the game and system, the bundle will include a Dual Shock 3 controller and will retail for $499.99. Presumably, the Dual Shock 3 will replace the Sixaxis controller currently available in the $499.99 80GB SKU.

Similar to Microsoft's use of Realtime World's Crackdown to hand out keys for the Halo 3 multiplayer beta, Sony also said it will be guaranteeing access to Metal Gear Online's multiplayer beta test for those who preorder the game. The test is expected to commence in late April.

The Destination PlayStation conference also yielded an update on the Dual Shock 3, which Sony officially took the wraps off of during 2007's Tokyo Game Show. The much-requested rumble-equipped, motion-sensing wireless controller will arrive in North America in April at the price of $54.99. According to Sony, more than 100 PS3 games will be compatible with the controller, including Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank Future, and MGS4.

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