One of the biggest entertainment launches in history is underway, as Grand Theft Auto 5 released to rave reviews, excited franchise fans, and a few frequently asked questions. The latest GTA installment is poised to break series sale records and is well on its way to becoming one of the biggest titles of 2013 – even before the multiplayer component, Grand Theft Auto Online, goes live at the beginning of October.
However, despite solid pre-order sales (and monumental day one purchases), a few reluctant fans are still holding-out – as they await confirmation (or denial) of possible ports to PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It’s understandable enough, prior reports indicated that the title could be coming to PC as well as PS4 and Xbox One – so it’s understandable that some gamers would hold out to experience the world of Los Santos powered by next-generation hardware. Still, while some evidence points to the possibility of the game eventually arriving on next-generation consoles, Rockstar Games maintains that there are currently no plans in place to support the game on PS4 (or Xbox One).
Speaking to The Guardian, Grand Theft Auto 5 co-writer and Rockstar Games VP of creativity, Dan Houser, asserted that the team is obviously interested in developing titles for the next-generation consoles but that Grand Theft Auto 5 will not be appearing on PS4 (or likely Xbox One):
“Of course we’re interested. But no, not in terms of GTA, because we’re always working on the current game. We look at the tech at a more practical level: what will be ready for which game that we’re working on further down the line. We don’t have another GTA in development, we don’t work on three of these games at a time. That would be phenomenally depressing.
“So, in terms of GTA, no. We get pitched by the hardware manufacturers on what they’re planning to do and our tech guys come up with ideas on how that could be used. Does this influence design decisions? Of course. But we’re not sat there fantasizing about 10 years down the line. We’re so busy with what we’re doing right now.”
Houser raises a fair point and, given that Grand Theft Auto 5 is selling just fine on current-generation hardware, it makes sense that the team would make their own jump to PS4 and Xbox One by designing a title from the ground up – not simply porting a game that was made to run on PS3 and Xbox 360. After all, Rockstar has already stated that Grand Theft Auto 5 “feels” next-gen. References to the PC and Orbis (the early PS4 alias) have been found buried in GTA5 code, so it’s certainly possible that the developer will re-release the title on next-gen systems a year or two down the line. Still, it’s understandable if Rockstar does not want to make that information public when they’re focused on getting the existing version out the gate – but it’s equally likely that there are currently no fixed plans to bring the title to PS4 and Xbox One.
That said, for gamers who are still holding out hope, keep in mind that while backwards compatibility appears to be a thing of the past, publishers are making the jump into the next-gen slightly more user friendly with PS4 and Xbox One upgrade options (where players are charged a nominal fee for a next-gen digital copy of a title they purchased on a current-gen disc). There’s no guarantee that, if PS4 and Xbox One versions even exist, Rockstar Games would offer a similar deal but given the strong denials from the developer, it’s easy to imagine they’d need to offer established fans some form of discount – should they unveil a next-generation version of the same title in the not-too-distant future.
For now, PC players still have enough reason to expect that GTA5 could come to the non-console world but gamers who are waiting on PS4 and Xbox One ports should probably just take the plunge. Even if next-generation versions are in development, it’s clear that it will be some time before they arrive and, after all, is it really worth missing all the release excitement on the chance that Rockstar Games is spreading misinformation?
Grand Theft Auto 5 is available now for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.