Fans of the Metal Gear Solid franchise have been eagerly awaiting the latest (and supposedly final) Solid Snake story in the form of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The game was originally slated for a November 2007 release, but a delay announced at E3 2007 pushed it back to Q1 2008. And now its release date has been pushed even further.

In a brief announcement, Konami has confirmed that the highly-anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusive has been delayed until the second quarter of 2008, citing “further improvements to the quality of the game” as the reason behind the decision.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is one of the most important third party exclusives for the PlayStation 3 and is considered crucial for Sony’s gaming division, which just recorded an $843 million loss for the quarter. Hopefully, their new $399 40GB unit due out on November 2 will help spur sales of the console.