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GTA 6 set for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S only, but for how long?

Rockstar's new Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer was shared with confirmation that GTA 6 is only available on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S at launch.

GTA 6 platforms PS5 Xbox Series X: an image of Lucia in prison orange

Following on from the early release of the first Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer today, Rockstar Games is confirming that GTA 6 will only launch on PS5 consoles and Xbox Series X|S when it arrives – leaving last-gen platforms in the dust. While this is good news when it comes to the avoidance of any performance issues that may arise through trying to cater to older consoles, it does raise an important question on availability; this is particularly true when you consider the fact that Rockstar Games isn’t mentioning PC as a platform at all. So, how long really will GTA 6 only be available on these current-gen platforms?

Well, even though the upcoming GTA 6 release date is still a little while away yet, that is the big question to come out of all of this. Grand Theft Auto 6 is easily one of the most exciting new Xbox games and new PS5 games on the way and Rockstar Games – a studio that consistently presents players with some of the best open world games available – would have to do something seriously wrong to not deliver one of the best games of all time when it arrives.

We know, though, as Cyberpunk 2077 proves, that there’s no telling just how well a game will perform on your platform until it’s actually in your hands and you’re playing it for yourself. But, that’s really what makes Rockstar Games’ decision to ditch the PS4 and Xbox One version of Grand Theft Auto 6 – to just focus on the current-gen platforms – a good one. This information is found on the Rockstar Games Newswire post for the new Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer here, which omits PC from the release platforms listed.

By the time GTA 6 actually comes out, the first generation of PS4 consoles will be at least 12 years old and PS4 Pro consoles will be almost nine years old. Similarly, the Xbox One will also be at least 12 years old and the Xbox One X will be almost eight years old. When you take a look at the sheer size of the new GTA 6 map, the detail of the world players will be able to explore, and then consider the impressive graphics on display and the (inevitable) explosive gameplay on offer, it really just doesn’t make sense to try and force a game like this to run on hardware that old. Rockstar Games would be forced into making so many compromises to begin with, drawing resources away from developing the best possible version of the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, and then there’s no telling if that would even be enough. We’ve all seen how badly some console games, even the older ones, run on the Nintendo Switch. At some point, you really have to question whether it’s worthwhile.

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Where, though, does all of this actually leave PC players hoping to jump into the new iteration of Vice City without a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S console? What, then, about the inevitable release of the next generation of PlayStation and Xbox consoles? After all, both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X|S will be around five years old when Grand Theft Auto 6 comes out.

Well, this is where we need to take a look at Rockstar Games’ rollout of both Grand Theft Auto 5 (starting in 2013) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (starting in 2018) for some idea of what to expect when Grand Theft Auto 6 arrives. Both games released on their respective generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles (be that PS3 and Xbox 360 or PS4 and Xbox One) a little while before they hit PC.

Specifically, Grand Theft Auto 5 launched on PS3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, only then releasing on PC after the PS4 and Xbox One version of the game in April 2015. That’s almost two years after the game’s original launch date. In something of a similar fashion, Red Dead Redemption 2 launched in October 2018 on PS4 and Xbox One and only arrived on PC in November 2019 – also over a year after its initial launch date.

With this in mind, we think it’s fair to expect the PC version of GTA 6 to release around a year – at least – after the 2025 launch date for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles. Of course, this is all speculation and worth taking with a pinch of salt until we know more officially; however, the fact that Rockstar Games isn’t mentioning PC alongside the 2025 launch window and the aforementioned current-gen platforms would suggest that the PC release date is significantly later. While you’re here, you can check out our first look at the game’s key art below, which is something of a departure from the comic panel-style artwork we’ve seen used for previous Grand Theft Auto games.

GTA 6 platforms PS5 Xbox Series X: an image of the first key art for Grand Theft Auto 6

Looking even further forward than that, with around seven years between the last two generations of PlayStation and Xbox consoles, it’s far from outrageous to think that Grand Theft Auto 6 will be available on the next generation of these platforms (be that the PlayStation 6, the Xbox Series Two, or any other rumored console name you may have seen online) around 2027 or 2028. With the hardware available in both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X so impressive already, though, we could be waiting a little longer before we see a substantial improvement and a completely new generation of consoles.

Whenever that may be, though, you can bet your money on Rockstar Games making sure Grand Theft Auto 6 is available to play on the latest platform. The staying power of GTA 5 is truly remarkable and, with this sequel taking so long to develop and costing Rockstar Games so much money (rumors are in the billions of dollars), we can certainly imagine the developer will want to make sure it gets a similar lifetime from it (which, if we use GTA 5 as an estimate, will be well over a decade).

We know a lot of the above is speculation, but one thing we know for certain is that Grand Theft Auto 6 will be a huge game when it comes to storage space. When you look at how big it will be, and how great the graphics already are, that much is truly inevitable. So, if you haven’t upgraded your storage space yet, you really should consider picking up one of the best Xbox expansion cards available or one of the best PS5 SSD options out there when you can. GTA 6 isn’t the only great upcoming game, either, and you’ll need a lot of storage space to play all the best FPS games and all the best RPG games in the months between now and then.