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Like a cruel game of Pass the Parcel – whereby everybody gets to tear away a sheet of wrapping paper, only to find yet another layer and the sinking feeling that there are a few more to come – Hideo Kojima’s teaser site‘s original countdown has expired, to reveal… another countdown?

This time, however, there are a few new symbols for us to get our heads around, including one that hints at the return of Solid Snake.

Of the new additions, the most obvious are the “mysterious” appearances of an “E” and a “3″. What could they represent? Probably the fact that, once this timer runs out, we will be treated to yet another one, which will conclude conveniently in time for E3 at the beginning of next month.

What is intriguing about this latest twist is the third and final symbol that flashes up during the now intensified thunder storm: “e”. While speculaion is rife, to the untrained eye this may seem like Kojima’s first attempt at “E” being let down by the lack of a caps key. However, I can reveal that, through “my” research, I have discovered the fact that “e” is more or less the Japanese symbol for “snake”. Solved. Raiden can continue sitting on the substitutes bench, pleading: “please, boss? Give me a chance! Put me on and I’ll show you what I can do!”

Meanwhile, some believe the “e” to be a strange manifestation of “@”, resulting in a message that reads: “MGS5 @ E3″. If this were true, Kojima would surely be beginning to regret his choice of font for this cunning and wicked plan.

Is this definitely going to be Metal Gear Solid 5? Or are we being too presumptuous?

Head over there and see for yourselves. Then come back and tell us what you think.

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