Despite being a game focusing on stealth and espionage, the online component of Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots was a heck of a lot of fun. We're expecting Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's multiplayer to be the same way, and thanks to some keen eyes and Japanese translations, we now know how many friends we'll need to play the next Metal Gear Online.

The Japanese Metal Gear Solid V website (courtesy of VideoGamer) has revealed that up to 16 players will be supported for each online match on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC versions of Metal Gear Online, while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ports will support only 12 players at a time — that's a 30 percent increase going from last-gen to current-gen. The online mode will also be available with every copy of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, regardless of version, so those who were worried about the online being a separate game can let those fears subside. Unfortunately, you shouldn't expect any cross-platform multiplayer.

While 16 players makes sense for current-gen Metal Gear Online matches, fitting 12 players into a last-gen online leaves us scratching our heads. MGO in Metal Gear Solid IV supported 16 players per match and that service was available eight years ago, so why Konami would limit the last-gen consoles by four players is beyond us. It could be due to the strain on the graphics/frame rate and all the new features.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and its companion Metal Gear Online will be available on September 1 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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