Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Coming Next Spring

And it's bringing a peculiar pricing structure with it.

News by Pete Davison, .

Metal Gear Solid V is still shrouded in a certain degree of mystery.

Until now, one of these mysteries has been exactly how the prequel chapter Ground Zeroes ties in with Phantom Pain, the latter of which is regarded as the "main" Metal Gear Solid V game. Would Ground Zeroes be playable as part of Phantom Pain, somewhat akin to the tanker mission in Metal Gear Solid 2? Would it be a downloadable title? Would it come on a separate disc, but be packaged with Phantom Pain, or would it be a completely separate release?

If you went for the last option, you'd be correct. Ground Zeroes is being released next spring as a standalone game, but not for the usual retail price of $60. Instead, it's being released on both current-gen (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) and next-gen (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) platforms as a digital download, with the current-gen versions, strangely, also offering a physical version.

The current-gen versions will cost $19.99 for the downloadable version or $29.99 for the physical packaged version; meanwhile, the next-gen version will cost $29.99 and be available as a download title only. The reasons for the lack of physical release on next-gen aren't altogether clear, unless it's simply part of Sony and Microsoft's attempts to push people in the direction of digital rather than disc-based releases.

The $10 bump in price is not at all unprecedented in the tech space, however; iPad owners, for example, have long been accustomed to paying premium prices for "HD" versions of games that are fundamentally identical to their lower-resolution iPhone counterparts -- it looks as if next-gen console owners will be paying a similar "resolution tax" for cross-generation games, at least while PS3 and 360 are still on the market and continuing to enjoy new releases. It remains to be seen whether this is due to higher licensing costs for physical games on next-gen systems or simply Konami, in this case, feeling the next-gen versions' improved performance and presentation is inherently "worth more" than the experience you get on PS3 and 360.

The aim for Ground Zeroes is to act as a "bridge" between the linearity of past Metal Gear Solid titles and the open-world experience Phantom Pain offers. Konami claims it will gradually introduce the new concepts found in Phantom Pain little by little, leading some to ponder whether Ground Zeroes is little more than a demo or glorified tutorial mission. The $19.99/$29.99 price point implies that Ground Zeroes will be somehow a "lesser" or shorter experience than Phantom Pain -- working on the assumption that Phantom Pain will be a $60 release, of course -- but we'll have to wait until next spring to see just how substantial the prequel game really is; there's certainly a lot of narrative time to cover between Ground Zeroes' 1975 setting and Phantom Pain's 1984, but how much of that will be realized in interactive form?

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 5

Comments on this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

  • Avatar for docexe #1 docexe 5 years ago
    Yeah, from the price you get it will be a smaller game, but whether or not it will be a “glorified tutorial” or something else remains to be seen.

    For good and for ill, you never know with Kojima.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for GustinHardy #2 GustinHardy 5 years ago
    @docexe "For good and for ill, you never know with Kojima." Truer words were never spoken.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for airbagfin51 #3 airbagfin51 5 years ago
    This one is going to be an easy choice. There is absolutely no reason I need more physical matter in my apartment. If the capability is there, I'm cool with letting a few servers relax.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pjedavison #4 pjedavison 5 years ago
  • Avatar for scuffpuppies #5 scuffpuppies 5 years ago
    And so it begins.

    Ostensibly the PS4/XBO version is a current gen game, albeit with a higher resolution. Something which PC gamer's have been experiencing since day one...for even cheaper than current gen prices.

    Charging £15/$10 more for true next gen games is fair enough. But charging more for a next gen version of a current gen game is just f**king wrong.

    Journalists shouldn't brush this off as the "norm". Because it's not. Publisher's are seeing how far they can push pricing, and as usual gaming sites/magazines won't say a word because they get everything for free and forget what it feels like to be ripped off.Edited November 2013 by scuffpuppies
    Sign in to Reply