A year later, it was released for the current console generation, I thought it made getting a PS4 a bit tempting, but I didn't given in to that. Although I'm sure GTAV is much better on the PS4 than the PS3, it wasn't enough to convince me to get one.
Now it's April 2015 and after a few delays, the game has been released for PCs. I pre-ordered it on Steam and got a free copy of San Andreas and some GTAV in-game bonus cash. They even gave us more bonus cash after the last delay was announced.
It has been stated that the PC release is pretty much the ultimate version of the game. It includes a video editor where you can record your game play and share it on YouTube. You can unlock different characters and animals for use Director Mode. The game also allows you to create your own customized radio station by placing MP3s in the “User Music” folder (under “Documents”>Rockstar Games>GTAV by default). Also, even though it doesn't contain any modding tools, there are already mods out for it. Perhaps one of the biggest features of the game is that it received a graphical update, 60fps at a higher resolution (4k). If you'd like to see a comparison check out this video, which is in three parts:
Before you get the PC edition, it's important note the system requirements, I'll explain why in more detail.
I didn't pay much attention to the hard drive space requirement (65 GB), which didn't dawn on my until the game became available to pre-load. This game is the very first game that I've experienced “pre-loading.” What this meant was that I could get it downloaded and installed (because I pre-ordered), but it would be encrypted, and thus unplayable, until its release date. What made me take notice of that hard drive space requirement was the 59 GB download on Steam. This made me think that this has to be the biggest game ever. Retail copies of the game come in a 7-disc box set.
I was pretty confident about my PC, until I ran into an issue where the graphics in this game kind of “stuttered”. This made me think that my PC wasn't up to par. Further research into the issue showed me that many people have reported issues with frame rate drops. Many of them have different hardware and their own theories as to why this occurs (see https://support.rockstargames.com/hc/communities/public/questions/203473047-GTA-V-PC-Stutter-Issue). So, I figured that it has to be an issue with the game, although I may need to try out different graphical settings.
The game includes a bench marking tool which can be accessed by pressing TAB on the “Advanced Graphics” menu option. While most of that test ran smoothly at 50-60fps, there was at least one spot where the frame rate started off very low, but increased before it was over. Since the test dropped me back in the game and didn't give me a result, I decided to benchmark my PC. Later, I found out that the bench mark results are included under Documents>Rockstar Games>GTA V>Benchmarks by default. So, I downloaded and ran a demo of 3DMark on Steam. The first I test I ran was Fire Strike “for high performance Windows gaming PCs.” The results were really awesome (check it out: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/4596441). Bench marking my PC lead me to think that I have two GTX 690s in my PC, but I only have one. It's a dual-GPU video card, which confused me at first.
Thanks to the news on Steam, I found out that Nvidia and AMD released new drivers for their GPUs with the game's release. So, before I played the game, I installed the latest driver from Nvidia. Rockstar has updated the game already to 1.01 because of the issue I had and a few others (see http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/04/17/gta-5-patch-101-to-address-issues-on-pc).
Initially, I only played the first mission in the game using the default settings. I thought it looked great and I noticed that I could change the view to first-person, which I don't recall being able to do on the PS3, granted that it's been a long time since I've played it. I also initially used they keyboard and mouse, hoping for better controls than San Andreas. I wasn't really disappointed with that configuration, but I thought using a controller would provide more fluid movement. I only played it briefly, at first, because I knew that in order to get Geforce Experience to optimize the game based on my hardware, I had to play it first. So, once I was able to save the game, I exited back to the desktop and let Geforce Experience configure my optimized settings. I know it increased many of them.
The next time I played, I decided to try it with a controller. Some time ago, by recommendation, I decided to buy a USB Xbox 360 controller for my new PC. I haven't really used it until now. I plugged it in before loading the game and it installed quickly and didn't seem to need any configuration. Once I got in to the game, I decided to start again from the beginning and I was glad that I didn't need to configure the controller or tell the game I was using it. Instead of telling me the keyboard and mouse controls, it showed the buttons on the controller. I now play the game using the controller, which I think is simpler.
While I know some people have hesitations about getting the game now, I think they are justified. Many people have already paid $60 for it and want to wait until it's cheaper. The issues that people have had with the game are also a good reason to wait. Right now, it seems to be difficult to tell how the game will perform on any given PC. It would be nice if there was a demo for it or if the benchmark test was more easily accessible and gave a test result. Still, I think the game is great and it's popularity and sales (across all platforms) definitely seem to prove that. The game has already overtaken Skyrim as the most played 3rd party game on Steam. If you think your hardware can handle it and don't mind paying full price for it, I recommend getting it. However, it may be wise to wait until the game gets further updates resolving issues or until it's on sale. Feel free to stay tuned here as I may provide additional updates as I progress through the game.
In the meantime, you can enter a sweepstakes to win a PC designed for the game by visiting http://socialclub.rockstargames.com/events
Check out this interview from PC Gamer with Rockstar: http://www.pcgamer.com/rockstar-talk-4k-pc-performance-and-more/
If you've already played the game on one platform, visit this link to learn how to transfer your GTA Online characters and progression between systems: https://support.rockstargames.com/hc/en-us/articles/202892778-Transferring-Your-Previous-Grand-Theft-Auto-Online-Characters-and-Progression-to-PlayStation-4-Xbox-One-or-PC