Grand Theft Auto V hitting PS5/Xbox Series S|X in November
Rockstar's gift that keeps on giving will go out with a bang... hopefully
It's fair to say that most modern video games are deemed impressively successful if still played by a couple of million people 18 or 24 months after their initial release - so we may have to invent a new term in order to describe Grand Theft Auto V, which is still played by millions and millions (and millions) of people since it launched on PS3 and Xbox 360... back in 2013. In the meantime, it’s been expanded with a separate multiplayer mode (GTA Online), remastered for PS4/Xbox One, re-remastered for PC and now re-re-remastered for PS5/Xbox Series S|X. No other open-world single-player game in history has gone through three different console generations but, then again, only Minecraft has managed to sell more copies than Grand Theft Auto V. Which is saying something.
One would have thought that 140.000.000 copies of GTA V would be quite enough for Rockstar's bottom line but... no: the company will be asking even more money of millions of players on November 11th, when the "expanded and enhanced versions of Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online are arriving on PlayStation5 and Xbox Series X|S with new features and more". The word "arriving" means "commercially available", as in "for purchase", as in" for money", which is what everyone's assuming will be the case for the complete new versions of GTA V for PS5/XSS/XSX, as well as for upgrades from the PS4/XO versions.
Evidently, nobody at Rockstar HQ has heard that many - if not most - publishers offer upgrades of their PS4/Xbox One games to PS5/XSS/XSX versions for free, even if these games are out for just a few short months (let alone for 8 years). Or everyone at Rockstar HQ has and they simply do not think that PS4/Xbox One owners are entitled to such upgrades. Now that would seem awfully greedy and not at all what a company mindful of remaining in the gaming community's good graces would opt for... unless there's a good reason.
Rumor has it that the PS5/XSS/XSX versions are much more than a graphics facelift or hardware performance update of the current PS4/XO version of GTA V (which is perfectly playable on the new systems after all), offering new areas, new vehicles and guns, new characters, new missions and new things to do around Los Santos. Rockstar remains tightlipped, which is not helping its case, but if the wildest rumors are true (such as the retro-fitting of the Red Dead Redemption 2 engine on GTA V for PS5/XSX) then the necessary work is definitely more than what a straight port would require, partly explaining why gamers are asked to pay for the same game for the third time.
Sony is very much aware of GTA V's popularity, in any case, as it has already partnered with Rockstar for some special PlayStation benefits. While the standalone version of GTA Online, for instance, will be offered to XSS/XSX players too, it will be available for free exclusively to PS5 players during the first three months. PlayStation Plus subscribers on PS4, meanwhile, can claim up to $1.000.000 of GTA money by just visiting the PlayStation Store at the start of every month until the launch of GTA Online on PS5. Sony has clearly made an investment in order to secure those privileges, so that is encouraging (as the company must have deemed these new versions of GTA V and GTA Online of high enough quality and interest). Fingers crossed, then!