Whenever there’s a major multi-platform release, tongues inevitably waggle as to which platform version will be the best one to get. And when tongues waggle about consoles and their capabilities, fanboy flame wars usually follow, accompanied by all the destructive insult-hurling you can shake two consoles at.
With the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 having been locked in mortal kombat for some years, they’ve had quite a few head-to-head battles, with each side coming out victorious in some cases, and humbled in others. One of those great and mythic battles was courtesy of Grand Theft Auto V’s predecessor itself, GTA IV. As one of the most hyped (and ultimately best-selling) games of all-time, there was fierce debate over which console version was better. In the end, while both versions did a superb job of running the game and were very close technically, most tech and gaming experts gave the edge to the Xbox 360 version (fanboys – you may commence battle in the comment section below).
At the time however, the PS3 was still in its relative infancy, the game was developed and optimized for the 360, and given that the PS3 was a particularly challenging system to learn on top of that and was no simple task to port a 360-based game to, the results did have to be accompanied with a proverbial pinch of salt. Now years later, as each console nears the end of its glorious gaming lifespan, the battle appears much more even.
Rockstar will definitely be making a more concerted effort to develop the game for both platforms, in such a manner that they may end up being virtually indistinguishable from each other. In fact the early screens and gameplay footage were courtesy of the PS3 version of the game, which tells a good deal about the differences between this new GTA version and the past one.
In the end, the PS3 vs. Xbox 360 battle may be a moot point, as the rumored PC version would have the potential to trump both of them. GTA IV’s PC version was able to deliver vastly superior graphics, sharper textures, render more objects on screen at once, and provide a much greater viewing distance. Of course unlocking that full graphical prowess required a sizable amount of computer horsepower (at least for the time) that not every gamer was able to tap into.
The PC port of GTA IV also came loaded for battle with additional features courtesy of its later release date; an occurrence that will likely repeat itself yet again if (or more likely when) the PC release rumors are proven true. Such features included a replay editor and traffic density control.
The wildcard is the possible Wii U port. While a Wii U version is unlikely to exceed the PS3/360 versions by much (if anything) graphically, the game could take advantage of the Wii U’s unique hardware to produce additional and creative ways to explore and battle through Los Santos. Grand Theft Auto has not made an appearance on a Nintendo home console to date (however, there have been versions made for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS).
It’s safe to say that no matter which version of GTA V you snag, it’s going to be an amazing, good looking time. As to which version may technically be the best however, that we’ll have to wait (grrrrr!!) and see.