The online rumor mills are on fire! With GTA Online’s rapidly approaching release date, gamers are getting antsy over another Rockstar release date. No, Rockstar isn’t releasing some secret project just weeks after launching GTA 5, (that we know of, at least), what they’re getting riled up over is the possible release date of the PC version of GTA 5. An online retailer GameSeek has begun taking pre-orders for GTA 5 for PC and has listed a release date of November 22, just 55 days from now. Whether the date posted is true or not has yet to be confirmed and has begun a copious amount of debate online over the subject. As much as we here at GR hope that the wait for a PC playthrough of GTA 5 is only 55 days away, we’re not exactly ready to get our hopes up just yet. With the history of hostility between Rockstar and PC gamers, we’re staying on the fence for now but it doesn’t prohibit our theorizing over whether this rumor is true or not.
Why the Rumor is Likely False:
PC gamers had to wait 7 months to get their hands on Rockstar’s first 3D iteration of GTA. Released on PS2 in October, the PC version of GTA 3 didn’t hit shelves until May of the following year. The follow up to GTA 3, Vice City had the same buffer between platform releases, inciting nerd rage across hemispheres. By GTA San Andreas, the wait was almost 8 months for a PC gamer; with GTA 4, which had a game changing release date of April of 08, PC gamers had to watch on in agony as the console hardware struggled to perform at PC levels until December of the same year. Why they would suddenly alter this scheduling format, we can’t give a sensible reason, and while we understand why the delay was made, we will never forgive being left behind.
It’s been a long and tried tradition for console makers to design and/or schedule platform exclusive game releases to help promote sales. GTA III was such a magnificent feat, and obvious hit that Sony jumped at Rockstar to create a limited exclusivity contract with Rockstar. The PS2 was new and its hardware too close to its competitor to ensure a dramatic lead in sales, so they went with the next best option, capture and captivate with software. Sony and Rockstar became close bedfellows and the relationship has yet to tarnish.
Timing is too Coincidental
The other highly anticipated Sandbox game Watchdogs is slated to be released on November 19th in the US and November 22nd in the UK. It makes little to no sense for Rockstar to directly compete with Ubisoft in the PC gamers market. While GTA 5 has a huge anticipation factor on its side, Watchdogs is releasing on consoles and Windows concurrently. This alone could potentially direct gamers to hand over their hard earned cash to Ubisoft.
Rockstar Has Stayed Silent
Rockstar has yet to mention anything concerning a PC release date for GTA 5, and why would they? They have a vested interest in the console copies being sold. Why provide info that could potentially hurt their sales figures. They want you to purchase two copies. Hell, they’d prefer you bought three, one for each system and a copy for a friend. Even if November 22 is the planned release date for a PC version of GTA 5, there’s no reason to tell you until about a week prior.
Why it Might Be True:
Rockstar Has Stayed Silent
This one works either way here. If the rumor is in fact true, the best thing Rockstar can do is stay silent. If they come out and say, “No, we aren’t releasing the PC version on day X”, not only do they lose the online commotion over the rumor, but they also have to concern themselves with more disparaging marks from PC gamers.
PC Screenshots Have Been Posted Online
We’re all familiar with the phrase, “Pics or it didn’t happen”, well, pics have been posted online. These could be real, but they could also be faked easily enough and no one here feels like spending the time to dissect the jpegs. Some of us are of the opinion, don’t believe everything you see, while others say they only believe what they can see with their own eyes. In the era of digital manipulation, we’re going to let you form your own opinion here.
What do you think? Will we be seeing GTA 5 for PC on shelves in the next two months or will PC gamers be waiting until March/April? I hope for the former, but I expect the later.