GTA 5 will have released on three generations of consoles after it arrives on PS5 in 2021. Seven years after its first release, and 130 million copies shipped later, GTA 5 (and its multiplayer component, GTA Online) is still enormously successful for Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive. Even if it means you're not getting GTA 6 in the immediate future, the key intent here is keeping GTA Online's player base engaged across generations.
GTA 5 will be 'expanded and enhanced' for next-gen consoles, according to the first trailer. If you want to keep playing GTA Online in future, you'll want to get the next-gen versions eventually. Rockstar suggests that some future GTA updates won't be supported on Xbox One and PS4, with the publisher promising "more new updates including additional GTA Online content exclusive to the new consoles and PC".
Moving to next-gen consoles, then, should allow GTA Online to do some more ambitious stuff, particularly with a new standalone version of the online component in the works. Our hope is GTA 5 on PS5 will allow the online part of the game to offer more instantaneous matchmaking and loading.
Here's what we know about GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X so far.
[Update: GTA on PS5 featured first in June's reveal event – could we see it again at September's PS5 showcase? Follow along with our PS5 event live blog, and here's how to watch the PS5 event livestream.]
GTA 5 PS5 release date: coming in 2021
GTA 5 is coming to 'new generation consoles' in the second half of 2021, Rockstar has confirmed. There was no specific mention of the Xbox Series X in Rockstar's press release, only PS5 (our guess is that this is a condition of a marketing agreement with Sony), but clearly the phrase 'new generation consoles' refers to the new Xbox as well.
GTA Online will also release as a separate standalone edition in the second half of 2021. Could this be a deliberate move to reduce GTA's storage demands, and allow the multiplayer component to do more ambitious things? Or is it simply to position GTA Online as a continuous entity, even if another numbered GTA gets announced in the next couple of years? We'll have to wait and see.
PlayStation owners have a significant advantage in all of this. If you play GTA Online on PS4, you'll get GTA$1 million to spend in-game every month until the PS5 version of GTA launches. And when GTA Online's standalone edition arrives on PS5, owners of the console will have three months to claim the game for free after release.
GTA 5 PS5 trailer: "why did I move here?"
GTA 5 on PS5 was the first trailer revealed for the console during The Future of Gaming Event. Check it out above. The intro, featuring Michael saying 'Why did I move here? I guess it was the weather" parallels GTA 5's famous first trailer in 2011.
GTA 5 PS5 enhancements: what are they?
"The new generation versions of GTA 5 will feature a range of technical improvements, visual upgrades and performance enhancements to take full advantage of the latest hardware, making the game more beautiful and more responsive than ever," is how Rockstar describes the upgrades for GTA 5 on next-gen hardware.
Hopefully we'll finally have the option to run GTA 5 on consoles at 60fps, which is pretty easy to achieve on PC. We'd speculate that the game is likely to resemble the PC version as it runs on high-end hardware – though it's possible Rockstar is planning other tweaks we don't know about yet.
That doesn't quite explain how this edition is 'expanded' for PS5, as the trailer mentions, but Rockstar will discuss the new version of the game more down the line.
Why is GTA 5 coming to PS5, and where's GTA 6?
GTA 6 simply isn't ready yet. While we know almost nothing about the next entry in the series, these games are grand undertakings for massive worldwide development teams. Red Dead Redemption 2, of course, was Rockstar's last major project, and expecting GTA 6 so soon after that is unrealistic.
In the meantime, GTA Online has an enormous audience, and the game is sustained by continuing sales of GTA 5 and in-game currency. Rockstar likely wants to maintain that interest between generations until GTA 6 is finally ready.
- PS5 games: what we know about