We're getting closer and closer to the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 Expanded & Enhanced, the hyper-successful game's latest re-release on the newest consoles. Expanded and Enhanced also marks GTA Online splitting off into its own thing. After preliminary reports, we now have official download sizes as pre-loading goes live for pre-order customers.
If you've pre-ordered GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced, you can start downloading the game files both on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S right now. Rockstar has made the option available alongside its preliminary discount pricing scheme for the new releases, allowing players to buy E&E and the standalone Online at reduced cost.
The full price, kicking in later on, will be $39.99 (as leaked yesterday) for the full game including the single player experience, and $19.99 for just the standalone GTA Online release. PlayStation 5 players can keep the standalone version of Online for free for the first three months, and all other options are also discounted right now. Note that buying the full Expanded and Enhanced release will also include Online access.
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So how much storage space do you need to set aside for your return to a higher-resolution Los Santos? On PlayStation 5, the download size for the game will be 87 GB, while on Xbox Series X|S you're looking at a heftier 94 GB. Make the head start with pre-loading count!
You can also transfer story mode progress by uploading a save game to the Rockstar Social Club, with Online progress transfers coming when the game launches. If you migrate your Online character, you'll get a few freebies. All of these versions of E&E are digital, though a physical release is also set to launch later this year.
The discounts Rockstar is applying to the new launch - an odd time to reduce the price of a game, usually - lines up with why the full price of E&E will be lower than the expected $60 or $70. The main goal here is to get a bigger audience, because the primary revenue stream comes from Shark Card purchases - and the more people play Online, the more will buy microtransactions.
Avoiding another hacker crisis, which GTA Online already went through during the PS3 and Xbox 360 era, is likely the only factor that is preventing Online from going full-on free to play; that move would definitely boost player numbers, but it would invite a bad crowd as well. You can't exactly say that Online is struggling with a low population either.
In any case, once Expanded and Enhanced is out and Online is set free of its story mode attachments, maybe we can move on and get serious about that sequel Rockstar has finally official acknowledged - the fandom sure seems ready.
GTA 5 Expanded & Enhanced is out on the 15th of March.