Revealed during Konami's Pre-E3 2011 show, Transfarring is a Kojima Productions initiative to allow saved games to be transferred from home console to handheld and vice-versa without losing progress. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was be the first game to utilize this with the HD PlayStation 3 version and the PlayStation Portable original. At present, Transfarring has only been implemented on Sony consoles (PS3, PSP and PS Vita). While many games (particularly on PS3 and Vita) allow the transfer of saved games, Transfarring is a branding specific to Kojima Productions games and is separate from Sony's own "Cross Save" feature.
The official announcement website explains Transfarring:
TRANSFARRING will introduce gamers to a new gameplay lifestyle that transcends the hardware barrier. Now you can continue your console games on the go with your portable device! Progress through missions while on the train then savor the climax at home on your big screen.
TRANSFARRING will free you from restrictions of location or time, allowing you to play freely anytime, anywhere. Experience a new degree of freedom in gaming that may one day make console wars a thing of the past.
Hideo Kojima outlined three stages in the rollout of Transfarring:
- Phase 1: Transfarring between PSP games and remastered home console versions (Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker)
- Phase 2: Transfarring between remastered PS2 games on PS3 and PS Vita (Metal Gear Solid HD Edition)
- Phase 3: Transfarring saves between PS3 and Vita for all-new Fox Engine games.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Edition (included in Metal Gear Solid HD Collection outside Japan) was the first game to support Transfarring. The process is performed entirely on the PS3 - the "Transfarring Out" option sends the saved game to a connected PSP console, and "Transfarring In" returns that save to the PS3. There are a few caveats to this system: once moved to another console, the save is locked until Transfarred back; Trophies can be earned only in games started on the PS3, and are unlocked upon Transfarring back to the PS3, as PSP does not support Trophies; finally, Transfarring isn't supported by Peace Walker running in emulation PS Vita, due to the way PS Vita connects to PS3.
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
MGS2 & MGS3 were made compatible with Transfarring via patch 1.03, released alongside the PS Vita version of HD Collection. Rather than via a wired connection - as was the case with Peace Walker - saves are either Transfarred via local Wi-Fi or uploaded to the cloud (Title User Storage). Linked saves are kept in sync, while saves copied over Wi-Fi are locked on the original console until Transfarred back. Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 saves are incompatible, and saves created before patch 1.03 cannot earn Trophies.
Zone of the Enders HD Collection
Zone of the Enders HD Collection was originally announced to have the same Transfarring capabilities as Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, with a PS Vita version due sometime after the PS3 release. However, all references to Transfarring and the PS Vita port have been removed from the game's final boxart and website. No traces of the feature are found in-game either.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Despite being a Kojima Productions release, no Transfarring support is planned for Rising, as no handheld version is currently development.
Transfarring was revealed via a special Mega64 video ("KOJIMA'S SECRET") during Konami's Pre-E3 2011 broadcast that told the tragic story of Rocco Botte's attempts to play MGS3 on the go. Due to Mega 64's involvement and the inherent ridiculousness of the word Transfarring, most thought it was a joke until Hideo Kojima explained the whole thing in detail (with flashcards!) immediately afterwards. The video also announced the Metal Gear Solid and Zone of the Enders HD Collections for PS3 and 360.