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Stores prepare for Grand Theft Auto
Retailers are planning for an onslaught of video game fans early Tuesday morning, when Grand Theft Auto IV is scheduled for release, despite the fact that the video game was hacked and posted online earlier this week.
Retailers such as Best Buy and Future Shop are opening their doors 12:01am on April 29 to handle the crowds expected to snap up the game, produced by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s Rockstar Games.
Ironically, the game, as the name suggests, lets you carjack any vehicle in Liberty City, and challenges players to work their way up the criminal underworld by performing missions for seedy characters.
Savvy Xbox 360 gamers can now download this GTA sequel from Bit Torrent sites including the popular, which has replaced is main logo with a large graphic of the game’s protagonist, Niko, and the words “Liberty Bay.”
But the number of hoops players will have to go through to steal a digital version of this “Mature”-rated game suggest that only a small percentage will likely try and succeed.
For one, you first need to download a 7 gigabyte file, which is more than 2,000 times the size of a typical MP3 song. Then you need to burn this file onto a dual-layer DVD ñ capable of storing up to 8.5GB of data, compared to a single-layer DVD’s 4.7GB of space ñ with a compatible dual-layer DVD burner in your PC. Finally, the Xbox 360 has to be modified or “chipped” to play the downloaded and burned game, especially as there are both NTSC and PAL versions for different geographical regions.
Co-operative and competitive multiplayer modes, which are one of the key new features in this sequel, may also not work online since they’re not official copies of the game, not to mention you might be missing some single-player missions or cut-scene story sequences.
Analysts said the pirated versions of Grand Theft Auto IV are unlikely to significantly affect Take-Two’s sales of the game.
This is the latest release in a highly successful game franchise from Rockstar Games. According to Take Two Interactive, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has sold more than 70 million units world-wide.
The last release, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, was mired in controversy when it was discovered that a patch (called Hot Coffee), made it possible for the main character to engage in explicit sex acts during game play.
The latest game will be released on the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox platforms. There is no date set for a PC release.