“Grand Theft Auto IV” hits shelves on April 29, 2008.

One of the games I specifically bought the PS3 for is finally going to see the light of day. The folks at Rockstar have put out a press release announcing the release date as being this April 29th:

Next-generation Console Debut of the Grand Theft Auto Franchise Set for April 29, 2008

New York, NY – January 24, 2008 – Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), is proud to announce the release date for Grand Theft Auto IV, the new title in the genre-defining Grand Theft Auto franchise. Developed by Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto IV will be simultaneously available for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and will be in stores worldwide on April 29, 2008.

“We are so excited to be releasing Grand Theft Auto IV,” said Sam Houser, Founder and Executive Producer of Rockstar Games. “We’ve pushed ourselves very hard to make something incredible and hope the game sets a new benchmark for interactive entertainment.”

Not coincidentally there was a flood of update previews of the game on various gamer sites that offered tons of screen shots as well as new info on game mechanics:

Read – Grand Theft Auto IV Details Unloaded … [MTV News]
Read – GTA IV: A New Look [CVG]
Read – Grand Theft Auto IV UK Update [IGN]
Read – Grand Theft Auto IV – updated impressions [GamesRadar]
Read – Grand Theft Auto IV: Kikizo Preview 3 [Kikizo]
Read – GTA4 First Look [VideoGamer.com]
Read – Grand Theft Auto IV Preview [Team Xbox]

I’m looking forward to this latest installment as I’ve enjoyed the previous versions of the games immensely. Gonna have to start saving up my pennies now.

Links found via Joystiq.

“GTA IV” highly anticipated even by fictional video game characters.

A lot of people are eagerly awaiting the next installment of Grand Theft Auto including the title characters from another play-as-the-bad-guys video game due soon called Kane & Lynch: Deadmen. GTA isn’t directly named in the small video clip that follows, but it’s pretty clear what they’re talking about.  Language is a little rough so be careful if you’re checking it out at work:

GTA IV trailer hits the net.

It’s short, but oh so sweet.

Looks like the setting will be based on New York and the detail is amazing. The don’t say whether it’s running on an Xbox 360 or PS3, but it doesn’t really matter as it’ll probably look about the same on either one. Graphically it’s going to be a big jump over the previous titles as you’d expect it to be. Not much on what the story will be though they do list the release date as 10/16/07.

Here’s a little bitty version of it to check out:

I can hardly wait.


The GTA IV no info infomercial.

So I’m sitting here flipping through the channels and as is customary for this time of night a good portion of them consist of nothing but infomercials. As I’m flipping along I come across the following screen:

It’s a count down clock for the release of the trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV and the seconds are slowly ticking off. Now I’m a big GTA fan having played GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas so this naturally catches my attention, but it takes me a moment to realize that the count down clock is currently showing that the trailer won’t be released for another 7+ days.

Then it hits me: If it’s 7 days away then what the hell are they going to show during this half-hour infomercial? It’s not just going to be this stupid clock the entire time is it? Well, as it turns out, the answer is yes.

Now I’m not such a GTA fanboy that I sat there for the entire half-hour just to see if it did anything different, but I did pop back to the channel (it was the FX channel as I recall) during commercial breaks elsewhere just to see if it was still showing the count down clock and it was every time I switched to that channel. At the half-hour mark it switched to a different infomercial for some craptastic pretend exercise machine that would supposedly make you look like Christie Brinkley.

So the folks at Rockstar Games paid good advertising money to show a half-hour’s worth of a count down clock promoting a trailer that’s not due to be released for another 7 days. Considering how popular the last three installments were you’d think there wouldn’t be a lot of need for them to hype the next iteration all that much, but I guess if you’ve got it then flaunt it. As it was it still made for a much more entertaining infomercial than any of the others I’ve ever bothered to watch for any amount of time.