As has been stated by Kojima Productions since the announcement of The Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes will act as a prologue to the full Metal Gear Solid 5. Ground Zeroes will take place on the now familiar Cuban military base, which we've seen more and more of in recent gameplay videos. The missions are designed to show off the powers and capabilities of the Fox Engine in rendering environments, weather and day/night cycles, but also the new mission structure we'll see in MGS5 proper.
"The advanced capabilities of the Fox Engine are allowing me to express the story of Metal Gear Solid in a new way," said Hideo Kojima, Creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, and head of Kojima Productions in a statement. "There will be a significant difference in what Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain brings to the series, so we want to ease players into the new open world environment and its potential, allowing them to fully benefit from all that the new game offers. As such, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes has been designed to introduce key elements, while setting up the events of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain."
Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes will be available in the spring of 2014 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The retail disc version will cost $29.99, but the digital version will only be $19.99. Ground Zeroes will also be out on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as a download for $29.99. Just because Ground Zeroes arrives next spring doesn't mean The Phantom Pain will follow close behind, but at least we'll finally get to experience the next generation of Metal Gear Solid relatively soon.