7 days to GTA: IV; analyst sales figures and other news
As you can see from our countdown timer above, there are now officially less than 7 days to go until GTA: IV hits shelves in the UK and Europe. Or are there?
Our wrap-up will explain some of the more important GTA: IV news that has hit the 'net over the last two weeks, including details of a possible early release.
We also do some maths for you and tell you just how big this release is going to be, based on working through a set of over 10 analysts' predictions.
1. Release dates
Scheduled for release on the 29th April, a story about Tesco in the UK breaking the release date emerged recently. Tesco were apparently going to launch GTA: IV on the 25th April instead.
Tesco's website has since been changed to state that the game will arrive on the 29th. But the news prompted Take2 to have retailers sign agreements that stop them from shipping early. The agreement allows the retailers to send out customers' copies on the 28th so they will arrive on the 29th.
2. Missing feature
GTA: IV has been one of the most highly reported titles ever, and that means we already know as much as we can about the game and its features. One of these gameplay elements was going to allow you the ability to listen to music any time using your in-game mobile phone (that's a cellphone, for all our US readers).
With GTA: IV confirmed as going 'gold' only five days ago, we discovered that his had actually been dropped from the game entirely. Of course, this is nothing but standard practice. Features get cut from games all the time. It's just that you don't normally get to hear about it, as the hype-machine isn't as ramped up for other titles.
3. Supply issues
For some time now, most UK retailers have been unable to guarantee the arrival of the standard version of the game due to lack of stock. The special edition is still available, but they're running out fast as people buy up the stock and take the hit on the price in order to get the game first time around.
France is apparently running out of stock fast and there won't be enough for launch day. And it is a similar story all across Europe.
4. Rockstar Social Club
The Rockstar Social Club is a portal that will bring players of various Rockstar games together, and the first major title supported is GTA: IV. You can now go a pre-register at the club which will start up properly on - you guessed it - April 29th.
Anyone who signs up before next Tuesday will be entered into a competition to win a portrait of themselves drawn in the now iconic GTA cartoon style.
The integration with the game will be interesting too. When listening to a song in Liberty City, you'll be able to pull up your phone and dial ZIT-555-0100 to 'tag' it. The song will then be waiting for you at the club where you can buy it from Amazon.
5. Biggest game launch ever?
We've been watching all the analyst predictions regarding the launch of GTA: IV and we have distilled all their best guesses into the official PS3 Attitude answer to the question of whether this will be the biggest game launch ever:
We've done the work for you. PS3 Attitude have averaged out over 10 analyst* 'best guess' figures and according to the results, GTA: IV will sell the following numbers over the life of the game:
PS3 - 7.4 million units
Xbox 360 - 11.5 million units
Total sales - 18.9 million units
Week One sales will make up an astonishing 25% of those totals, leading us to expect a combined 4.75 million units will hit the streets next week. That's more than £190m in revenue ($375m /€236m), based on the standard version's street price alone.
Halo 3 sold 3.3 million units in comparison during Week One, generating £150m ($300m / €189m). Putting that into perspective against the movie industry, the number one grossing film this year is Horton Hears a Who, which has managed just £72m ($144m / €90m) thus far since being released five and a half weeks ago.
*Sources include estimates from Wedbush Morgan, Hudson Square and aggregated results from The simExchange...
So get yourselves ready for a hugely competitive online multi-player experience. We don't think you'll be hanging around trying to find someone to play with!
Don't forget you can win over 2Kg of swag in our April Competition - click the link or the big red button in the sidebar to find out more.