We are on the brink of the next generation of gaming. The hype surrounding the PS4 and Xbox One is palpable, and you can hardly get on the Internet without some sort of contact with “the future of gaming.” But, while progress is an expectation in any technological industry, a move forward is typically only born of necessity due to hardware bottlenecks and limitations. Look, I’m just as excited as the next guy about the dawn of next-gen, but I can’t help but ask–Is it necessary?
Well, if the capabilities and advancements of Grand Theft Auto V are any indication, the answer is a resounding no.
It’s no secret that the end of a console cycle turns out the best games a system can provide, even though they’re normally hamstrung by aging hardware and break no new ground. This results in the perfection of what has worked on that platform previously–the culmination of years of hard work, with a lot of trial-and-error thrown in. However, GTA V does not fall into this category, at least not entirely.
Though GTA V is undoubtedly an amalgamation of games’ past (such as previous GTAs, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and L.A. Noire), Rockstar’s latest opus brings tons of new stuff to the table. The largest open-world ever to be featured on a console game, a three-character main storyline, more vehicles and weapons than ever, an independent, fully-functional multiplayer in the form of a separate game, and the list goes on. Visually, the game looks almost next-gen as it is, without the increased horsepower of the new consoles. Oh yeah, and it’s not coming to the PS4 or Xbox One. Something that most game companies are not willing to forego.
Rockstar hasn’t announced any plans to release GTA V for next-gen consoles, and why would it? The company knows who its fans are, and it knows what systems they currently own. The visuals on the game are so good that there really isn’t any reason to port it to the new consoles, and there hasn’t been an outpouring of fan dissatisfaction to prompt a company response, so I think Rockstar is comfortable right where it is.
I’ll be the first to admit that there are plenty of next-gen games coming that look utterly amazing. But the sad truth is that the visual gap between the current generation and the next generation isn’t as noticeable as it’s been in previous generations. That’s saying something, because console launch titles aren’t traditionally that big of a leap.
Of course, we all know the world is gonna keep on turning and nobody, not even Rockstar, can stop it. The consoles are coming. And while I don’t believe that it’s necessary for GTA V to be translated to the new platforms, it sure couldn’t hurt. Who knows? Maybe Rockstar has been having some super-secret-squirrel meetings with Microsoft and Sony, a plot to unleash an upgraded GTA V for next-gen on an unsuspecting public. I don’t know anything that you don’t, but if it happened, I would probably be the first in line.