GTA Online should have been available to access from 12pm UK time today, publisher Rockstar has announced.

Temper your expectations however,  as Rockstar revealed last week that it expected things to be rather “temperamental” in the first few days, and has been frantically buying up new servers to try and alleviate the “significantly higher numbers of players” than anticipated.

GTA Online

In theory, a small downloadable title update will be released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Once installed, you get direct access to begin GTA Online, which will be unlocked in the GTA5 game menu. Rockstar emphasized that they could not be too specific on the exact launch time, as this was “contingent on both Title Updates becoming available on each console’s network.”

Other details about GTA Online were also released, including the fact that it's set a few months prior to the single-player story, as well as additional information about the game's character-creation system;

“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!”

In order to prevent “griefing”, the publisher announced that – whilst backstabbing and mayhem would be fully exploitable in the open world, house party invitations had been designed in order that “players can visit each other’s pads without fear of having them ruined or losing their hard-earned vehicles in the process.” In other words, if invited to another players house, you won't be able to shoot them and steal their car.

Attempting to answer some of the criticisms and concerns surrounding the issue of GTA Online micro-transactions, more details were given about in-game spending:

“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’."

In addition, Rockstar asked that players “work with” them on any fairness and balancing issues.

The full details of today's GTA Online can be found on Rockstar Newswire.

How excited are you for GTA Online?

Are you expecting any initial problems?