Hugsies Blog!

March 1, 2015

Chronology of GTA V

This documents the many delays to both the release of GTA V for PC, lastgen consoles, and Online heists as well as significant updates to the game over the past +year. I will not mention verified jobs (except the 1st one), Rockstar/Social Club Events, minor title updates that don’t add new content, screenshots, nor any contests. I combed though the newswire going back nearly four years.

November 3 2011, Rockstar’s Official Announcement of GTA V
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/19471/grand-theft-auto-v-official-announcement.html

November 4 2011, The first Grand Theft Auto V Trailer
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/19461/grand-theft-auto-v-trailer.html

October 30 2012, GTA V Is Coming Spring 2013 (lol right)
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/45951/grand-theft-auto-v-is-coming-spring-2013.html

November 5 2012, GTA V Now Officially Available for Pre-Order
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/46011/grand-theft-auto-v-now-officially-available-for-preorder.html

November 14 2012, GTA V: Official Trailer #2
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/46171/grand-theft-auto-v-official-trailer-2.html

January 31 2013, GTA V delayed to September 17th 2013 on PS3 Xbox 360 (4 month delay)
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/48591/grand-theft-auto-v-is-coming-9172013.html

April 2 2013, GTA V Official Cover Art. So they were able to get the cover art done by Spring 2013. :3
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/49291/grand-theft-auto-v-official-cover-art.html

April 30 2013, GTA V Trailers: MICHAEL. FRANKLIN. TREVOR.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/49701/gtav-trailers-michael-franklin-trevor.html

May 23 2013, Announcing the GTA V Special Edition and Collector’s Edition
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/50061/Announcing-the-Grand-Theft-Auto-V-Special-Edition-and

August 15 2013, official GTA online gameplay videos and website goes live. It’s just the same articles posted on Rockstar newswire but GTAV news only.
http://www.rockstargames.com/V/GTAOnline

August 20 2013, Pre-Order GTA V Day 1 Digital on PS3. 360 didn’t get an on-demand version for about two months!
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51235/preorder-gtav-day-1-digital-on-playstation-network.html

August 29 2013, Grand Theft Auto V: Watch The Official Trailer
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51282/grand-theft-auto-v-watch-the-official-trailer.html

September 17 2013, Release of GTA V for Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 only after one delay.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51390/grand-theft-auto-v-now-available.html

September 25 2013, Some More Details on Grand Theft Auto Online. This is one of the first mentions of Online Heists.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51422/some-more-details-on-grand-theft-auto-online.html

October 1 2013, GTA online goes live, many title updates and headaches
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51500/gtav-title-update-details.html

October 18 2013, GTA V available on demand for Xbox 360.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51604/gtav-now-available-on-xbox-games-on-demand.html

November 5 2013, Title update 1.05 adding the content creator
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51716/new-gta-online-title-update-105.html

November 6 2013, The GTA Online Stimulus Package Direct Deposit GTA$500,000
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51726/the-gta-online-stimulus-package-direct-deposit.html

November 19 2013, The Beach Bum Update. The first title update with new content (or DLC)
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51813/The-GTA-Online-Beach-Bum-Update-is-Now-Available

December 11 2013, Online deathmatch and races updated to Creator
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51970/Free-GTA-Online-Deathmatch-Race-Creators-Update-Now-Available

December 17 2013, Online “Capture” job mode update release.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51990/GTA-Online-Capture-Update-Now-Available

December 24 2013, “Holiday Gift” temporary content which you still had to buy with GTA$ but was lost after the event was over.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52011/Grand-Theft-Auto-Online-Holiday-Gifts

December 27 2013, The first set of “Rockstar Verified” creator jobs (will not mention verified jobs again)
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52013/The-First-Rockstar-Verified-GTA-Online-Jobs

January 16 2014, Taking Aim at GTA Online Cheaters
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52096/taking-aim-at-gta-online-cheaters.html

February 4 2014, Crew member cap raised to 1000 members
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52170/Crew-News-Member-Cap-Raised-to-1-000

February 13 2014, The Valentine’s Day Massacre Special
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52188/GTA-Online-Valentine-s-Day-Massacre-Special-Is-Now-Available

March 4 2014, The Business Update
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52202/The-Business-Update-for-GTA-Online-Is-Now-Available

April 2 2014, Grand Theft Auto Online Spring Updates
This is the announcement that online heists would be release in spring 2014 which can constitute it’s first delay since it has been talked about since the start.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52217/Grand-Theft-Auto-Online-Spring-Updates

April 11 2014, Capture Creator Update
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52232/GTA-Online-Capture-Creator-Update-Now-Available-Plus

May 13 2014, The High Life Update
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52248/The-High-Life-Update-for-GTA-Online-Is-Now-Available

June 9 2014, Grand Theft Auto V Coming this Fall to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
The announcement that GTA V is coming out for PC, XBox One, and PlayStation 4, and *all three* would be released in the fall of 2014 but no date set.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52261/Grand-Theft-Auto-V-Coming-this-Fall-to-PlayStation-4-Xbox

June 17 2014, The “I’m Not a Hipster” update
Came online during HIGH and over hyped anticipation of heists being released around this time to everyone’s chagrin. In the comments section in this url is a note from R* apologizing for the (second) delay for Online Heists.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52264/The-GTA-Online-I-m-Not-a-Hipster-Update-Is-Now-Available

July 1 2014, Independence Day Special
Introducing Monster Trucks, fireworks, and beer hats.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52270/The-GTA-Online-Independence-Day-Special-Available-Starting

August 19 2014, San Andreas Flight School
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52294/the-gta-online-san-andreas-flight-school-update-now-available

September 12 2014, Official release dates for “nextgen” and PC.
November 18th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC January 27th. This marks the first delay for PC since it was announced in June that GTA V would released on all three platforms in the fall of 2014. January 27th is in the middle of winter.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52308/grand-theft-auto-v-release-dates-and-exclusive-content

October 2 2014, The Last Team Standing Update
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52322/the-last-team-standing-update-for-gta-online-now-available

November 13 2014, GTA Online Census
I know this isn’t real content but it’s interesting to read the stats.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52349/gta-online-census-the-story-so-far

November 18 2014, official release of GTA V for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
With no delay as there was with the Xbox 360, PS3 and still an ongoing delay with PC.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52350/grand-theft-auto-v-is-now-available-for-playstation-4-and

December 16 2014, Online Heists trailer released
“I know you’ve been complaining… but you weren’t ready.” This article states Online Heists coming in Early 2015. Here is another article by IGN interviewing Imran Sarwar GTA online producer and lead mission designer explaining why it has taken so long for online heists to be finished.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52365/gta-online-heists-new-trailer-and-info

December 18 2014, The GTA Online Festive Surprise.
This was just like last year, the items were temporary but they were free. There was a stocking mask you kept for free if you logged in on Christmas day.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52367/the-gta-online-festive-surprise

January 13 2015, New release date for PC to March 24th 2015, with system requirement specs. This is the second PC delay.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52374/gtav-pc-new-release-date-first-screens-and-system-specs

January 16 2015, Pre-orders available for GTA V PC, with bonus GTA$ and a free R* game due to the delay.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52376/pre-order-the-gtav-pc-download-at-the-rockstar-warehouse-now

February 24 2015, Release date set for Online heists for March 10th 2015 which keeps with Rockstar’s announcement from December about an “early 2015” release for online heists. Also announced is yet another updated (delayed) release date for PC to April 14th.  This is the third delay for PC, with bonus GTA$200,000 in GTA online for people who had already pre-ordered which potentially can add up to $1million for online mode if you ordered it before February 1st.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52394/gtav-updates-online-heists-coming-march-10-gtav-for-pc

March 10th 2015, GTA Online Heists go live after 1½ fucking years since the game’s release in September of 2013.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52402/gta-online-heists-now-available

April 2nd 2015, Watch the GTAV 60 Frames-Per-Second PC Trailer
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52411/watch-the-gtav-60-frames-per-second-pc-trailer

April 3rd 2015, GTA Online Heists TV Spot, footage from the PC version
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52413/gta-online-heists-tv-spot

April 3rd 2015, GTAV PC Digital Pre-Load Information
https://support.rockstargames.com/hc/en-us/articles/204657218-GTAV-PC-Digital-Pre-Load-Information

April 7th 2015, GTA V PC pre-download goes live.
As of 1 pm EDT on Steam the pre-download is live. This offically makes GTA V on PC a “done” deal with no more delays. One week to go until it is playable.
https://support.rockstargames.com/hc/en-us/articles/204657218

April 9th 2015, GTA Online PC servers appeared temporarily online on Rockstar’s status page. This lasted about an hour, as it’s no longer shown on the status page. It’s assumed that game revwers got a sneek peek at GTA V and GTA Online since This Link still shows a handful of people playing GTA V on PC via Steam’s database stats and info.
https://steamdb.info/app/271590/graphs/

Rockstar server status page:
https://support.rockstargames.com/hc/en-us/articles/200426246–Updated-4-30-14-GTA-Online-Status-Latest-Updates-

April 14th 2015, Grand Theft Auto V Is Now Available for PC
At 12am midnight GMT, digital downloads were “unlocked” and installing began. The release went off with very few hitches if any. The majority of issues players had effected a few players who had unstable PCs, under powered PCs who made settings too high and ignored the minimum PC specifications released two months earlier. GTA V is quite scaleable, even on a PC at minimum specification with the advanced eye candy disabled, GTA V for PC plays and looks better than it did in it’s original release for the Xbox 360, and PS3, and on a modern gaming PC is the best experience for GTA V, bar none.
http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/52417/grand-theft-auto-v-is-now-available-for-pc

So what’s left to wait for now it’s all said and done? GTA V and GTA Online aren’t done. There is still speculation for a new Story mode DLC (as there were two for GTA IV) more heist missions for GTA online, as well as whatever else Rockstar plans on doing. Stay tuned.

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November 10, 2013

The 1080p delema of the Xbox One

Filed under: Gaming!, Xbox 360, Xbox One — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 9:21 pm

PCs have been doing HD and better resolutions for decades before “HD” was even a marketing sales gimmick. Microsoft is trying to cram an HTPC (home theater PC), a DVR, skype, and a video game console into one unit, with hardware specs that are well below even a mid-range gaming PC, or even a HTPC that you could get in the $500 price range.

Microsoft is using virtual machines (HyperV) to run all of this stuff in the background all as separate Operating Systems (OS) that its NO WONDER why the resolutions of CoD Ghosts, and other games are running at 900p or 720p.  NOT at the ubiquitous and largely taken-for-granted quality of 1080p, which has been common place for over a decade.

It’s not that the Xbox One hardware isn’t up to snuff to do 1080p at 60fps, assuming all it is doing is running a video game. It’s the other multiple OS running other stuff via HyperV that devs are having to deal with. They only get a slice of the pie of it’s GPU/CPU horsepower, which is whats making developers lower graphics resolutions to maintain a certain frame rate in their games.

Microsoft in their infinite wisdom wants to record a TV show in the background while you play your video game, even though you probably don’t have TV feed hooked up to it (since you already own a DVR). Also CPU cycles are being used as it listens to you via Kinect, while you yell at n00bs and trolls online; just in case you actually give a voice command to the Xbox. There is a “GAME DVR” that records you playing the game in case you wanna record your last epic trick shot, or achievement (which granted thats fucking cool).  Plus there’s online and network traffic, cloud storage, and cloud servers. That’s a LOT of stuff going on that would bog down a high end PC with an eight-core CPU @ 4.5ghz, quad GPUs in SLI, with 64GB of quad channel RAM with a 250GB SSD storage.

That last bit might be exaggerated but I believe you get my point. All of this reminds me of past failures Microsoft had, like Windows Me, and to some extent Windows Vista. It’s typical Microsoft ideologies where they take something that works well, and in its next incarnation try make it do far too much and it ultimately fails, or it won’t meet expectations. All because it’s doing all this extra “crap” that most users have no need for, and it prevents them from doing what users WANT it to do. Microsoft doesn’t care what you want, they know better for your own good!

With all of that said,  I’m still gonna buy an Xbox One over a PS4 since I have no loyalty nor much history with Sony as I’ve had with Xbox over the past decade and a half, not to mention with DOS/Windows PC gaming which spans a better part of 30 years now. Plus I just re-upped my XBL gold membership for another year. 🙂

June 20, 2013

Microsoft rescinds is DRM, but no more free ride

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 9:41 am

Pressure from the backlash of the online community, or was it rumors about higher number of pre-orders for the PS4 vs XBoxOne, Microsoft has dropped it’s 24 check in DRM. Games will not require a 24 hour Internet check-in, but a one-time Internet connection will be required during system set-up. Games on disc may be lent, resold, given away and rented, but now that disc must be sitting in the drive tray to be played. But no longer will you be able to share free copies of games you bought to your friends and family so you can play with them, nor will there be an online marketplace to trade/sell your games you don’t play anymore.

If Microsoft had announced  this during the Xbox One announcement in May, BEFORE E3, and taked about how you can share and trade your games with friends, this whole DRM outrage we’ve seen for the past month would have been a just a wispier. I think Microsoft did this backwards and they could have handled this a lot better. It was just the other day I heard about the sharing of games, and having a marketplace to resell your games to others. If that was supposed to be the trade-off for their DRM DRAMA, then WHY DIDN’T MICROSOFT SAY THIS IN THE FUCKING FIRST PLACE A MONTH AGO? OR at least make this announcement at E3.

For weeks I was having a hard time trying to justify the always-online draconian DRM Drama Microsoft was trying to push, unaware of this sharing feature, and a marketplace to buy/sell/trade your old games. I had this gut feeling that the DRM was largely rumor (and therefore exaggerated, and likely false), or that microsoft had something else to balance out this DRM bullshit. Low and behold there WAS, and then it was yoinked days later. Microsoft could have handled this a LOT better. you’d this a company this old would have better PR team.

I still don’t understand why we can’t have both. Xbox Live already has a large offline user base, we call them SILVER members. These are people who didn’t pay ($60 a year) for a Gold membership, probably because they don’t have broadband internet, or have no internet. Why not give these people the non-DRM always online, no game sharing. While we GOLD members who ARE online all the time can share games, use the power “of the cloud,” resell/trade games buy games online, and be able to take the disc out of the drive and still play our games.

Keep in mind STEAM has more DRM in their platform than what Microsoft was proposing to do with Xbox One. But Steam has been around for over a decade. Even I beta tested it for a short time, but back then it was no more than a IM client for gamers and I had zero interest in yet another instant message client, with AIM/ICQ, Y! messenger, etc all. However Steam had evolved exponentially in the past 10 years to be the one-stop-shop to find games on the PC. I tend to agree that if Steam didn’t exist (or something like it didn’t exist) PC gaming would be almost dead and we’d only be playing MMOs and facebook games.

So Microsoft saw what Steam was doing, and wanted to copy that model, even one-up it. If Mircosoft timed this better, made the announcement up front about sharing games with your friends and family so that your single copy you bought you can give out FREE copies to your family and friends so you can play your new game WITH THEM, and being able to trade/sell your games you don’t play anymore would have been a HUGE hit and would have made the 24hr DRM check-in just an afterthought.

Sony’s E3 press conference really nailed it in about how bad DRM and always on internet connections was. And really smeared this all over microsoft’s face. But people seem to forget that Sony also had an EVIL history regarding DRM. Remember the root kits that would be embedded into your PC if you tried to play a DVD movie released by Sony?

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