Sony kicked off the pre-Tokyo Game Show hype with its press conference just a few hours ago. Present, of course, was Tokyo native and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. The Konami VP largely talked about his new project, Silent Hills (aka P.T), but still had time to tease an upcoming Phantom Pain announcement.

What that might be is anyone’s guess at present – that being said – the internet has been rife with conjecture over the past few days. A man having claimed to formerly work for the Los Angeles branch of Kojima Productions took to 4Chan’s video games board to potentially spill some rather critical details about the upcoming title; including plot spoilers, the existence of certain characters, (such as Liquid and Solid Snake), and, most time-sensitively, the notion that The Phantom Pain will be released at the “end of 2014”, to be announced at the Tokyo Game Show.

One way or another, the upcoming announcement is likely to be release date oriented. The official word on The Phantom Pain is that we ought to expect an early 2015 release, and, if this were anyone other than Hideo Kojima, that is almost certainly what we’d expect. Given his penchant for tomfoolery, and the fact that he appears to be relatively tied up in his new joint venture with Guillermo Del Toro – which will also be developed by Kojima Productions – it makes it very hard to categorically rule out the theory that we could be reuinted with Big Boss sooner than we thought.

There appear to have been several inconsistencies with the reported release date of The Phantom Pain, with Kojima himself perhaps purposely providing misdirection:

If you strain your eyes, you’ll notice a release date of ‘Q4 2014’, while other sources from within Konami stated that the release, if things didn’t go to plan, could be as late as 2016. What do you think, is it all hot air, or does Kojima have one last trick up his never-ending sleeves?

If you’re proficient in Japanese and want to see the entire Sony conference, head on over to YouTube.