Monday, August 6, 2007

'08 is the New '07: Grand Theft Auto IV Delayed

By Tyler Barber



An emerging trend in next-gen game development is that developers are having to push back release dates, more and more. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was the most recent upsetting delay until last week, when a Take Two conference call revealed that Grand Theft Auto IV will be delayed to second quarter '08 (February-April).

This announcement was a shock because Rockstar is the one developer that will have the courage to set, and make exact release dates for their games early in their development cycle. On the other hand, the demo of GTAIV shown at E3 had obvious issues with frame-rate, pop-up, and showed alot of placeholder assets. Add to that the fact that no one's even seen the game running on a PS3 (everything shown so far has been running on the Xbox 360). So, it wasn't totally unexpected either.

I was not only excited about playing the game, but also about the record-breaking sales that the game industry as a whole would experience this holiday season. What would have been a perfect storm of games that would rival the 2004 holiday season will now be a huge proverbal "what if?"

While the Internets are busy pointing fingers to the cause of the delay, all Take Two would say is that it was due to "technical problems." Some think it's the tricky PS3 development holding the game back, others decry the hard drive-less Core Xbox 360 as being a burden on Rockstar. The reality is probably a little of both, but don't hold your breath for Rockstar to oust one console over the other.

Still, the previous Grand Theft Autos were simply time-vacuums. And now that GTAIV is out of the question for '07, I'm a bit relieved that I'm going to have the time to play all the other great games coming out this holiday. The GTAIV delay is a blessing in disguise for many involved.

So Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Fable 2, Too Human and Killzone 2 have another former '07 title to add to their club. Looks like '08 is the new '07.

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