According to a few gamers that received their copies early, the physical disc version of MGS V: The Phantom Pain on PC is literally just an installer for Steam. One user even posted an image showing the data, which seems to confirm that while there is an entire DVD in the box, only 8MB of information is on there.
That 8MB is just an installer file that will load Steam onto the user’s PC, according to the sources. This is odd in a number of ways, though it does make sense if Konami wished to save some money. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a pretty big game, and its PC version would have likely required more than one disc to fit all of the install information. Cutting it to this, and making users validate their install via Steam likely saved a lot of time and effort on Konami’s part.
However, this is little solace for those that still prefer physical versions of their PC games, as small and dwindling of an audience as that might be. Many buy physical PC releases for a specific purpose, such as because their internet is slow, or has some sort of data cap. To force these users to install Steam, and download the game via their servers and internet connection will likely upset many.
At this time we only have a few spotty reports of this from those that received their copy early, so this could be a big hoax. It seems pretty legitimate though, and fits with the current trend away from physical releases on PC. We’ll find out more when MGS V: The Phantom Pain releases on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC on September 1st.