Konami has confirmed this morning that Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be two seperate titles, released at two seperate times.
While Ground Zeroes will be released as a multi-gen release spanning the Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, and the Xbox One. Konami also announced that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will see digital-only releases of Ground Zeroes, for $30 on each system.
Ground Zeroes will be made up of a single mission: a Cuban prison rescue mission that we've seen demoed for the past year.
Konami has stated that Ground Zeroes will serve as an open world prelude to MGS V. The idea behind seperating the two titles is also meant to familiarize players with all of the new features in The Phantom Pain.
“The advanced capabilities of the FOX Engine have allowed me to tell the new story in a new way. 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: Ground Zeroes has been designed to introduce key elements, allowing them to fully benefit from all that the new game will offer.”
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes will be available in Spring 2014 and the other consideration is that Konami now has the chance to cash on in the franchise twice in a single year by essentially splitting the two titles.