Thursday, August 29, 2013

GTA V: PC Release Predictions


The PC community has been stuck in limbo when it comes to whether or not Grand Theft Auto will be released. As the resident PlayAsiaTV PC-lover I figured I'd lend my thoughts and perhaps quell some of the remaining Rockstar/Red Dead Redemption post-traumatic stress disorder that is running rampant in the PC community as of late.

Nvidia's announcement has been the only information that has been 'officially' released, and although they denied the information at a later stage - it is safe to say the 'announcement' was based on some sort of information. That information may have been a false-flag or a case of optimism, but it could have just as easily been an industry tip (i.e. porting is 'planned') that was confidential.

'Gamers are preparing their systems for a strong roster of games coming this fall, including blockbuster franchises such as Call of Duty: Ghosts, Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin's Creed IV.'
- Chris Evenden, Nvidia Senior Director of Investor Relations

This quote, given in the context of the evolving PC market, definitely gives the impression that Nvidia know SOMETHING. That something could be Nvidia's involvement, as a major hardware manufacturer, in the porting of the title. Of course, along with all other 'false information' this quote has been clarified and PR'ed to hell an back - so we are stuck speculating. And speculate I shall.

NEXT GENERATION CONSOLES: x86, Hardware, and PC Ports

One of the announcements that really got me pumped up as a PC gamer was the new x86 chips used in the Xbox One and PS4. This might seem like an odd favorite to have considering the plethora of crazy announcements that have come out but it is super important for GTA V and PC gaming in general: ports, ports, and more ports. A large portion of the biggest AAA titles are ported to PC, and anything that streamlines that process is perfect for me.

With all the changes, developers will be able to work with familiar hardware which will make it significantly easier to port titles to and from systems. Not to mention hardware upgrades in next generation consoles opening up even more avenues for developers to create higher quality ports to PC. 

This is where my prediction for the GTA V PC release finally kicks in. After GTA V is released, or at least the final version is ship-ready for PS4/XONE, the game will be substantially easier to port over to PC. There is no reason for the developer, from an efficiency point of view, to port to PC prior to that point. Not to mention the extended hype the title can generate by being ambiguous. By announcing a date for PC, Rockstar can hurt their console sales - especially for consumers that have multiple platforms. The quote we, and many other inquiring minds, were given is "we are focusing on consoles right now" - a clever piece of half-information. 
Just a 'typo' or a marketing ploy?

Let's keep this all in perspective: GTA V for PS4 and XONE are receiving the exact same treatment (false flags, covering up their tracks) from Rockstar. They are simply covering their asses, and can we blame them? Sure it can be frustrating not knowing, but the gaming community can definitely throw a fit if a release date is pushed back - and Rockstar not having knowledge of the future need to keep this in mind. 

But you came here for my predictions. The PS4 is scheduled for release on November 15th, the XONE should follow soon after - around late November. If we allow time for GTA V to be released shortly thereafter, and then the time it takes to port the title - we are looking at a release date of February/March for PC. Keep in mind that it took 8 months for GTA IV to come to PC, and most Rockstar games take about 200 days from console to PC release. Of course this is just an educated guess and we might get RDR'ed again. But I'm keeping optimistic.

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