Have they or haven’t they? Analyzing whether Rockstar’s open world opus has been delayed (or not).
The rumour mill has been a ‘buzzing. People are talking. Information, for worse rather than better, isn’t leaking. Despite the numerous updates, verified jobs, patches and fixes that Rockstar Games has been delivering with Grand Theft Auto Online, the one big announcement still eludes us – just when is Grand Theft Auto 5 releasing for Xbox One, PS4 and PC?
Rockstar surprised the world when it made an appearance at E3 2014 to essentially confirm what had been rumoured for months. Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC was indeed real, it would indeed have improved visuals and yes, those interested in Grand Theft Auto Online would indeed be capable of doing so, with all the latest content to boot. So what’s the problem?
"Grand Theft Auto 5 isn't like Naughty Dog's The Last of Us though, which recently received a Remastered version for the PS4 after just a year of availability on the PS3. It's much, much larger in scope and will be out on three platforms rather than one."
The problem is that Rockstar, much less publisher Take Two Interactive, have yet to provide any solid details on a release date other than “Fall 2014”. Also, that one announcement at E3 was really all we got. No extensive blow-outs from magazines, no closed previews and certainly no information at Gamescom despite the game being available for showcase to retailers. When you look back at the massive hype for Grand Theft Auto 5 in 2013, where screenshots, trailers and details were being released every other day, it’s certainly a stark contrast.
Does that mean Rockstar will indeed bite the bullet and delay Grand Theft Auto 5 for current gen and PC? Has it run into problems with the updated ports that may facilitate focus on the PS4 and Xbox One releases first with PC arriving later? Will it just drop a PC port altogether since it can net all the moolah it wants from the ever-growing PS4 and Xbox One audience?
At this point, it’s difficult to really say. This is Rockstar we’re talking about here, a company that will not indicate any kind of confirmation about anything – even if the whole world has an inkling of the truth. In the months leading up to the Grand Theft Auto 5 announcement at E3 2014, Rockstar never even hinted that a current gen version was in the works. It’s also to the company’s credit that it never let any real solid leak of the same – since retailer listings can be hit or miss at times – come to light before E3.
Grand Theft Auto 5 isn’t like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us though, which recently received a Remastered version for the PS4 after just a year of availability on the PS3. It’s much, much larger in scope and will be out on three platforms rather than one. GTA Online is also far more extensive in the multiplayer department, something which Naughty Dog is still working on issues for. A single year couldn’t possibly be enough to update the visuals, gameplay and online experience for a new generation of consoles, could it?
"This is the company that touted the extreme scope and scale of Grand Theft Auto 5 and then told us a completely separate online experience would be available as well."
Look at Evolve, which was touted from the beginning of this year to be the “definitive” next gen game when it would release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Delayed. The Order: 1886 was to be the PS4’s first real action adventure title and showcase of power. Delayed. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? Delayed. Battlefield: Hardline? Delayed. Batman: Arkham Knight? Delayed. Hell, even games like Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Dragon Age: Inquisition saw short delays due to polish issues.
The only major releases which haven’t been delayed include Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Destiny and DriveClub (already facing a one year delay, since it was to launch with the PS4 in 2013). And really, if games like Watch Dogs have taught us anything, it’s that it’s never too late to delay a major release.
That being said, this is Rockstar we’re talking about. This is the company that touted the extreme scope and scale of Grand Theft Auto 5 and then told us a completely separate online experience would be available as well. This is the developer that managed things on the previous generation that several cross-generational games are yet to replicate.
The massive amounts of detail, gameplay and the overall open world of GTA V didn’t seem possible at launch until we witnessed it for ourselves. Really, if there’s any developer in the industry right now that can deliver a premier AAA experience as and when it says it will, it’s Rockstar Games.
Will Grand Theft Auto 5 be delayed? Anything is possible really and we wouldn’t hold it against the developer either way. The only thing we can hope for is that when it eventually releases for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, all known issues have been ironed out to make for the best possible experience. Whether there’s a delay or not, we’d far prefer the best GTA experience on current gen platforms eventually as opposed to a buggy mess that arrives on our doorsteps tomorrow.
Update: Rockstar Games has recently revealed that the release date of GTA 5 for the Xbox One, PC and PS4 remains “Fall 2014”. Take that as a sign of reassurance but we maintain our stance that we’d prefer a bug-free game as opposed to one rushed quickly. And not that one must but remain skeptical till the game is in your hands.