The PC platform is certainly not a platform to be ignored, as there is a plethora of PC dedicated fans of the video game series. An example for that is the modding community who help day by day increase the longevity of each of the past GTA titles. These dedicated fans have bought multiplayer into games like Vice City and San Andreas also without the coding, vehicles, maps, characters, tools and the other things they have created over the years these titles would have been long forgotten.
Another example is the petition created by a fan right after R* announced Grand Theft Auto V for the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 platforms, calling on Rockstar Games to release their biggest open-world action adventure game to the PC platform simultaneously, a la the same date as the consoles. This petition has more than 170,000 online signatures so far, yet R* never responded [directly]. The most logical explanation would be that releasing the game on the same release date as the consoles’ may not be the best marketing decision – well, at least that’s the case for R*.
According to the poll of the GTA V Forum’s Which Platform? topic, more people are willing to play the game on the PC rather than the Xbox 360. But the sales usually prove otherwise, as R* shipped 22 million copies of Grand Theft Auto IV as of September 2011, and according to VGChartz – a somewhat reliable source [and keep in mind that these numbers are accurate guesstimates] – 19.5 million copies were console versions, where as only 2.5 out of the 22 million are PC copies. Usually the low number could be explained as a cause from the delay of the PC version, but apparently it’s the same case with Max Payne 3, R*‘s “biggest and boldest marketing effort thus far”, as R* reported as of July 2012 the shipping of 3 million units of the game – 2.5 million are of the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 consoles, while about half a million units shipped were of the PC versions.
Since Grand Theft Auto III, R* has made the tradition of releasing their Grand Theft Auto titles for the PC months after the initial consoles release, a series which was born on that very platform. It’s well known thatthe Grand Theft Auto series started on the PC platform, with the PS1 port released shortly after, followed by a sequel. However this pattern changed from the first 3D game of the series, as Grand Theft Auto III was planned for a Playstation 2/SEGA Dreamcast release, with the latter being canceled in the early phase of the development process. The PC and the Xbox versions followed months after. This change in the series’ lead platform was likely due to the noticeable higher amount of sales on the PS1 rather than the PC version.
Since then, people have always been very skeptical towards claims of a PC version in the works, or even the game being released on the PC at all – right after the announcement of the platforms. However there have been several “hints” pointing towards the contrary of these beliefs.
For example, the development of the PC version of the game may have just been acknowledged to us through the R* Support team when a fan asked about the possibility of SLI support, they may have accidentally provided him a “confirmation” of the PC version, rather than denying it being in the works:
“…once we get ahead on the launch date then we all will gain more information on GTA V and its system requirements.”
The R* support team are aware of what’s happening “backstage”, and they’ve never denied a PC version of the game – and it happened more than once, as they commented again on the PC subject right after announcing the platforms for V. This, could be considered the closest we have to a proof that there will be a PC version of GTA V, but it won’t be released initially:
”…about the PC platform, we’re currently focused on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game and don’t have any details to share about a PC version at this time.”
Remember, in the case of Red Dead Redemption, R* made a statement explaining that[b] they had no plans[/b] for a PC port at all. Keep in mind that Red Dead Redemption was developed by R* San Diego, a studio which released only 1 game on the PC platform out of a total of 8 since the studio was acquired by Take Two back in 2002, and that game was Midnight Club 2.
Also several sites [including Amazon] have listed the game available for pre-order already, even though it’s not announced yet. These retailers are well aware of what they’re selling, and certainly they won’t be listing games without any confirmation, or based on rumours “they heard”. This happened before with several games [to be listed for pre-ordering prior to their announcement], only to be confirmed afterwards.
The PC version always had several alterations from the consoles’, such as a customizable radio station, an in-game video editor, multiplayer modes supporting up to 32 players and of course a wider range of graphics options. The game also has a much bigger size than the consoles’ versions, and that’s mostly for the textures, pre-rendered cutscenes and audio.
Regarding the graphics, Max Payne 3 used a form of Tessellation called Phong Tessellation, which worked on character and vehicle models, benefiting from the use of Hull, Tessellation and Domain shaders. Also of course the game had the option of selecting higher quality/resolution textures and the possibility to scale the quality of water, shadows, character detail. It’s also possible select your DirectX version, with the choices of DX9, DX10 and DX11. DX11.1 support is expected If R* decides to re-use this option for GTAV.
The game also supported Ambient Occlusion, in the form of SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) and HDAO (High Definition Ambient Occlusion). That’s in addition to Fast Approximate and Multisample Anti Aliasing, two important features that should’ve been added for GTA IV.
Should we be expecting all these features in Grand Theft Auto V? Definitely. For a [possible] 2014 PC game, it’s a necessity. If they did it with Max Payne 3, then they’ll definitely do it with GTA V; both games are developed using the same engine.
Port or Development
There’s been a lot of discussion on whether if the game will be yet another port as GTA IV, or will it be developed simultaneously with the Xbox 360 and the PS3 versions of the game, as Max Payne 3. And as of far, it seems that it’s going to be “somewhat” developed in parallel with the PS3 and the Xbox 360 consoles, but with a different release date – and here’s why.
The closest we ever got to a confirmation is a statement from Dan Houser [on an interview with Multiplayer.it] explaining that the game has no lead-platform, which might just mean that they could be pulling more effort on the PC version this time, since it’s very likely that it’s being developed. S1LVER_W0LF made a topic on 10 possible reasons why the PC version could be in the works, and they’re quite plausible).
R* is likely not to port GTA V in the same “peculiarity” as with IV; since the latter was their first game developed using RAGE to be ported to the PC. However, considering their lastest installment to the PC – Max Payne 3 – and the optimized engine, it seems to be near impossible for them to back-pedal and release another poor port. Also it’s been said that the studio that’s [already] working on the development is R* Leeds, the same studio behind the PC versions of Max Payne 3 and L.A. Noire.
As known and mentioned before, R* has been releasing their Grand Theft Auto games to the PC several months after the initial release date since III, and if it wasn’t for the relatively low sales it would’ve definitely been a different case. There are two potential factors that could be cause of the delay, or the late release of the PC version – and it could be listed in points in the following:
● It’s customary of game companies [such as R*] to release their games initially to the consoles before being ported to the PC platform. Even though R* could profit in the PC “station” with a simultaneous release, they may score a larger loss in general through piracy.
● With consoles nowadays are hacked to their limits, and game cracks and serial code generators available only hours after the game’s released or leaked in the case of PC, it’s never been easier to pirate before. Though the Multiplayer is a major selling point, but will it be enough for convincing purchasing the game for that alone? Well, Benzies had the following to say regarding the upcoming game’s Multiplayer:
”…and on the multiplayer side we hope that GTA V will do for multiplayer open world games what GTA 3 did for open world single-player games.”
Leslie Benzies, IGN Interview
We should be able to know more about the Multiplayer aspect in due time, as R*’s planning to do a reveal soon.
● DRM puts restrictions on paying consumers that drives them to pirate, such as allowing a limited use of serial keys, or the always online restrictions such as SimCity which didn’t turn out to be a success.
● GTA sales on the PC platform have mounted up to %10 as of far. Of course R* would’ve given more attention to the PC platform and released their games simultaneously if the sales matched as those of the consoles – R* is a company after all. It used to be the PC that was the lead platform.
● The PC version of GTA IV was released a long 6 months after the consoles’, and the sales of course were worse than what was expected if the game was released initially alongside the PS3 and the X360.
● Regarding development on the PC, R* North doesn’t usually develop or port their games to the PC platform, it’s usually done by a different studio, i.e. R* Leeds or Toronto. R* Toronto produced a poorly coded port of GTA IV, with insanely high system requirements. That’ definitely going to affect the sales if it happens again with GTA V. If your PC isn’t able to run the game properly, there’s no reason to purchase it. For the reasons mentioned above, it’s safe to say that the PC version of GTA V (and every previous installment since III) was delayed because of piracy, a factor that negatively affects the sales. As for the release date itself, the game might just be released on the ]1st quarter of 2014, with a similar gap between the console and the PC versions of GTA IV.
Whenever there’s an on-going discussion about the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V, the system requirements is a subject that is always brought up. It certainly can’t be easily predicted, as it is something that heavily depends on the quality of the development – hence, complete guesswork. Note that these requirements are heavily based on the Max Payne 3 system requirements – in other words, what could’ve been MP3’s requirements if it was released a year and a half to two years later.
LOWEST TESTED SPECS
Windows 8/7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
Intel Dual Core 2.8 GHZ or AMD Dual Core 3.0 GHZ, or better
2GB System RAM
NVIDIA® GeForce 9600 GT 512MB RAM or AMD Radeon™ HD 4000 512MB RAM
LOW RECOMMENDED SPECS
Windows 8/7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
Intel Dual Core 3.2GHz or AMD equivalent
4GB System RAM
NVIDIA® GeForce 550Ti 1GB RAM or AMD Radeon™ HD 5770 1GB RAM
HIGH RECOMMENDED SPECS
Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (32 or 64 bit)
Intel i7 Quad Core 3Ghz or AMD equivalent
4GB System RAM
NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 660 GB 2RAM or AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 3GB RAM
HIGHEST TESTED SPECS
Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (64 bit)
Intel i7 4770K 4 Core x 3.50 GHZ or AMD FX8150 8 Core x 3.6 GHZ
16GB System RAM
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 680 2GB RAM or AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 3GB RAM
HDD Space: 30 to 45GB Sound Card: 100% Direct X 9.0 compatible – Direct X 9.0 compatible supporting Dolby Digital Live.
If your system happens to meet any of these requirements, then you may just able to run GTA V properly, that’s if the quality of the development is par with Max Payne 3’s.