Ah, there's nothing I like better after a hard afternoon's staring wistfully at Matt while he plays the Devil May Cry HD Collection than some unfettered speculation couched as belligerent truth.
A while back, we argued that Final Fantasy Versus XIII's appearance on Xbox 360 was all but inevitable. What else can Microsoft's gallant highwaymen pinch from the Station that Plays? I know - that stealth thingy, the one that fetishises movie references and reptiles. The one with all the Twists. Why should Kojima Productions develop Metal Gear Solid 5 for an Xbox console, present or future, you ask? Why on Earth not?
1. Kojima's new engine is multiplatform
With Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in the hands of Platinum Games, Kojima Productions is presently beavering away at a mysterious something that runs on the proprietary FOX engine. He demoed the new technology last June, showing a man with a fanny pack running around in a decidedly Snake-Eater-ish jungle. Here's the skinny on the FOX engine: one, it's explicitly built for multiplatform games development, and two, the name is an allusion to the Metal Gear universe. Right then.
2. Metal Gear's already here
Much as it's nonsensical to close the stable door after the horse has bolted, so there's no point popping the lid on a python tank after the serpent's swallowed your loved ones. Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance graced the original Xbox. Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker have arrived on Xbox 360. Metal Gear Rising is due this year. What makes Metal Gear Solid 5 so special that it can't follow suit? Would Kojima and Konami make less money that way?
3. Multiplatform games make more money
Apparently not. Multiplatform franchises generally account for the most boxes shifted, with Gears, Forza and the like falling well short of Call of Duty and FIFA. Skipping one console means skipping millions of potential buyers, and while Sony could always cross Konami's palm with silver, Sony doesn't have much silver to throw around. There's PS3's hefty bill still to settle, the Vita to nourish and PS4 to polish off. If anyone's going to be forking out for exclusivity, it'll be Microsoft.
4. Kojima is "strongly interested" in Xbox 360
Kojima's love affair with PlayStation needs no introduction, but you'd be a fool to think he isn't considering playing away. As early as 2007, before Metal Gear Solid 4 even hit shelves, he put it to Gamepro thusly (via EG). "I do have strong interest in creating something for the Xbox 360. In the US and Europe, it is selling, and I think it will sell a lot this year as well. I'm a fan of Gears of War as well, it's very interesting." We're all agog.
5. Kojima Productions is hiring engineers for "the latest Metal Gear Solid targeted for high-end consoles and PC"
Not much need to elaborate on this one. The listing in question begins: "Big Boss needs you". Fairly watertight, no?
Kojima's said a fair bit about Metal Gear Solid 5, though the game hasn't strictly speaking been announced yet. We know that it's an authentic stealth sequel and that it used to be a WW2 game starring the Boss. Fill the gaps with your delicious thinkings.