“You can say that thanks to PlayStation Metal Gear Solid existed at all. The role that PlayStation had was to make Metal Gear possible.”
The Metal Gear Solid series is one of the biggest, most successful, most influential gaming franchises of all time- but it owes its entire existence to the original PlayStation, as it turns out. Speaking at this year’s Develop conference (via GamesRadar), Kojima revealed that the Metal Gear franchise was internally considered concluded- until the PlayStation came along, with the promise of alluring polygonal 3D graphics, and all the possibilities that that entailed.
“I made Metal Gear 1 and 2, and at that point the series, for me, was complete and it was finished, and I started working on other adventure games,” Kojima said. “Back then Metal Gear was always intended to be a hide and seek game,” he explains. The original idea was always to have players hiding and that the viewpoint would change. However, “back then we didn’t have 3D polygons, we had to do everything in 2D. So for Metal Gear I had no choice but to use game design where you’re doing it from up above.”
After the release of Metal Gear 2, however, Kojima was done with the series, and had moved on to making other titles- before the promise of the PlayStation pulled him back in
“I was working on other adventure games until I heard the news that this hardware called PlayStation was going to be released. The impressive thing about that was you would be able to make real time polygons,” he said.
“For me, Metal Gear as a series was complete, finished to me, but that point I thought I would be able do what I originally intended to do with these polygons in real time. For example, if you are hiding under a table you can change the point of view, or hiding in a locker you can let the player see how it looks from inside the locker,” he said, before concluding, explicitly, that “You can say that thanks to PlayStation Metal Gear Solid existed at all. The role that PlayStation had was to make Metal Gear possible.”
This is probably the reason that the Metal Gear games would continue to be associated with PlayStation for a long time to come after the first game- most games either launched on PlayStation first, or were PlayStation exclusives, and through to the very end of the franchise, its iconic protagonist Snake continued to be one of the many icons synonymous with PlayStation.