With its massive size, amazing visuals, and incredibly ambitious online infrastructure, Grand Theft Auto V truly is the swan song of this console generation. Yet, while games such as Battlefield 4 openly straddle generations, aside from few vague clues here and there, Rockstar has remained silent about a next generation, or even a PC port of GTA V. Financially, Rockstar’s radio silence is completely expected. Between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, GTA V surpassed projected first-week sales figures within the first 24 hours, grossing over $800 million. In 2012, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 became the fastest selling game in history, grossing $1 billion in only 15 days. The Avengers, the fastest film in history to hit that sales mark, did it in 19 days. GTA V did it in 3 days. With next generation consoles launching only a few months later, imagine how different these sales figures would be if Rockstar had acknowledged a next-gen GTA V! Plus, with the amount time and resources Rockstar has invested in GTA Online, it’s only a matter of time before GTA V arrives on next-gen consoles, and when it does, here is what we want to see.
Prettier Visuals & Shorter Load Times
Even with the mandatory 8gb install, the current-gen version still struggles with occasional texture pop-in. The processing speed of the Xbox One clocked at 1.3 tps and the PS4 at an even higher 1.84 tps, will make this annoying issue a thing of the past. Also, initial load times and character switching load times should all but disappear, presumably leaving the overhead zoom in place for dramatic effect.
New Campaign Content
Prettier sunsets over Mt Chiliad will probably not be enough to get players on board with a next-gen GTA V. Instead, whereas many players will have already completed the campaign and the majority of available activities, new content will be a must. The new side missions, races, collectibles, vehicles, clothing, and weapons that will assumedly roll out as DLC for the current-gen version will most likely be packaged into a “Collector’s Edition” for next-gen consoles. But to further sweeten the pot, Rockstar will likely include exclusive, next-gen content, such as additional TV programming, movies, radio channels, locations, or even campaigns with new characters. All of these, I might add, could be believably introduced with the addition of another city, such as Liberty City, San Fierro, or Las Venturas.
New Online Content
Shooting sprees and wacky dirt bike stunts may be fun for a while, but after reaching 100% completion, most GTA titles can get dull. However, GTA Online may succeed where the ambitious, yet sorely misguided, online portion of GTA IV failed. Rockstar are expected to continue supporting GTA Online with new mission types, heists, weapons, clothing, and vehicles, but again, exclusive to next-gen content could tempt a lot of people into ditching the current-gen. Perhaps, borrowing from the single-player experience, players could be provided the opportunity to supplement their illegal income with a slightly more legitimate revenue source. Perhaps players could buy businesses like a dock, Downtown Cab, or the Vanilla Unicorn Strip Club, which could both unlock unique missions, and earn cash from services rendered by other players in a session.
A Streamlined Online Experience
To put it mildly, GTA Online had a bit of a shaky start. While Rockstar did their best to prepare for the launch, without any open beta it’s simply impossible to predict how servers will behave when 30 million users attempt to log in at once. Thankfully, the majority of these problems have since been fixed. Now that Rockstar knows what to expect, repeating this blunder would be kind of inexcusable. Jumping in and out of the sessions on the PS4 and Xbox One will need to be seamless and far less cumbersome. An easier and more accessible player mute option would also be a welcome addition. Whereas it’s practically as much of a draw as GTA V, it’s not unthinkable that Rockstar may consider releasing a digital, standalone version of GTA Online. As Sony did with the Killzone 3 multiplayer, a limited, free-to-play option would be beneficial for both players unfamiliar with the game, and those who are only interested in playing online.
Transfer Existing Save Data
For those who have already invested a substantial amount of time and effort into GTA V, this is incredibly important. Collecting spaceship parts and paper scraps once was already tedious enough; doing it again would be an awful chore. Plus, starting back at zero with a new online character would be enough to turn off many a die-hard GTA Online fan. Transferring game save data from one generation to the next would be both feasible by way of the cloud, on which both next-gen consoles and Rockstar servers rely, but would also be an enormous draw for those already playing the game. The option to continue the virtual life of crime they have constructed in a next-gen Los Santos could potentially be the tipping point for those of us on the fence.
When Rockstar officially lets the cat out of the bag, these are the things we want to see most in a next-gen GTA V, but this list is far from complete. What do you guys want to see? Would any of our ideas make you buy a next-gen GTA V, or do you even want to see it on PS4, Xbox One, or PC? Let us know in the comments!