GTA 5 delay: PC Gamer reacts

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The PC release of Grand Theft Auto 5 has been delayed. First we were told that there definitely was no PC version at all, and then that there would be, but only after the PS4 and Xbox One versions released, and now that it still needs “testing and polish” before we can play it—on March 24th instead of this month. The PC Gamer editors gathered around to discuss their feelings: are delays for more polish always a good thing?

Samuel Roberts

At this point, an extra delay for polish isn’t too bad to me—it kind of adds up when the game hasn’t even been priced on Steam yet. It would’ve been nice to have something big arrive on PC in January, but given that this 4K-enabled 60fps port will significantly outstrip the PS4 version in performance, I think it’ll still be worth the wait. The screenshots released today are extraordinary. I can’t wait to explore a version of Los Santos that looks that good. The 360 version looks like Lego by comparison.

Best news out of all this to me is the generous system requirements, especially compared to some of the hefty demands of games like The Evil Within and Assassin’s Creed in the past few months. It makes sense that GTA V will scale well, given that it arrived on what is now nine year-old hardware back in 2013, but this makes me confident that we’re getting a really well-optimised port on PC.

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Tom Senior

I’d rather Rockstar took their time and GTA 5 comes out properly optimised for PC. Since GTA 4’s chuggy PC implementation Rockstar’s PC ports have been decent. Max Payne’s shiny bald head looked lovely in super-high res. That’s what Rockstar mean by “polish”. Those scalps gotta gleam.

I have a PS4, and could have caved in and bought GTA 5 months ago. I’d never do that of course because I work here, but even if I didn’t, I’d still hang on for the mod support, the video editor (which was great fun in GTA 4 and encouraged some hilarious user-made movies), and for the fact that all my friends will be playing GTA Online on PC. Ultimately I’m not too worried about how GTA 5 will run. I think it’ll be fine. I’m much more concerned about the resilience of Rockstar’s servers. Will they melt come launch week?

Phil Savage

I have over 120 games sat in a category of my Steam library called “To Play”. What I'm saying is that I'm in no rush for another game that's potentially hundreds of hours in length. My biggest problem with the delay is it means two more months before modders get their hands on the game, which means two more months before the community can crowbar it open and do something weird. I've played GTA 5—albeit not the bells and whistles current-gen version. Now I want to see it pushed to the limit.

As for the system requirements, it's hard to complain. The recommended specs are comparable to most recent game's minimum requirements. Most PC gamers should have no issue getting the game to run in some form—even if they can't manage the full 4K experience. That's great news for those not yet ready to upgrade. This year will see a big, enjoyable release that most PC enthusiasts will be able to play. If a few extra months ensures a smoother experience for all, it'll be worth the wait.

Andy Kelly

Some people are getting pretty mad about the delay. But I’m sure if you looked at their Steam libraries they’d have a hundred unplayed games. I was looking forward to replaying GTA V on PC at the end of the month, but I’ll just play something else instead. Like all those games I bought in the last Steam sale that I haven’t so much as glanced at, or the dozen I got from the last Humble Bundle. If Rockstar think the game needs more work, that’s probably a good thing. I’d rather they release a complete experience rather than something half-baked that will need a dozen follow-up patches to work properly.

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Tim Clark

Having already hammered the game on PS3, I took a quick look at the PS4 version over Christmas. The 1080prettification is impressive, but I decided to raincheck on playing through the story again, because I’d rather see just how good it can look running on a high-end rig. From these first shots, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. The real question is whether to hang on and see what the modding community comes up with. So yeah, I’m happy to wait a little longer. If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth threatening someone with a blowtorch to do it for you. Sorry, channelling my inner Trevor. He’s right though.

Chris Livingston

I'm OK with the delay. I've already played through the game on 360, so I'm not in a major rush to play it on PC, with two exceptions. I'm naturally interested to see what modders can do with it—I've been living off GTA IV mods for years—and I barely played any of the game online, because I have zero console friends. I'm really excited to jump into online with my PC friends, though, so in that regard I'm a little disappointed at having to wait a couple more months.

Evan Lahti

More time means more difference between the PC and console versions, I reckon. Isn’t that ultimately what we care about, getting a GTA game that’s designed for our platform? That, and GTA having a smooth launch, which Rockstar says that the extra time is meant for. I wish they hadn’t initially told us that it was coming in January, but if the end result is a pleasant launch for what’s likely to be one of 2015’s biggest games I think we’ll forget it was delayed at all.

Tom Marks

GTA 5 being delayed for bug squashing is really annoying. I love that the game will be a more polished and perfected experience when it (hopefully) comes out in March, but I am sick and tired of release dates being treated as guidelines rather than deadlines. This isn’t the first time a big name game has been delayed for polish—The Witcher 3 was delayed again for a similar reason just last month—but I hope it’s the last. After a year of botched releases, some big studios finally seem to be realizing that players aren’t happy when a game is sold broken, but it’s time for them to start realizing that before a month from launch.

The video game industry has a fundamental problem with its production cycles. The pace of the market forces developers into promising very short turnaround times and then inevitably realizing that they will fall short. This doesn’t fly in the comparable (though, admittedly, not identical) industries of TV and film where, for comparison, Marvel Studios has announced the exact release dates of nearly all its movies until 2020, and I would be willing to bet that none of them miss their date. I want developers to tell us the truth about how much time they need rather than that they need more time. “GTA 5 comes out in March” makes me excited. “GTA 5 being delayed until March” makes me angry.

Tyler Wilde

What’s GTA? Garfield’s Train Adventure? I’d play that. I mean, imagine Garfield on a train! Wacky. But like most everyone else here, I have a library full of unplayed stuff from last year, so I’m alright with a slow start to this year. Honestly, I’ll probably wait even longer than the delay to play GTA 5. Everyone else already played it in 2013, so that train with Garfield on it has sort of passed, and I’m just not a big enough fan to care much about it without all that initial excitement and discussion. I’m sure it was really fun when everyone was discovering stuff and sharing stories in 2013, but come March 2015 we’ll all be talking about the imminent release of The Witcher 3, and that’s what I’ll be thinking about.

I guess after all the gifs, videos, and stories over the past year, I feel like I’ve already played GTA 5. It’s that phenomenon where the more other people talk about how great something is, the less I want any part of it—the same reason it took me forever to watch The Godfather. I'm glad I finally did, but I did it on my own terms: alone, quietly muttering “ah, so that’s that scene people always reference,” and free of judgment from people who’ve spent their lives obsessing over it.


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