We are less than 24 hours from the GTA V release date, at least, those of us who remain law abiding gamers. For the technically gifted and morally flexible, GTA V has been a low-hanging torrent fruit floating around online all weekend. And proof of a GTA V PC release date may have been discovered among the files torn from secure servers and served up to anxious fans like clams at an orgy.
The GTA V PC release date proof came to my attention on Cinemablend, which reported on the data being leaked in a Pastebin file via Reddit. What exactly was the GTA V Pc release date proof spotted in the Xbox 360 files? According to the code, there is a section detailing "PC configuration overrides" as well as a line of "pc" code that seems to indicate a GTA V PC release date is in the cards for fans. A PS4 version was also allegedly found in the game code under the platform name "Orbis," which fans remember was the codename given to the PS4 during development.
A GTA V PC release date should come as no surprise to anyone who's been following recent GTA V news. Just last month, an executive at Nvidia spilled the beans about a GTA V PC release during a conference call with investors. Chris Evenden was speaking about the near future of the PC gaming market and said the following:
The PC market is evolving. As entry level laptops face pressure from tablets. Yet sales of specialty PCs like gaming systems and work stations continue to grow. The disparity reflects how consumers use these different classes of PCs. Many consumers look for PC as a general purpose device they can use for browsing, email, social media video. But much of this can be better served by a tablet. In contrast, 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.
Ok, so, if a GTA V PC release date is really really real (as it appears from the Xbox 360 code and the Nvidia story) then when can we expect a GTA V PC release date? Well, a few months ago PC Gamer analyzed the timetables of previous GTA games to try and get an educated guess as to when the GTA V PC release ate may be upon us. The short answer? Not soon:
If we look at all games in the Grand Theft Auto series since Vice City, we can see that it's about 462 days, on average, between the announcement of the game and the announcement (not release) of the PC version. It's a slightly more reasonable 212 days between the first console release and the PC release.
If we take the average time between console and PC announcement and add it to GTA 5′s original announcement date of October 13, 2011, that should have put the PC release date announcement around January 17, 2013. No such luck. Assuming they're going to make us wait just as stupidly long as they did for GTA 4 (821 days from the first E3 tease, for the record), we'll be hearing about a PC release date around January 11, 2014. Every main series entry since Vice City has failed to announce a PC ship date until after the first console version shipped.
On the off chance that Rockstar makes us wait as long for a PC announcement as they did on GTA 4, and as long between PC announcement and PC release as they did on San Andreas, we've been shoved back to July 4, 2014.
Since July 4, 2014 is a Friday, adjust the formula and you get a GTA V PC release date of either July 1 or July 8, the two closest Tuesdays to PC Gamer's prediction. And what about specs? What kind of hardware do you need on the GTA V PC release date to run the game at full capacity? A report on The BitBag sheds some light on what, exactly, PC users should expect if they want to run GTA V. Here are the specs required to run the latest Rockstar title, Max Payne 3, direct from Rockstar's website:
LOWEST TESTED SPECS Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit) Intel Dual Core 2.4 GHZ or AMD Dual Core 2.6 GHZ, or better 2GB System RAM NVIDIA® GeForce 8600 GT 512MB RAM or AMD RadeonTM HD 3400 512MB RAM
LOW RECOMMENDED SPECS Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit) Intel Dual Core 3GHz or AMD equivalent 3GB System RAM NVIDIA® GeForce 450 512MB RAM or AMD RadeonTM HD 4870 512MB RAM
HIGH RECOMMENDED SPECS Windows 7/Vista (32 or 64 bit) Intel i7 Quad Core 2.8Ghz or AMD equivalent 3GB System RAM NVIDIA® GeForce 480 1GB RAM or AMD RadeonTM HD 5870 1GB RAM
HIGHEST TESTED SPECS Windows 7/Vista (64 bit) Intel i7 3930K 6 Core x 3.06 GHZ or AMD FX8150 8 Core x 3.6 GHZ 16GB System RAM NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 680 2GB RAM or AMD RadeonTM HD 7970 3GB RAM
Other Requirements HDD Space: 35 GB Sound Card: 100% Direct X 9.0 compatible - Direct X 9.0 compatible supporting Dolby Digital Live
So we have some idea of the specs and the timetable for a GTA V PC release date? Could they be way off? Definitely. With the launch of next-gen consoles happening this holiday season, as well as early reports that GTA V is struggling to run on current gen consoles, it's entirely possible we'll see a GTA V PC/Next-Gen release date sooner than next summer. The real question is if Rockstar will have one out by this holiday season. If we don't see a next-gen GTA V by Christmas I think it's unlikely we'll see one in early 2014.
But who cares? GTA V is upon in less than 24 hours and that is more than enough to get me to forget about a super-smooth next-gen/PC port ... for a little while, at least.