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GTA 5 o'Clock: 8 ways PS4 could improve the Los Santos experience

GTAVoclock updates every Wednesday at 5pm GMT on YouTube.

GTA5 isn't confirmed for PS4, of course - but given its estimated $138m development cost, we doubt publisher Take Two is ruling it out. Industry analyst Michael Pachter
agrees, telling Gamertag radio that GTA 5 will appear on PS4 "Eventually. But not at launch" - a view echoed by Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz.

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Sony and Microsoft would clearly welcome GTA 5 on their next-gen consoles, and since both machines are effectively PCs it would make sense to develop the PC/PS4/Xbox 720 versions side-by-side. If history is any precedent, the PC version of GTA IV arrived six months after the console versions, with enhanced resolutions plus a new video editor.

GTAV's delay from 'Spring 2013' to September 17, 2013 led to increased speculation about next gen development. Rockstar's newswire was quick to address 'conspiracies' but failed to elaborate. "To those of you saying or seeing various conspiracy theories about there being some other ulterior motive for this delay, rest assured that they're all nonsense - literally the only reason we've delayed the release is because we want the game to be as good as it needs to be."

To be clear: GTA 5 will debut on PS3/360 - almost certainly on September 17 barring a near-unthinkable further delay - and this explanation makes sense. Rockstar's 'biggest open world' ever requires a fastidious level of polish, and we can only imagine the balancing issues when trying to create dynamic missions and populating such a vast expanse.

However, being cynical / realistic, this ambiguous statement closes no doors. Months ago, our weekly GTAV YouTube show @GTAVoclock predicted that GTA 5 would make the leap to next gen and the reasoning holds. It'd be *relatively* cost effective to develop across PC/PS4/Xbox 720, and the reward could be huge - especially given the likelihood of DLC.

We've investigated eight ways PlayStation 4 can transform GTA 5 below - based on confirmed specs, features and historical precedent - with videos and insight from our weekly GTA show GTAVoclock. It's not to be taken too seriously, but Rockstar has a history for optimising its games to suit the format, as the videos in this article prove.


1. 1080p and 60 FPS

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It doesn't sound like a seismic leap, but GTA IV on PS3 'only' ran at a natively rendered 1152x640 before being software upscaled - hence the slightly fuzzy, warm glow compared to the 360 version. The frame rate varied between 23FPS (for intense missions like Rigged to Blow) and up to 29FPS (for missions like Final Destination).

Rockstar has a history of exploiting a format's unique features, and the in-game TV shows ran at a higher resolution on PS3 than 360 (with multiple camera angles) due to the presence of the Blu-ray drive. To see how GTA 5 might look on PS4 (based on cutting edge PC mods of GTAIV), plus what we can learn from Killzone Shadow Fall on PS4, watch the video above.


2. Draw distance and 8Gb GDDR5 RAM

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It's hard not to overstate the importance of PS4's huge internal ram. It uses 8Gb of GDDR5 RAM (a considerably faster form of memory than standard DDR3), compared to the 512Mb in PS3. That's a 16x leap in internal memory, when console generation leaps usually bring a 6-8x increase. PS3's 512Mb RAM was also hampered by its split architecture, as outlined in the video below, using the example of Skyrim.

Bottom line: a huge volume of RAM allows more textures etc to be held in memory, allowing for considerably greater draw distances (how far you can see into the horizon), plus less 'pop in' - both factors that have affected previous GTAs. PS4 also has a 6x Blu-ray drive (compared to 2x in PS4), so stealth installs of data, like we saw in Dragon's Dogma, should be quicker.
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