The debate: Will the delay do GTA V a favour? We mull over the Los Santos sandbox’s September push

GTA 5 wallpaper

 

With GTA 5′s release date set to September we consider if the delay will actually be a good thing for the series. Two of OPM’s best bang heads to decide whether waiting is wise or if the game should arrive NOW.

Yes explains patient open-worlder, Joel Gregory

The spring release date plastered across the final screens of its trailer always looked ambitious. Sure, Rockstar’s revamped LA pretender seems sparkling and shiny on the surface. But no one’s actually played GTA V yet – and you don’t go from a couple of trailers to boxes hitting shelves in a few short months with a game this size.

Rather than crying into your bloodstained baseball bats over the fact that we’re still months away from the return of the biggest sandbox around, though, there are plenty of reasons to rev your Banshee engines with glee. For one, this year is already top-loaded with quality: Tomb Raider, God Of War: Ascension, The Last Of Us – these are all arriving in spring, while autumn was looking like a barren, inhospitable wasteland for the committed gamer. No more.

More importantly, the extra months will allow Rockstar to do two things. Firstly, the studio will be able to properly realise one of the biggest environments in sandbox history, adding in the detail and nuance the genre often forgoes. We’re talking about one of the most high-profile game releases ever – do you want it done quick, or do you want it done right? And secondly, that September release date means we’ll be a lot nearer to PS4’s release window. Grand Theft Auto V in super-mega HD with special enhanced doohickeys? That has to be worth waiting for.

 

No whines Rockstar worshipper, Dave Meikleham

WAAAH! Me want new Gwand Thweft Autwo now! Eager man-baby no wike extwa six-month wait for megatwon twiple-A game. Hush now, inner infant Meiks. Yes, being plonked in the world’s most sarky, sociopathic waiting room until 17 September is going to be fun like having Franklin’s mutt Chop sic your, er, man area… actually, I’m struggling to think of a ‘but’. I reeeaaally want GTA V in May.

So while I should don my top hat of reason (the one that says ‘think how much more stable the framerate will be during those bank jobs’), I’d rather have my bonce freeze while I complain about the delay. Sales-wise, it can do nothing but harm the game. GTA may still be a cultural phenomenon among older PS3 players, but the series has been out in the car-jacking wilderness for five years. Last time a Rockstar North masterpiece conquered the charts it didn’t have to compete for shelf space with sales juggernauts such as Black Ops or post-Ezio Assassin’s Creed.

Assuming there are actually any high street shops left to sell the amoral open-worlder this autumn, putting it up against a COD or Battlefield will only damage its sales. From a critical standpoint the extra polish will do GTA V the power of good. Yet from a business one, where it’ll likely be competing with MW4 and FIFA 14, the outlook ain’t so rosy. Screw a Liberty City minute: I don’t want to wait another Los Santos second.

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