The teaser site hinting at legendarily-insane developer Hideo Kojima's next game has been updated with an image, indicating that Kojima Productions' upcoming title will have something to do with the number 5. Or, possibly the letter S.
Quick recap: Last week, an ad in premier Japanese game mag Famitsu contained the URL to a then-404'd website and an upcoming date: May 18th. Well, it's the 18th now, and the website in question has been updated.
It's a similar image to the magazine ad - a rolling, grass-covered plain beneath a stormy, cloud-filled sky. However, there are two major differences: For one, the site's image is animated and features sound - the repeated crack of thunder, to be precise. For another, there's the faint outline of a character that flashes and dims with the lightning. It's clearly either the number 5 or the letter S, but thanks to the font, it's too ambiguous to tell.
Last week, our very own Keane Ng wildly speculated that the stormy skies indicated that the new game would be a Metal Gear title starring MGS2 protagonist Raiden ("Raiden" being Japanese for "lightning"), and the repeated thunderclaps - with the corresponding flashes of the symbol - do lend some credence to this theory. But, is it a "5" or an "S"?
The argument for it being a 5 is obvious - if Kojima were to make a next Metal Gear Solid, it would be the fifth game in the main numbered series. Still, one could make a good case for it being an "S." The bonus editions of both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 were "Substance" and "Subsistence," respectively. So it stands to reason that if Kojima were to re-release a special edition of MGS4, he'd continue with the pattern.
Plus, Solid Snake? Both words start with S. That can't be a coincidence. ... ok, actually, it could. Still, though, the point about the hypothetical MGS4 bonus edition stands.
Whatever it is, the site also contains a countdown - 81:28:02 at the time of writing - when one can assume there will be yet another announcement. So, last Wednesday's teaser was an announcement for an announcement, which in turn is announcing another announcement. Good to know.
(The endless and completely unsubstantiated fanboy speculation that this will be a bonus edition of MGS4 coming out for the Xbox 360 can start... right now.)
Update: Well, well, well. It looks like enterprising Metal Gear fans have poked around the site's source code, and have found that the current countdown clock is just one of five individual clocks - hey, there's the number five again - set to overlap one another over the next few weeks. Incidentally, the very last clock will tick 00:00:00 on June 1st - the first day of E3. Also, for you conspiracy theorists out there, the day of Microsoft's press conference.
Also, the site's keywords are "Hideo Kojima", "MGS", "METAL GEAR", "NEXT", "game", "Konami", "Kojima game", "KJP", and "Kojima Production" - but, interestingly enough, not "MGS5." Finally, you can reportedly make out the words "April 2007" on the bottom of the screen when it flashes white (though I haven't yet been able to see them). (Edit: April 2007 means nothing.)
Curiouser and curiouser, Kojima-san...