The debate: should Ground Zeroes be saved for PS4?

 

Yes says next-gen future-looker, Dave Meikleham

Like Big Boss puffing away on his final stogie, this is good. Not only because I really love arguing, but because Ground Zeroes is an undisputable win for gamers, regardless of whether it stays with PS3 or gets seduced by PS4’s sultry innards. My only beef with what will undoubtedly be another MGS masterpiece is that Ground Zeroes could be so much better running on Sony’s next machine.

Here’s a little-known nugget from PlayStation’s past. Enchanting arthouse favourite Ico was once destined to be PS1’s final crowning glory, as opposed to the early PS2 gem it became. Fumito Ueda’s team developed the PS1 version for over two years before realising their vision couldn’t be accomplished with 32-bit architecture. Ico’s resultant iconic bloom lighting and delicate motion capture were only possible because Team Ico postponed the project to PS2, where the Emotion Engine gave them a platform to create a masterpiece. See where I’m going with this?

Switch back to Kojima Productions and the team has already had technical problems. Just look at the debacle of Platinum Games being handed what is now Revengeance. I’m hopeful Kojima’s wizards can harness the power of Fox to get Ground Zeroes looking as lovely as that rain-soaked demo on any platform. But I can’t help but feel that to truly redefine the stealth genre, Koj’s open-world sneaker needs the power of PS4.

Michael GapperNo says current-gen defender, Michael Gapper

Kojima Productions always does its best work at the end of a generation. Back in 2001, Metal Gear Solid 2 was a powerful demonstration of what PS2 could do, but it’s 2005’s MGS3: Subsistence that stands up today as one of the best games ever made. And while Guns Of The Patriots was impressive, Peace Walker on tired old PSP was as good as Metal Gear gets.

The point is, when pushed to excel on outdated technology, Kojima Productions does so in a way the studio hasn’t quite achieved when given brand-new hardware. Besides, holding Ground Zeroes back to the next generation does… what? It gets us sharper textures, a few extra frames per second and more detailed bits of scar tissue on that burnt dude’s Skeletor face.

Release Ground Zeroes now, though, and it’s a showcase of the impossible: next-generation graphics on current-generation hardware. It would prove Kojima Productions’ technical mastery as much as its creativity. It gets the game into our hands by this time next year, too. PS4 may not be on shelves for next November, but if the usual Kojima Productions schedule holds steady, you’ll be playing Ground Zeroes during 2013.

And all that’s ignoring the obvious: Ground Zeroes is already a PS3 game. One that looks gorgeous and is pushing the boundaries of the stealth genre. No wonder Kojima is so happy with the Fox Engine. So why are we arguing again?