Rockstar have just confirmed via their blog that GTA Online will be coming online around 7 AM ET time - that is 12PM GMT time.
To access GTA Online you will of course need GTA V, you will then be required to download a very small update from either PSN or Xbox Live. Once installed, you boot up the game and you'll find an additional character in the character wheel (bottom right), just go to that character and you'll be put into GTA Online.
GTA Online will be set a few months prior to the events in the single player story.
There are a number of things you could do in GTA Online that will make the experience a lot more engaging compared to the GTA IV online mode.
You can now buy houses and store cars in your garage. You can invite your friends over but thankfully they won't be able to shoot up the whole place and steal your cars. If two players on the same house, you'll be prompted to choose whose house to go into.
GTA Online will have its own currency. You can earn money or buy it through in-game purchases. Rockstar have said that you can enjoy the game without having to buy any in-game money with your real money and there are no paywalls. They say they've tried to keep a right balance between how much money you can buy and earn so that it does not disrupt the playing field. Though you will still need to earn Reputation Points (RP) to access high-end items.
Rockstar have promised to evolve GTA Online as it progresses through the next coming weeks and months. There are lots of jobs to already do in GTA Online and they say they will be adding many more.
You will soon be able to make your own races and deathmatches through the content creator that will become accessible at a later stage.
There is a high level of customisation when it comes to your GTA Online character. You can even choose your mother and father, and which of the two will be the dominate one. You can choose finer details such as how long your character sleeps for, how much they work, how much they party and of course how many illegal activities they carry out. All these things will define your character.
It will be exciting to see what Rockstar brings to the table in GTA Online, as most of the gaming market right now is dominated by games that have very powerful and engaging online capabilities.