Will Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA 5) ever come to the Mac?
Grand Theft Auto 5 was one of the most acclaimed and successful games of 2013, but - so far - only console gamers have been able to enjoy it: just the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have seen versions of GTA 5. (Update, 15 September 2014 - But the Xbox One, PS4 and - most importantly from a Mac point of view - PC will get versions of GTA 5 in a few months' time. See the section 'Can I play the PC version on my Mac?' for information explaining how you can play the PC version of GTA V on a Mac.)
In this article we round up the rumours about a Mac release for Grand Theft Auto V, and weigh up the chances of Mac gamers getting to play the latest GTA title.
GTA 5 for Mac release date rumours: Will GTA 5 ever be released for Mac?
Brace yourself for disappointment: maybe not. We haven't even seen a Mac release of Grand Theft Auto 4 yet, and Rockstar may decide not to release Grand Theft Auto 5 for Mac at all. (But remember that you can run Windows software on a Mac, as we explain below, which may give you a way to run GTA 5 on Mac. In cheering news, GTA V for PC was announced at E3, and will launch in January 2014. This gives Mac owners one way of playing the game.)
In fact, we read on one forum that Rockstar has ruled out a Mac launch for GTA 5 on the basis of a 'capacity' issue, although we can't see any sign of that in the official company feed. We've contacted Rockstar on Twitter to see if they have any comment, and will post any response here.
Trying to look at this positively, Rockstar has released other games on the Mac - as well as bringing its much-loved shooter Max Payne 3 to Mac earlier this year (download Max Payne 3 for Mac here), the company has made GTA: San Andreas (£10.49), GTA: Vice City (£6.99) and GTA 3 (£6.99) available on the Mac App Store. But all of those titles saw substantial delays from initial launch before coming to Mac.
Max Payne 3 arrived on Mac more than a year after its console launch (more than a year, indeed, after its PC launch). And the three earlier Grand Theft Auto games landed on the App Store seven, nine and ten years respectively after hitting the consoles.
GTA 5 for Mac release date rumours: Why do Mac users get games last - or not at all?
It doesn't seem fair, but developers go where the money is, and the average Mac user is less into gaming, and hardcore gaming in particular, than the average PC user. (Fair's fair, really - Apple fans get the good end of that bargain in mobile, where devs almost always bring games - and other apps - to iOS before Android because of the more lucrative revenues to be had.)
Advanced gaming is also an area where processing power counts, and it's generally more cost-effective to custom-build a gaming rig PC than to buy a Mac that can handle the demands of the latest games. The graphics card options won't be as good for Mac users too. We would always defend the Mac's overall superiority over the PC, but gaming remains one of the PC's trump cards - even if Macs have been closing the gap in recent years.
GTA 5 for Mac release date rumours: Can I play the PC version on my Mac? (And when will GTA 5 launch on PC?)
Yes. In fact, waiting for the PC version is probably your best chance of playing GTA 5 on a Mac. You'll need to use Windows virtualisation software such as Parallels, VMware or Bootcamp, as Matt Egan explains in 'How to run Windows on a Mac'.
Rockstar announced at E3 2014 that a PC version of GTA 5 is definitely coming, and we now know that it will launch on 27 January 2014.
GTA 5 for Mac release date rumours: Will Grand Theft Auto 5 be released for iPad or iPhone?
Going for an even longer shot, will Grand Theft Auto 5 come to the iPad and iPhone? Sadly, and despite the increasingly muscular processing power of the iPad, it looks unlikely that the full game will make it on to iOS. But GTA addicts will be pleased to hear that two companion apps are available for iOS.
The first is Grand Theft Auto V: The Manual. It's a 100-page manual that is designed to help you through the game, and also includes an interactive version of the game map. The app is supposed to to arrive on Mac soon, and is already available for PC.
The second app is called Grand Theft Auto: iFruit, which offers game news, the ability to create GTA 5 vehicles using the Los Santos Customs feature, a virtual pet game called Chop the Dog starring Franklin's canine companion, social aspects and more.
And that's on top of the existing (but older) Grand Theft Auto games on iOS. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which features support for Made for iPhone games controllers, was the most recent launch, joining GTA: Vice City and GTA III in the App Store.