Published on August 3rd, 2007 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder5
Are the GTA IV Woes Multi-Platform?
The internet is ablaze with spectulation of what caused the Grand Theft Auto IV delays recently announced by Rockstar. Immediately, as expected, the fanboys of both consoles related began spouting nonsense.
With Xbox 360 gamers claiming the PS3’s difficulty to develop for, and PS3 gamers claiming that DVD-9 isn’t large enough, things have gotten a bit crazy. Even widely-known analysts are showing their fanboy-ish colors — Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter claimed that PS3 development and contractual agreement was behind the hyped game’s delay:
“We think it is likely that the Rockstar team had difficulty in building an exceptionally complicated game for the PS3, and failed to recognise [sic] how far away from completion the game truly was until recently,” said Pachter.
“We think it is also likely that Take-Two had a contractual commitment to Sony that it would not favour competitor Microsoft by launching the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV prior to launching the PS3 version, and believe that any delay of the PS3 version necessitated a delay of the Xbox 360 version,” he added.
That didn’t help matters much, to say the least. At least until Level Up – a Newsweek gaming blog heralded by N’Gai Croal – announced a different story:
Until earlier this week, when a source informed us that Microsoft had sent a shock team of engineers to help Rockstar complete the game, much of the gossip surrounding problems with GTA IV centered around the Playstation 3 version.
I don’t know about anyone else, but that says quite a bit more about the current state of GTA IV than anything else out there. If Microsoft sees GTA IV’s current situation as important enough to send out a team of engineers to help Rockstar out, then it’s very likely beyond platform issues and firmly into the realm of game issues.
Croal’s point is the first I’ve seen since the news was announced that didn’t place all the blame on one specific platform. There’s no ‘scapegoat console’ in this situation, and to suggest one seems farcical in my opinion. Rockstar has been one of the best developers of the last generation when it comes to storytelling, but as N’Gai points out, they’ve only had to develop for one console at a time until now. They made one version and ported it to other consoles afterwards. Developing on two consoles which have different capabilities and approaches to the same possible outcome make the job a bit tougher.
Rockstar simply needed more time.
Is this knowledge likely to calm the droves of fanboys and fangirls from their feeble attempts at smashing the other console in the race? I’d say it’s highly doubtful. What it does for me though, is prove that Rockstar is dedicated to bringing gamers the best possible experience their money can buy regardless of which platform they own.
That fact, to me, makes all the difference.