Metal Gear Solid (lost build of cancelled Game.com port of PlayStation action-stealth game; 1999)
Metal Gear Solid is an action-stealth game. Originally developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation in 1998, it was the first 3D game in the Metal Gear series, and also listed as one of the greatest games ever made. After later being released on the PC, it was confirmed that a Game.com version was being developed, only to be cancelled following the handheld console's commercial failure and eventual discontinuation in 2000.
Metal Gear Solid, following a commercially and critically successful PlayStation release, was first announced for Tiger Electronics' Game.com as part of its toy fair catalogue. Tiger Electronics was seeking to revamp its handheld console, following low sales and poor critical reception since its release in 1997. To that end, it showcased its second Game.com console, the Pocket Pro, alongside several games as part of the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 1999). By the time the July 1999 issue of GamePro was published, Metal Gear Solid was the only game listed to have no concrete release date on the platform. This would change by October 1999, as GameSpot was informed that the game would reach markets by December that same year.
The console and its games were also previewed in issue 90 of French magazine Consoles+, and in the November 1999 issue of GamePro, the latter claiming it would be released in the fall of 1999. Several screenshots of Metal Gear Solid have emerged over the years, indicating the game was in a relatively complete state. Additionally, a gameplay video was known to have been available on the AOL group account of TigerGcom. While the clear limitations of the Game.com compared to the PlayStation would mean the port would be somewhat limited, it is unclear exactly how many features would be retained, including for instance in-game conversations and boss battles. Alas, the game was never officially released. By late-1999, the Game.com had sold fewer than 300,000 units since its inception, with criticism directed at its poor game library, expense compared to the Nintendo GameBoy, and for lacking features such as colour. It would be discontinued in 2000, resulting in the cancellation of multiple games including Metal Gear Solid, as they likely would not have been profitable.
Several screenshots were included in various gaming magazines, showcasing gameplay footage, the main menu, and the cover art. However, despite being nearly completed by the time of its cancellation, no build has ever been made publicly available. The aforementioned gameplay video is also lost media, likely because of the Game.com's low popularity and subsequently TigerGcom's low member count leading to a low chance of preservation.
Metal Gear Media
- Metal Gear (lost build of cancelled remake of MSX2 stealth game; 2014)
- Metal Gear Solid II (lost deleted arsenal gear crash cutscene of action-adventure video game; 2001)
- Evander Holyfield Championship Boxing (lost build of cancelled Game.com boxing game; 1999)
- WCW Whiplash (lost build of cancelled Game.com professional wrestling game; 1999)
- Eurogamer detailing the success and legacy of Metal Gear Solid. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- Tiger Electronics' toy fair catalogue containing promotions for games including Metal Gear Solid. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- Bad Game Hall of Fame detailing the Game.com's critical and commercial failure, and listing Metal Gear Solid among other cancelled games. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- Archived GameSpot reporting on Metal Gear Solid and other Game.com games being showcased at E3 1999. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- 13th May 1999 Tiger Electronics press release announcing the Pocket Pro for E3, as well as Metal Gear Solid and several other games. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- July 1999 issue of GamePro previewing the Game.com Pocket Pro and listing Metal Gear Solid among its upcoming games with a TBD release date. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- GameSpot reporting Metal Gear Solid would be released in December 1999. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- Issue 90 of Consoles+ previewing the Power Pro and its upcoming games (magazine in French). Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- November 1999 issue of GamePro previewing the upcoming Pocket Pro games, including summarising Metal Gear Solid. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- Unseen64 providing screenshots and noting the possible existence of a gameplay video. Retrieved 11th Jan '23
- Lost Levels discussing the missing gameplay video. Retrieved 11th Jan '23