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AAA open-world VR title in development under Rockstar Games
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
In the virtual reality gaming space Rockstar Games has so far published a single game, that being L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files by Sydney-based studio Video Games Deluxe. But now, development has started on a new VR venture, according to a recently found public LinkedIn post (via UploadVR) by the studio announcing new job openings.
"Having finished the critically well received L.A.Noire: The V.R. Case Files we are now gearing up for a new project, a AAA open world title in VR for Rockstar," reads the short message by Video Games Deluxe. "2020 marks our 7th year of working exclusively for Rockstar in Sydney and we are excited [sic] to taking on this ground breaking project."
When the developer says L.A. Noire: The V.R. Case Files' work is finished, it is probably speaking about the recent update that pushed the PlayStation VR exclusive content over to the PC version and brought in improved support for popular VR headsets like Valve Index and Oculus Rift S. This looks to be the final change the studio is planning on making to the title.
The post doesn't reveal any more information about this yet-to-be-announced VR project. It could be an entirely new open-world game or one that is based on an existing Rockstar title similar to L.A. Noire: The V.R. Case Files. We could see this being a Grand Theft Auto V or Red Dead Redemption 2 VR port. The former title is already being ported onto next-generation consoles next year also.
However, it may be a few years until we hear about this project officially, since the LinkedIn post says its development is still starting up.
Grand Theft Auto V is coming to Xbox Series X and PS5 with exclusive content
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
During the PlayStation 5 reveal event today, Rockstar Games revealed that its massively popular third-person action game Grand Theft Auto V is coming to next-generation consoles in 2021. The new releases will be heralding enhancements too. Check out the announcement trailer above, though sadly, it features gameplay from the current generation consoles.
Rockstar says that the new versions will come with "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."
The studio will be delivering exclusive GTA Online content for the next-generation consoles and PC once the new launches come through as well. A standalone version of GTA Online is also planned for the new consoles, and it will be completely free for PlayStation 5 players during the initial three months after the game's launch. Standard pricing information was not released today for this multiplayer-only variant.
Continuing on with the PlayStation bonuses, Rockstar will be giving away a million dollars of GTA Online cash every month to PlayStation Plus members who login to the game. The promotion will run until the game's PlayStation 5 edition arrives.
Grand Theft Auto V as well as the standalone Online portion are releasing in the second half of 2021 on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. It doesn't appear as though current generation owners will be getting a free upgrade or anything of the sort.
Rockstar is shutting down GTA and Red Dead Online for two hours today
by João Carrasqueira
A couple of weeks ago, the Epic Games Store started giving away Grand Theft Auto V for free, including access to Grand Theft Auto Online. If you were hoping to sink some time into the game today, you may find that impossible for a couple of hours, as Rockstar Games has announced it will be turning off access to the game, as well as Red Dead Online, from 2 PM to 4 PM Eastern Time.
Rather than some sort of maintenance, the reason for the temporary shutdown comes as the company wants to "honor the legacy of George Floyd". The death of Floyd has sparked protests all over the United States and from the global community online, and many companies have released some sort of public statement on the matter.
As the protests have dominated the internet, many companies have also chosen to step away from the spotlight, delaying many events planned for this week. Google postponed the beta release of Android 11, Sony delayed its event focused on the upcoming PlayStation 5, and CD Projekt Red followed in those footsteps by delaying its Night City Wire event focused on Cyberpunk 2077, which is now scheduled for June 25.
In the case of GTA Online and Red Dead Online, you won't have that long to wait, since it's a relatively short shutdown. Nonetheless, it may be upsetting if you were hoping to get some entertainment from the titles today.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to Xbox Game Pass for Console in May
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
In a surprise announcement, Microsoft revealed today that the Xbox Game Pass for Console service is getting Red Dead Redemption 2, giving subscribers to the service on Xbox One complete access to the massively popular western title from Rockstar Games.
May 7 is when the game will be available on the service. Released on the platform in 2018, the title arrives with a comprehensive single-player story mode revolving around the outlaw Arthur Morgan, as well as Red Dead Online, the online multiplayer component that share gameplay with the campaign portion but uses custom characters and group activities.
Xbox Game Pass for Console subscribers can now begin pre-downloading the game before it unlocks on the platform a couple of weeks from now.
Also, some might remember that Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V also arrived at the Xbox One variant of the service in January this year. Curiously, the same day Red Dead Redemption 2 arrives, Grand Theft Auto V will be leaving the program, giving prospective players a couple of weeks to still try the game out. Don't forget that the Xbox Game Pass subscription also provides a 20% discount for titles in its library, which can be utilized here as well.
Considering Grand Theft Auto V never reached the Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription, it's not likely that Red Dead Redemption 2 will make its way to the variant.
GTA IV is returning to Steam with free Complete Edition upgrades for all owners
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Last month, Rockstar pulled the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV from sale, barring any new users from purchasing the game from Steam and other digital key stores. The company later revealed the reason behind this, stating it couldn't generate new activation serial keys due to Games for Windows Live being defunct.
Now, over a month after the incident, Rockstar has finally given an update on what is happening with the title. It seems the game will return to being on sale starting on March 19 and it will arrive as the Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition, heading to Steam and the Rockstar Games Launcher, among other places. This new edition will replace both the original base game version as well as the Episodes from Liberty City standalone expansion set - which hadn't gotten hit by the serial key incident just yet.
Anyone who owns either of these classic editions will get a free upgrade to the new Complete Edition, granting them any and all of the missing content. Episodes of Liberty City owners will see a 22GB update when this change hits, while Grand Theft Auto IV players will find a 6GB update waiting for them. All existing save files will remain compatible also.
However, some major features will not be available in this new version due to Games for Windows Live being stripped from it. Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition will lose all of its multiplayer functionality alongside leaderboards. At the same time, the RamJam FM, Self-Actualization FM, and Vice City FM radio stations will be removed, though Rockstar says this will be a temporary measure. We could see these stations return with some songs missing in the future.
Although the free upgrade and the return to stores are very good news for those who haven't yet experienced this Grand Theft Auto adventure in its entirety, the multiplayer removal could be a bit of a sore point. According to the active player numbers on Steam, Grand Theft Auto IV peaks at around 850 concurrent players every day, while Episodes from Liberty City comes in at about 200 at peak.