No-one could blame you for being a little confused.
Is Ground Zeroes just a level in MGS5, a prequel/prologue like the tanker level in Metal Gear Solid 2? Is it an actual separate game? Is it DLC?
To be perfectly honest, I was a little confused myself. I think that may have been series creator Hideo Kojima's intention.
But now Konami and Kojima have released a press release in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion. They have confirmed that MGSV: Ground Zeroes and MGSV: The Phantom Pain are actually separate games.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, as a prequel to the events of The Phantom Pain, will be released first — on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One — in early 2014. The Phantom Pain will hit stores later at a later date, we're guessing towards the end of 2014.
According to Kojima The Phantom Pain will herald a completely new, distinctive style of play to the Metal Gear Solid series and Ground Zeroes is an attempt to help bridge that gap — in terms of both the story and how the game will be played in the new open world.
"The advanced capabilities of the FOX Engine have allowed me to tell the new story in a new way," he said. "There will be a significant difference in what METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN brings to the series, so we want to ease players into the new open world environment and its potential. As such, METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES has been designed to introduce key elements, allowing them to fully benefit from all that the new game will offer."
Ground Zeroes is set to retail at $US19.99 (as a digital product on current gen consoles) or $US29.99 at retail. We're still awaiting local pricing. The Phantom Pain will be your fully fledged Metal Gear Solid experience similar in scope to previous games in the series.