While Rockstar Games recently confirmed they’re working on GTA 6 (finally), their big cash cow for the foreseeable future will still be GTA Online. Now we have more details on how the new-gen upgrade will work for GTA V and GTA Online, although we’ll touch on a few bits of confusion that still linger.
March 15th will bring an upgraded version of GTA V/Online that “features new graphics modes with up to 4K resolution, up to 60 frames per second, texture and draw distance upgrades, HDR options and ray-tracing, as well as offering the technical advancements of the latest console generation with faster loading times, immersive 3D audio, platform-specific features like advanced haptic feedback, and much more.”
You’ll be able to transfer over your story progress, and much like with the PC release, or the previous gen upgrade, you’ll also be able to do a one-time transfer of your current online character and progress. If the story mode of GTA V doesn’t interest you, there will also be a standalone version of GTA Online that will be available for purchase. While Sony and Rockstar have an arrangement where the online version will be free for the first three months, some major news outlets are reporting that it will also be free on Xbox. Either they have some other sources for this, or they’re mistaken, as the official newswire has always said that the free window is only for PS5. Further, one thing we’d like to confirm is whether or not the three months period is a unlock and own situation, or a trial situation, where everyone who wishes to continue playing will still need to purchase the game.
Other noteworthy changes include a new GTA Online tutorial, for new players at least, as well as the Criminal Enterprise Pack being built into the game. That means that new players (or old players if they delete their character and start over) will be able to pick one of the original four businesses for free, along with a decent lump of cash to get started. “The PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of GTA Online also include the new Hao’s Special Works auto shop, located within the LS Car Meet, which will allow players to upgrade select vehicles (5 new vehicles and 5 existing vehicles at launch) for elite driving performance that takes full advantage of the upgraded power of new console hardware.”
Most of us here at Agents of Game are on Xbox, and have purchased the game multiple times already, so we’re not necessarily keen on forking over more money, unless there are substantial improvements to the game. While Rockstar have detailed some of the changes coming with the upgrade, it’s not clear how significant those changes will be, or how much the Online only version of the game will cost outside of the three month window for PS5. Further, probably at the insistence of Take Two (the publisher for GTA), many of the new in-game updates have lacked the traditional mission structure that was a tremendous strength of GTA Online in the early days, but rather focus on forcing players to do missions in public lobbies where the challenge comes not from the mission itself, but from randos in jets and rocket-launching flying motorcycles that can derail dozens of hours of progress in a single target-locked shot.
We’ll have more answers to some of these questions as the update launches soon, and hopefully we’ll be pleasantly surprised.