How long 'til GTA IV comes to the PC?

Have you jealously snickered at your console friends as they stood in line waiting forGTA IV? Have you relentlessly checked websites to see when it will be ported to thePC? Have you cried yourself to sleep, dreaming of stolen cars and campy violence? Well take heart, dear reader.

GTA has a long history with PC gaming, starting with the original entry in the series. Released in 1997, Grand Theft Auto was originally developed in DOS but ported to Windows and PlayStation the same year. The sequel was released to Windows in 1999 only five days after its console equivalent. The monumentalGTA IIIwas actually the first of the series to be released to the console platform and later ported to the PC.

GTA III and its sequelsVice CityandSan Andreasall took about the same amount of time to port. GTA III took almost seven months to port, and the Windows version was derided by many critics for performance problems. Vice City took a little less time to port and seemingly resolved some of these issues while San Andreas took the longest time to port to the PC (a little over 7 months).

Should we expect the same amount of time till GTA IV is released? Yes and no. On the optimistic side, many developers try to get a new game out before the Christmas rush, so we could see a GTA port as soon as late November. That said, Rockstar has always liked to buck trends and will probably wait until this is good and ready. Plus, we can only imagine that the party they’ve been having since the game’s release (and likely record-breaking sales) won't be stopping for a little while.

While the previous three games were fairly similar, GTA IV’s enhanced graphics could take more time to port. While this game is likely to sell even without enhanced graphics, the developers might want to upgrade its visuals to make better use of the high-powered rigs many consumers enjoy these days. Multiplayer probably presents another set of challenges and who knows what other gizmos and enhancements Rockstar would want for the PC release? So perhaps a more realistic release date would be north of that 7-8 month trend we saw in the previous three installments.

Should we count on a PC release? History tells us to think so, caution tells us to not expect it, and hope demands that we do.

Release Date: January 12th, 2009 (projected)

May 7, 2008