- "Metal Gear Solid 4" is not only one of the most eagerly awaited games for Sony's PlayStation 3, it is also among the last of a dying breed -- games designed exclusively for one gaming console.
Developed by Japan's Konami (9766.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and due out next year, the game is the latest installment in the action series that produced smash hits for Sony's (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) earlier PlayStation 2.
It's a prime example of a game known in the industry as a "third party exclusive", as opposed to "first party" ones made by game-console makers Sony, Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Nintendo (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research).
For years, the console makers have sought to secure such exclusives as a way to drive adoption of their machines.
"We're telling our fans that if you want to play 'Metal Gear Solid 4', you have to buy a PS3," said Ryan Payton, the assistant producer of the game.
"The PlayStation brand has always been good to us, and we're pretty bullish on the PS3."
But soaring production costs mean it's tougher for third-party games to turn a profit if they are limited to just one console. That's especially true for the PS3, sales of which have lagged those of the Xbox 360 and Wii.
Sony said it has been...