294w ago - A major question which I had about the forthcoming release of Grand Theft Auto IV was "How will the Special Edition be packaged?".
Today an employee of an Australian retail store has answered that question for me and the many others who were curious.
The game, soundtrack CD, art book, keyring and bag will all be stuffed very tightly inside the lock box, which itself will then be inside an outer cardboard box which features different artwork to the standard edition of the game.
295w ago - Say so long to those delay rumors. While word has yet to come on whether Take-Two will accede to Electronic Arts' $2 billion acquisition offer, one scenario that will not occur is analysts' speculated delay of Grand Theft Auto IV.
During Take-Two's shareholders' meeting today, the publisher said that GTAIV has gone gold. The game is "in production and in trucks en route to retailers," proclaimed Take-Two CEO Ben Feder. Rated M for Mature, GTAIV will be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 29.
Though it won't be released for another 12 days, industry watchers have already projected a massive debut from the next installment in Rockstar North's prized franchise. Last October, Janco Partner's Mike Hickey projected global opening-week sales of more than 9.5 million, with 5.8 million units turning up in US consumers' hands alone.
Earlier this week, Variety reported that sources within Take-Two fully expect the game to sell some 6 million units in its opening week, generating revenue in excess of $400 million.
296w ago - We published an article a few weeks back called Microsoft in GTA IV Panic in which we detailed how the industry giant was stressing about the number of PS3 consoles the release of GTA IV would ship over Xbox 360s.
We argued that this was evident in the way Microsoft had gone about marketing the Xbox 360 version of the game. We also pointed out how Sony had, it appeared, done very little in response (you'll have to read it for the full explanation).
Now we know why.
As you have no doubt read, it has come to light that a new version of the PS3 will be made available in time for the launch of GTA IV. It is the 40GB model of the console, but it comes bundled with GTA IV. This is a big, big deal. Especially as the package doesn't cost any more money than the unbundled version of the console.
The deal is only officially announced for a UK release, but we've been given the tip-off that Australia will receive the deal too... in fact we've heard unconfirmed reports that some retailers are already promoting it. And if it is making it all the way to little 'ol Oz, then it should hit every other major territory as well.
This is a massive blow for Microsoft, who has already lowered the Xbox 360's price point in Europe, and paid US$50 million for downloadable content...
296w ago - The Grand Theft Auto series is what brought videogames to the mainstream. It's a bold claim, albeit one that's undeniably true - sure, Lara Croft made the cover of The Face, but if you were to ask an audience of non-gaming types what modern games they've heard of, a good percentage of them are bound to reference Grand Theft Auto in one way or another, whether it's one of the original top-down 2D games or a more recent 3D offering.
Why? Whether it's for the right reasons (gaining critical acclaim for being, you know, actually good) or because the game was caught up in controversy on more than one occasion, the GTA series is popular - whether distant or close - amongst people of all ages.
Grand Theft Auto - PlayStation
The first game in the series was released on the PlayStation in '98 following its '97 PC release and was instantly recognised for being something special. Not that we need to back up this fact, but the cover of our copy of the game contains a sticker with a 91 percent rating from PlayStation Plus, nine out of ten from Official PlayStation Magazine, and 92 percent from Play... this speaks for itself.
Many have looked at the original Grand Theft Auto as being a much more arcade-led affair. You answer payphones and set out to complete the mission...
297w ago - Rockstar has produced an edited version of Grand Theft Auto IV for Australia in order to obtain an MA15+ rating.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification awarded the game an MA15+ rating on December 11 last year, advising consumers that the game contains "strong violence, strong coarse language, drug and sexual references".
A Rockstar spokesperson confirmed to Screen Play yesterday that the company had produced a special version of GTA IV to comply with the Australian classification system, which does not currently contain an R18+ rating, but declined to reveal what material had been cut.
The game has been rated R18+ by the British Board of Film Classification, New Zealand's OFLC and the German Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle. It has been rated M17+ by the Entertainment Software Rating board in North America.
The Grand Theft Auto series has a chequered past with the OFLC in Australia.
In 2001, thousands of copies of GTA III were sold before the game was rated and refused classification because players could pick-up prostitutes. An edited version was later released.
2002's Gran Theft Auto: Vice City was also edited for Australian audiences.
In 2005, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has its original MA15+ rating overturned and...