After years of waiting, Rockstar GamesGrand Theft Auto 5 is less than two weeks away, and anticipation is beginning to reach a fever pitch. That said, hype for the next generation of video game consoles is also beginning to build, and given how the next-gen is only a few months out it’s odd that Rockstar has no plans to port its most popular franchise to either the Xbox One or PS4.

According to Rockstar, however, there’s apparently no need to.

During a recent interview with IGN, Phil Hooker, Rockstar North’s associate technical director and combat designer, stated that the game was an incredible ambitious undertaking for Rockstar Games. Despite being on current hardware, though, Grand Theft Auto 5 still “feels ‘next generation’,” according to the developer.

“When we started we knew the scope of GTA V was huge and incredibly ambitious. Fortunately, from completing GTA IV, we had a team that was already very familiar with the hardware. Every aspect of the game had to be better, richer in gameplay and more fluid and knowing we were launching on the same platforms meant we could focus on extracting the most out of those consoles and making the game as fantastic as possible.”

“In the end we surpassed our own expectations and during development I think everyone working on the game has been astounded by improvements to the graphics, or new mechanics, or AI, or mission scope along the way. Hopefully the gamers will see all of these improvements at once in one go, compared to GTA IV this definitely feels ‘next generation’ to us.”

Based on the trailers and details we’ve gathered from Grand Theft Auto 5 thus far, Hooker can’t be too far off on his claims that the title feels next-gen. Everything from the submarines and planes to the immense Los Santos map that makes up the game are evidence that Rockstar has worked tirelessly in an effort to make this the biggest/best iteration of the series to-date, and that’s without even touching on the insanity that’s sure to be Grand Theft Auto Online.

Whether or not the game can deliver a next generation performance on current consoles remains to be seen, but fans and newcomers alike won’t be waiting much longer to find out.

Grand Theft Auto 5 releases on PS3 and Xbox 360 this September 17th.

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Source: IGN (via MCV)