Back in 2006 Peter Moore announced that GTA IV would be arriving for the current gen consoles. It was slated for a 2007 release but was then bumped to a 2008 April release. Rockstar is known for announcing games and then having them delayed a great deal. Max Payne 3 was announced back in 2009 for a 2010 holiday release; it won’t be arriving until spring of next year.
This bring us to Grand Theft Auto V. Earlier today it was announced that Rockstar Games is working on GTA V. This follows on the heels of the recent GTA III anniversary. No details or release date was set in stone but it does make you question exactly which platforms it’ll be arriving on given a number of factors.
A trailer is set to debut next week, but as we all know a debut trailer will probably turn out to be a few seconds of tease and very little of anything else. I could be wrong but that’s usually how big games bounce onto the scene. Remember the Saints Row: The Third teaser? Exactly.
I doubt Rockstar would be so brazen to tease in as juvenile a fashion as Volition Software, however I do believe that what footage we might see of GTA V will be sparse. In addition to this, whatever we see will probably not represent the final game (i.e., the E3 2004 demo of Halo 2).
This brings me to the next point: could this multiplatform game potentially also be a launch title for the PS4 and Xbox 720? Rumblings within the industry about new consoles won’t die down until something concrete appears and a few developers are already working on games for the next gen consoles such as Avalanche Studios, Crytek and Epic Games, as well as Sony’s own first-party department.
Now, given that we’ve already established that Rockstar seems to have a two year delay between the announcement of a game and the release of the game -- and two years from now would put us at the 2013 mark where gaming journalists, market analysts and even game publishers suspect either the PS4 or Xbox 720 to launch -- then it might be a safe bet to say that GTA V could release for multiple next-gen consoles and PC. Better yet, it could be a launch title for the Xbox 720 or PS4, showcasing Rockstar's true vision for the game without all the current hardware limitations.
A few reasons for this might be that GTA IV already maxed out the PS3 and Xbox 360’s memory; you may have noticed only a handful of different cars were on the screen at any given time and stayed there for quite a while. Pedestrian density was also rather low and sparse compared to what it could have been. Physics also had to be limited because there’s only 512MB of RAM for the current gen consoles and physics takes up a lot of memory when applied to destructible environments. I’d imagine if Rockstar wanted to push the envelop even further and add more destructive capabilities they’ll either have to axe some gameplay elements, graphics or on-screen activity to support a feature like that. And if you compare the PC shader mod like iCEnhancer of GTA IV to the console version, there was a night and day difference in what the game could have looked like and what the game did look like.
It’s entirely possible that GTA V could still be for the Xbox 360 and PS3, but then that would entail many of the same limitations that were present in GTA IV. Also, the game would certainly have to hit retail shelves by 2012 to avoid releasing in the 2013 climate where either the PS4 or Xbox 720 (or both) are expected to launch.
The only problem with a 2012 release for GTA V is that it would be following closely on the heels of Max Payne 3, and I doubt Rockstar would want two of their games releasing in the same year, especially if they have plans to milk MP3 with some DLC and specialty content. That kind of falls in the same line of Microsoft releasing the Xbox 720 during the holiday season of 2012 while Halo 4 releases for the Xbox 360; it just wouldn’t be a savvy business or marketing move.
Regardless, Rockstar has big plans for GTA V if Dan Houser’s IGN interview was anything to go by, and no matter what consoles or platforms the game releases on you can expect that it’s at least going to be bigger and better than anything they’ve done before.
If you’re curious about Grand Theft Auto V and what you’d like to see in the game, check out Gaming Blend’s Top 5 Wish List For GTA V.