Grand Theft Auto 5 appears to be squeezing the last bits of juice out of the current hardware generation. But why focus squarely on aging consoles when another one is just around the corner? Rockstar writer Dan Houser explained that the studio is most comfortable with late-generation hardware.
"Rockstar is a content company, not a hardware company," Houser told Japanese magazine Famitsu (via Polygon). "We use the technology we have to create content, and we try not to let ourselves get beholden to the hardware. The fact that hardware's so mature right now is exactly why we're able to go on to the next level. GTA 4 was our first attempt at a new platform and HD visuals, so the first part of development was seriously difficult. Now we know what the hardware's capable of, so it's become a lot easier to move things along and a lot more fun, too. GTA: San Andras came out at the peak of the PlayStation 2's cycle, and we put out a really good game thanks to that. All the best games for a console come out at the end of the lifecycle, right? So now's the best timing of all."
Houser also stressed five "key themes" for GTA5, most of which have to do with the game's ambition. A large world, lots of goals, robbery missions, three playable characters, and new multiplayer. Relying on familiar hardware to pull all that off might make it easier on Rockstar, but we'll have to see how much the developer strains the systems.