The PC release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was originally set for September 15, two weeks after the September 1 release of the console versions. But a few weeks ago, Konami announced that it had moved the date up, so the PC edition would be out on September 1 as well. Good news! The less good news, delivered today by Metal Gear Community Manager Robert Allen Peeler, is that there won’t be a preload option on Steam.
Preloading lets gamers download games in advance of their actual release, so they can get on with the important business of playing them at the very moment they unlock (after unpacking the files, at least). Grand Theft Auto V, for instance, came out on April 14, but preloading on Steam began on April 7, a full week ahead of time. It’s especially useful for gamers with less-than-ideal connections, who sometimes require several hours, or even days, to download games.
The word that The Phantom Pain won’t be preloadable came via a tweet posted earlier today in which Peeler said, “unfortunately PC Steam will not have a preload option, however players will be able to preload on console.” He later clarified the situation, somewhat, in a series of tweets detailing when the game will actually be available.
“I think there’s a misunderstanding with the PC release. So the pre-purchase option, which gives you Ground Zeroes for free and some DLC is available to 10 AM PT 9/1, but if you already pre-purchased, you can dl and play before that time, earliest 9/1 New Zealand time,” he wrote. “But (in reply to those concerned) if your DL speed requires a week for the game file size, no, we won’t have a preload option that early. The earliest you can DL the game is 9/1.”
In other words, people who pre-purchase can get a little bit of a jump on the official launch time: Midnight in New Zealand is 5 am the previous day in Pacific time, and since the pre-purchase option will remain available until 10 am PT on September 1, those of you with sufficiently fat pipes can buy and download the game before it officially goes on sale. But at 28GB in size, there’s no doubt that some people will just have to wait.