Yes, October '07 is a long time away... especially because previously it has been rumored that GTA4 would launch this year, along with the PS3. Such rumors were not without merit, mind you, as previous iterations of the GTA franchise had launched at 2-year intervals, as has been noted elsewhere... i.e., GTA 3 was followed 2 years later by Vice City, which was followed 2 years later by San Andreas, in 2004.
As I see it, however, we need to take a realistic look at the situation, and think of the positive aspects of this unforseen 'delay'...
I. PS3 vs PS2 programming:
From what we've read so far, the PS3 will be at least eight times as powerful as the PS2, and provide many programming options which have previously been unavailable on a home gaming platform. Coding a game which takes full advantage of all of this hardware will, of couse, take a lot more time to do properly. As the next few years come to pass, it may become a good rule of thumb that all forthcoming PS3 GTA titles (and there WILL be more than one, I can guarantee you) will require at least 3 years of development between launch dates. Just think: PS2= new game every 2 years; PS3= 3 years. Mind you, even to maintain this schedule, Rock Star will have to hire at least double, if not triple, the staff as before. And the resulting games will likely take you 3x as long to complete as before, and 10x as long to get bored of (we're talking 10,000's of hours of play time).II. Purchasing your PS3:
If you are like me, you believe that GTA games are really the only games worth playing. There might be some others that we enjoy, like the Gran Turismo series, but 90% of our playing time is devoted to the what I feel to be the most immersive, interactive games ever created.
And now we have been told that a PS3 will set us back $500, or $600 with an enhanced hard drive. (As an aside, it is hard for me to imagine needing more than a 20 GB HD, when the original PS2 512 k Memory Cards contained enough space to save info for dozens of games. Playing the role of Devil's Advocate, however, given the exponential increase in the complexity of games, and the amount of info which they could accumulate regarding your progress and development, 20 GB may ultimately prove limiting, depending on how game developers take advantage of this capacity).
Anyway, my point is, even if you buy the 'entry level' PS3, $500 is a heluuva lot of money. And you'll have to pony it up pretty soon to get one by X-mas '06, by getting on a pre-order program at your local GameStop or somewhere. Upon release, PS3s will be a HOT item, and I can also guarantee that if you wait until November of this year to buy one (the official release date) you will be forced to pay up to a 200% markup through eBay because there will be almost NONE available on the store shelves this Holiday Season. TRUST me on this one, begin planning now!
SO, if the only game worth playing won't be available for almost an entire YEAR after the fact, why stress now? Let all of the Soccer Moms wanting to appease their bratty 12-year-olds duke it out in the isles of K-Mart this holiday season, and bid your time until 6 months later, when the chaos has subsided.
III: The New PS3 Controller
This week at E3 we have seen some exciting announcements regarding the new PS3 controller. Previously, we have all see photos of something looking like the Batmobile steering wheel, and thought "Why? The PS2 controller was perfect already..."
Well, this week we have learned that Sony has seen the error of their ways, and fallen back on a controller design that is nearly identical in shape and layout to the PS2 controller. Thank God!
However, we also know that the new PS3 controller will be wireless (and fear not, Sony's Bluetooth technology should get rid of any delay problems which have plauged earlier generation, 3rd-Party wireless PS2 controllers).
Not only that, but now we know that the new PS3 controller will feature Motion Sensing capability!!
I would not be suprised if RockStar is as suprised by this announcement as everybody else. Now that they have an entire extra year to polish their next title to perfection, we will likely see this motion-sensing capability incorporated into many areas of the game, not the least exciting of which could include new hand-to-hand combat moves, and more realistic motorcycle handling, for starters.
In conclusion, an extra year for GTA4 development may be a dissapointment for lots of folks, including myself, but in the end I think we will all be able to say 'it was worth it'.
In the meantime, anybody got any cheat codes to make the traffic in GTA: San Andreas drive on the left hand side of the road, to allow me to practice for what will likely be a UK-based GTA4?[b]
Edited by Silverman, 10 May 2006 - 07:01 PM.