Why GTA V is not going to be next gen
Grand Theft Auto V, the highly anticipated next installment of one of the worlds most popular franchises, was initially announced for a "Spring 2013" release date for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Fast forward a few months to the start January, Rockstar Games made a promise of unveiling the official cover art and fast forward to the end of January; Rockstar all but scrapped the plans to unveil the cover art by the end of January and instead, announced that the game would be delayed until September 17, 2013; citing the need for "extra development time" as well as "additional polishing"
Despite these clear cut statements made by Rockstar Games and their parent company Take-Two Interactive, there are many fans who seem to think that the delay is attributed to something completely different; such as the idea that Grand Theft Auto V is going to be a next gen exclusive.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Grand Theft Auto V will be released on next gen consoles; as the impending announcement of the PlayStation 4 (codenamed "Orbis") on February 20 and its eventual release later this year.
But wait, lets not get ahead of ourselves here. Does the YouTube teaser that Sony posted on the 31st of January; promoting the fact that Sony are holding a meeting to talk about the "future of the PlayStation brand", coincidentally the same day that Grand Theft Auto V was delayed from the Spring 2013 release window, actually specifically state that the PlayStation 4 would indeed be officially announced? While this seems likely, the video doesn't specifically say that the PlayStation 4 would be announced on the 20th of February - this so-called assumption is merely a rumour. The meeting could be about almost anything related to the PlayStation brand.
Furthermore to this, the next Xbox console, supposedly called the Xbox 720 (and codenamed Durango according to some supposed leaks), is still merely just a rumour being taken for granted based on speculation posted on big gaming websites which is spurred up from some die-hard Xbox fanboys and supposed game developers posting on various fan forums - Microsoft have not given any information relating to the next Xbox console as of present.
Now, given that fact, it would be a pretty stupid financial decision to develop and release Grand Theft Auto V on newly released next generation hardware, not to mention hardware that hasn't even been announced yet, would it not? Not to mention also that it would be a pretty stupid decision for Rockstar to go back to the drawing board, and re-develop Grand Theft Auto V from scratch for the next generation hardware, wasting yet more money and more time; developing for consoles that wouldn't even nearly have as many owners when compared to the player-base that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have.
Of course, the above only really applies if rumours are correct and the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles are to be released at the end of this year. But chances are, they will not; but rather it will probably happen in one to two years years after the announcement.
Lets look at the announcement and eventual release of the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3. Firstly, the PlayStation 2. Now, the PlayStation 2 was first announced in March of 1999, followed by a release almost a year later in March 2000. The PlayStation 3 saw an even wider window between announcement and release - with the console being announced in May of 2005 and released in November of 2006 - that equals a total of 18 months between announcement and release for the PlayStation 3. It is quite a ridiculous notion that the PlayStation 4 will be released six to eight months after its announcement, if it is indeed announced on the 20th of February - regardless of the technology being used.
Lets not forget also that various representatives of Rockstar Games themselves have stated that they are developing Grand Theft Auto V for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360; the current generation - and this has been stated on multiple occasions in previews and such. It is absolutely baffling how people can somehow think that Rockstar are changing from these plans.
Furthermore to this, Rockstar Games have only ever ported one game from one generation to the next and that game was Bully which was ported to the Xbox 360 and Wii a couple of years after its initial release. Keeping in mind also that Bully is on a far smaller scale then Grand Theft Auto V will ever be. Do you really think it would be logical for them to port Grand Theft Auto V to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 in a similar fashion given its size? Knowing how buggy the ported version of Bully was, probably not. We are also not counting downloadable ports in the PSN Store or the Xbox Live Marketplace which are almost essentially the same as the originals; with no added enhancements or gameplay features.
Bully was also a special case as it was released in 2006, well into the beginning of the current generation's lifecycle. Grand Theft Auto V is going to be released not even at the start of the next generation's lifecycle.
Putting it into more of a perspective, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released in around the same time of the last generation's lifecycle as Grand Theft Auto V will in this generation's lifecycle, which is around two years before the release and popularization of the successive generation hardware. It would make more sense for Rockstar to begin development of a new next-generation Grand Theft Auto title rather then port or re-develop Grand Theft Auto V two years down the track.
Simply put, Grand Theft Auto V being released on the next generation consoles is not going to happen. Grand Theft Auto V is going to be a current generation game, and that is that.
New GTA V Artwork: "The Trunk"
Check out the latest official GTA V artwork above, showing the three protagonists standing around a car trunk. There is a lot more coming this month, including the unveiling of the official box art, so stay tuned.
Interviews with Rockstar North's Aaron & Les
As part of the 10 year anniversary celebration for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,
Rockstar North producer Leslie Benzies and Art Director Aaron Garbut partook in a series of interviews looking back at the
development of the game.
While most of the interviews relate to Vice City, there were a few
questions and answers relating to more recent things that we thought
were interesting and worthy of sharing, including thoughts on future Grand Theft Auto locations and the possibility of setting a game in Vice City again!
Below are the links to the full interviews, followed by quotes we pulled out that we found interesting:
First is from Aaron, talking about modern day research trips at the company:
"These days it's a very structured affair. Our research team
schedules and organizes the artists with guides and off-duty cops and
we come back with hundreds of thousands of extremely hi-res GPS stamped
Second is where Aaron talks about how there were thoughts on doing more than just a city in GTA Vice City:
"We had talked about doing the Everglades. I think we even
roughed some of it in. That would have been great. Basically expanding
out of the city into the surroundings would be good, you get such good
contrasts, but that was something that we devoted a lot of energy to in
the later games."
Next is where Les talks about future GTA locations, answering the question "Any chance that Vice City might return in a future GTA?":
"It is always a possibility. There are a few references to
the city in our current-gen Grand Theft Auto's so it is part of that HD universe, and
it is certainly somewhere we would love to revisit. However Vice City,
perhaps more than any other Grand Theft Auto game, was as much about the era as the
setting. Miami in the 1980's is so iconic it would feel strange to
revisit the city in a different time period.
Of course at some point we would like to have one big world containing all our cities
and let the player fly between them and revisit their favorite areas,
and in that context re-imagining Vice City would be very interesting."
Lastly, is just a little fun and interesting quote from Aaron:
"I unfortunately do torture myself reading every comment I can find on Twitter or forum which is never good for your headspace."
Two New GTA V Screenshots
Above, from Xbox's facebook page, are two new screenshots from Grand Theft Auto V. The first shows Trevor climbing the Vinewood sign, which was previously seen on a different angle. The second is from a mission featured in the press demo that various
publications recently wrote about, where Trevor drops Michael off on the
roof of the FIB tower.
IGN's interview with GTA Producer Les Benzies
IGN have published up their interview with Rockstar North studio head and Grand Theft Auto Producer Leslie Benzies. In addition to this, they've also released two new screenshot which can be seen below and in their full size in our gallery.
There's several bits of new and interesting information which can be seen below, straight from the mouth of Les:
- We do have a bunch of missions in GTA V that are far more freeform than
anything we have done before. We tell you to go get something and the
player decides how to do it - what characters they need on the job and
what tools they need for those characters.
- Animals aren't just a backdrop - you can expect to see dogs guarding
areas and causing the player trouble when they try to sneak past them.
- If the player wants to get their hands on one of the more 'high end'
vehicles early in the game they'll have to work for it. For instance,
airport security won't let you just wander in and steal a jet, they'll
give you some serious opposition
- Weapons are slightly different since we have to find a balance between
giving the player freedom and giving them a challenge. Letting players
have any weapon they want, whenever they want it, would make earlier
missions less of a challenge and less satisfying. That being said, as
the player makes progress through the game they will build up a
- Refining open world multiplayer into something really special has been a
huge focus of development and we are very excited to share more
information with people soon.
GTA V Previews and New Screenshots Being Published
Marketing for Grand Theft Auto V has well and truly began, with the first of the online previews being published by various websites from around the world; giving their take on what they saw of Grand Theft Auto V.
Along with this, Gamer.nl have released a whole lot of new screenshots! These have been added to our Grand Theft Auto V screenshot gallery.
Links to previews (note; not translated unless otherwise stated):
The English version of IGN will also be posting their own preview of Grand Theft Auto V - which may contain even more new screenshots. We'll update you all when this happens.
The facts so far
- Underwater world (with underwater caves) and diving equipment confirmed.
- Side-missions similar to Taxi, Ambulance and Vigilante will be back
but "probably not identical to the ones in previous GTAs" because they
wouldn't fit in with the 3 main character personalities, but the "three
will have odd jobs to do".
- Trevor will be the skilled helicopter pilot, Franklin the skilled
driver and sniper, Michael the "smooth operator", skilled and versatile.
- Franklin is looking for a mentor and he finds one in Mike after they meet during one of Franklin's repo man jobs.
- Trevor is inspired by the typical GTA player that only roams around the game creating havoc, death and destruction.
- Mission types will vary among "big and small events , explosive,
infiltration, super spectacular, family issues, invasion, hostage
recovery, heists and robberies. Plus classic GTA missions but updated
- Cover mechanics have been greatly improved and cover will be very important in the gameplay.
- About the economy, Dan Houser says: "You will be able to spend money
to buy interesting and fun things like expensive toys. We are still
working on the economy but it will be a strong element in the game and
players will be eager to make money to spend money. Something along the
lines of "I went through all of this to make all this money and now I'm
going to spend it on this crazy item."
- Dynamic music during missions (similar to games like L.A. Noire)
- No co-op for single player missions, but co-op modes will be featured in multiplayer.
- Big focus on multiplayer with a lot of content to keep players busy.
- The song Radar Love was heard playing on the in-game radio.
- Alamo Sea is the name of the Salton Sea like area.
- Radial menu to select the 3 protagonists.
- Switching in missions partially scripted - meaning, at times character switching will happen automatically.
- In final part of a mission in the demo, the player can decide which character to use.
- There are multiple different endings in the storyline which depend on the choices you made throughout the game.
- The storyline takes around 25 hours to complete.
- Map open from beginning, with the exception of some protected areas.
- A certain amount of money will be needed to gain access to some missions.
- There is a functioning ecosystem teeming with wildlife.
UPDATE 3: Three additional screenshots have been released.
UPDATE 2: Two new additional screenshots have emerged from IGN.
UPDATE: IGN's Preview has been published!
Online GTA V Previews to begin very soon
The online previews for Grand Theft Auto V will be starting to surface this Monday, November 12th.
Several publications, including IGN, will be publishing their own
articles based on the same press demo that Game Informer received. From
experience, over the years with previous Grand Theft Auto games, a lot of the previews often feature new information
that wasn't necessarily written in other publications. These previews are definitely some worth sticking around for as we will be updating you all with all the details as they surface via this website.
Game Informer GTA V Preview Summary
A General Overview
It is to be said, given the fact that Grand Theft Auto V is Rockstar's biggest and most ambiguous game to date, that the developers have put in a lot of effort into capturing the daily lives of various personalities in Southern California (Los Santos and the surrounding area). With over a quarter million photos taken of the Los Santos area, as well as census information and vehicle guides, Rockstar have created a living, breathing world that resembles Los Angeles and the surrounding area - without it being entirely based on it and having its own unique "feel". Furthermore, lighting, game detail and draw distance have all been drastically improved - for example, a mountain on the other side of the game world can be seen from several miles away.
The Protagonists & Other Characters
Perhaps the biggest reveal of this Game Informer preview was the fact that there are three protagonists in the game, each with their own story, skill-sets and motives and each as individual as the last. More-so, these protagonists are able to be switched during gameplay when not on a mission - and many missions will present the opportunity for the player to switch between the different characters at certain points. For example, during a mission - Michael may scale a building before capturing a hostage (his intended target) and in the distance, Trevor is sitting ready to provide sniper fire - the player can either escape on foot as Michael, or be behind the scope of a sniper rifle as Trevor.
The young one of the three protagonists, Franklin is the ambitious street hustler and repo man in his 20's - selling cars to people who can't afford them.
A career criminal, psychopath and frequent drug user in his late 40's and has done many heists with Michael during his time.
Michael is a married retired bank robber who lives by his wife, Amanda and his children; Jimmy and Tracy. Michael lives the life of luxury, however he is not contempt.
The switching between these characters when not on a mission is something that Rockstar North have put a lot of effort into refining, and are still doing so even now. When the player switches characters, the game world will pan up into a Google Earth type overlay, before dropping down to the location of the character the player selected. Each protagonist exists in different primary locations. For example, Trevor is isolated and hides out in his trailer in the middle of the desert; Michael on the other-hand lives the good life in the hills of Los Santos. When the player is not controlling these characters, their lives continue on - leaving many surprises when the player returns to control a character that they haven't been in control of for a while.
Characters from Grand Theft Auto IV will also be making an appearance - however and major characters from Grand Theft Auto IV, such as Niko Bellic, will not return in Grand Theft Auto V. Furthermore to this, characters from the "PlayStation 2-era" will not be returning.
Locations, Map and Game World
Many of the locations that existed in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas's rendition of Los Santos are to return in Grand Theft Auto V. Among them include a military base, a fully explorable Mount Chiliad, wilderness, wine country, a Salton Sea region and for the first time ever in the Grand Theft Auto series; a fully detailed and explorable underwater world off the coastlines of Los Santos.
|No effort was spared in the creation of a living, breathing, accurate game world that is Los Santos and its surrounding area.|
The city of Los Santos itself has been, much like Liberty City was for Grand Theft Auto IV, recreated from scratch - with extensive research being undertaken by the Rockstar Games to recreate Los Santos in a meaningful but very unique way, it can definitely be told that no amount of effort was spared when it comes to the creation of the game world of Grand Theft Auto V. Every single little detail has been crafted; from the branding on packaging to the expanse of the wilderness; to the damage of individual tiles in a food store to the massive underwater world that exists off the coasts.
With that being said, there isn't as much of a sprawl factor in Los Santos as there is in Los Angeles, which means that it is scaled down quite considerably.
Features & Gameplay
In terms of gameplay for Grand Theft Auto V, fans can expect a "whole lot more then they are currently expecting". It can be said that a number of new and interesting gameplay features will be in Grand Theft Auto V. From the very small, such as being able to flip off pedestrians and getting different reactions depending on who the pedestrian is. For example, you may get a different reaction from a soccer mom in suburban Los Santos then you will from a hard nut biker standing by a bar in the middle of the desert. Ammu-Nation also makes its return after its hiatus from Grand Theft Auto IV, and a weapon arsenal that is the biggest in the Grand Theft Auto series to date. Each of the characters will also have access to unique activities based on their personalities.
The vehicle physics have also been greatly updated, with Rockstar commenting that vehicles "stick to the ground better" and that it "feels more like a racing game" - a stark contrast to Grand Theft Auto IV where vehicles felt very "big and boatlike". Cutscenes are also very strongly hinted at as being very seamless when transferring between gameplay to cutscenes and back to gameplay again. Anotherwords, no loading times between gameplay and cutscenes. Random character encounters will also be returning in Grand Theft Auto V; this time with more variety - furthermore to this, dynamic missions similar to Red Dead Redemption's will be making their debut in the Grand Theft Auto series, with examples ranging from broken down cars, hitch-hikers and two parked cars with dead bodies around them.
|A number of new gameplay elements are introduced for the first time in Grand Theft Auto V.|
Although there are less pedestrians walking around the streets in Los Santos compared to other games in the series; there is
more of them doing things based on the time of day, and the locations
that they are in - with pedestrians going about their day to day life.
This may include gardeners and cleaners waiting at buss stops in the
morning while during the day, these same people can be found tending to
the homes of the rich. Pedestrians go about their day to day lives in a
very dynamic manor.
Also, remember in Grand Theft Auto IV when everything was controlled though the mobile phone? Good news for those who weren't a fan of this. The mobile phone in Grand Theft Auto V is becoming a lot more streamlined - friend activities will be moved onto the map which means they will not be calling you as much as they did in Grand Theft Auto IV. Girlfriends and romance has also been scrapped in Grand Theft Auto V; simply because the main protagonists aren't the types to be out looking for potential love interests.
The game will also feature a number of side activities, including a fully functional golf course, yoga, jet skiing, base jumping and triathlons; and will be fully fleshed out to make them interesting to the player. Whether you like jumping off of buildings or enjoy a relaxing game of golf - there will... Read more »
Game Informer's GTA V Cover
Game Informer have revealed the cover of the December edition of their magazine, featuring three characters; the three protagonists, that will be playable in the game. That's right, three. We will be posting a full summary of the preview later today.
New GTA V Screenshot Discovered
A new screenshot from Grand Theft Auto V has just been discovered. Short List, a magazine in the UK, is using the screenshot to promote their competition
to give away the Los Santos Photo Viewers. This is
the first instance that the pre-order bonuses have been described as
available outside of North America.
The above screenshot shows a character of very similar appearance to the character from the quad-bike artwork released earlier this week.