Update 2: The patch is now also live on PS3.
Update: GTA V Online is now live on Xbox 360. The download is quite small at around 59MB.
Original: Grand Theft Auto Online will launch at around 12PM UK time today via a game patch. The new online component will be entirely free to play, although there will be some optional Micro-transactions.
Below is a description from Rockstar which gives a rough idea of how to access the online component of the game, as well as giving you some background into it.
GTA V Online details
Access to GTA OnlineAccess to Grand Theft Auto Online is free with your copy of Grand Theft Auto V. On October 1st there will be a small downloadable Title Update released on PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE. Upon installation of that Title Update, direct access to begin GTA Online will be unlocked in your GTAV game menu. You will be able to jump right into GTA Online via the 4th (bottom) slot in your GTAV character wheel. We’ve received many questions asking for a specific confirmation of what exact time GTA Online will be available but of course this is contingent on both Title Updates becoming available on each console’s network. As a general timeframe, we do expect the Title Update to become available on PSN and Xbox LIVE starting around 7AM ET tomorrow morning, and your best bet is to stay tuned throughout the day here at the Rockstar Newswire and by following us on Twitter and Facebook where we will be keeping everyone updated.When does GTA Online Take Place?Some people who’ve been playing through Grand Theft Auto V’s Story Mode have been inquiring how the narrative of GTA Online correlates or crosses over. Grand Theft Auto Online is set a few months prior to the events of Grand Theft Auto V’s single player story.Home and Garage SecurityThere’s plenty of havoc and treachery you can cause out in the open world of course, but in order to prevent some really annoying “griefing”, we’ve designed house party invitations specifically to be a friendly social affair where players can visit each other’s pads without fear of having them ruined or losing their hard-earned vehicles in the process. If someone invites you into their property, then it is considered a friendly visit and you will not be able to shoot up their place or steal their cars from their garage. By the way, in any given lobby, if you and another player own the same piece of property, you will each be able to enter your own personal instance of that property at any given time. You will also be able to enter each other’s instance of that property if you exchange and accept an invite. This way, multiple instances of ownership of the same property within a lobby can co-exist.GTA$ and Fair PlayTo allay some concerns we’ve heard on this subject, we can assure you that the game is designed such that the option of purchasable GTA$ should not disrupt the playing field – and there are a few mechanics in place to help ensure that. All players still have to rank up with Reputation Points (RP) in order to get access to purchase high-end items. No one can begin GTA Online and simply spend a lot of money out of the gate to get a leg up. You will have to earn your stripes and play to unlock access to the aspirational clothes, guns and other items. Please also remember that in GTA Online, hustling to afford the finer things by earning GTA$ doing robberies, stick-ups, winning races and other profitable activities is a fun gameplay experience rather than ever being a ‘grind’. As we mentioned on Wednesday, we will constantly tweak all areas of the game to make it play fairer and iron out any balancing problems (while fixing all the other problems we encounter!), but we really need your help in figuring out what those issues are. So please work with us on that!An Ever-Growing Collection of JobsGrand Theft Auto Online is a long-term GTA experience that you can expect to be built-upon, to grow and to evolve in many ways in the coming weeks, months and beyond. As part of that, there will be a massive amount of Jobs available to play over time as we will be regularly adding new ones for you to enjoy. Additionally, you will soon be helping to add content to the game world yourselves, by creating custom Race and Deathmatch Jobs through the Content Creator tool which we plan to release this fall. Grand Theft Auto Online is a collaborative project between Rockstar and all GTA players worldwide, so expect that we’ll effectively be working on it together from day one. As a very small example, the Crew Hierarchies feature that was introduced a few weeks back on Social Club was a direct result of popular fan feedback from last year – and we’ll be looking at the GTA Online community’s feedback, input and ideas constantly to help inform how the game itself will grow and evolve. As mentioned last week, we’ll be looking closely at your feedback emails sent to GTAOnline@rockstargames.com and in the GTA Online Suggestion Box board at the forthcoming Social Club Forums. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you as active participants in the world of GTA Online starting tomorrow.The Character Creation SystemThe hereditary-based character creation system of Grand Theft Auto Online allows for a multitude of options to create your avatar that will then inhabit the online world of Los Santos & Blaine County. Choose your gender then decide on your mother and father. From there, you can choose to give one parent genetic dominance or leave them more evenly matched. The choice is yours. Next, you adjust a set of lifestyle variables which help determine your character’s appearance and starting stats. Decide how much sleep he/she gets, how much partying they indulge in, how much honest work versus illegal activity, and more. Essentially, you can adjust the genetics to wind up with a fresh faced lad or lass or a grizzled, haggard degenerate or anywhere in between! You’ll also be able to preview your end result in real time all throughout to ensure you’re satisfied before putting your character on a direct flight to LS. Of course, once you’re out and about in the open world, you can further customize your character with haircuts, clothing and accessories to suit your tastes.
In addition to the above, In Grand Theft Auto Online, Social Club members get access to weaponry and vehicular unlocks, a whole new suite of Crew features to represent and coordinate with your squad, and special tools to get the most out of Rockstar Jobs and user-created Jobs when the Content Creator tool launches this autumn.
Are you looking forward to GTA V Online?