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Grand Theft Auto IV Boosts Console Sales

This just in, Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) has just released a statement in regards to the number of PlayStation 3(PS3) sales as a result of the release of Rockstar Games most highly anticipated title, Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA4). GTA, for those of you who don't know, is an action-adventure game done in a sandbox-style. Though there is an underlined story line, the GTA series is best known for its non-linear game play ability. This means for a third person-person view, a player can traverse a large area usually depicted from an actual city. The user can walk, run, swim, climb, jump as well as use a plethora of weapons and basic hand-to-hand combat to move through this fantasy world and interact with the non-player characters (npc's) within the game.

Players can also steel a variety of vehicles to explore this non-linear environment.
Rockstar Games has often met with a lot of skepticism and negativity in regards to level of violence in the game. But as Scott Steinberg eloquently stated in an interview with Daniel Seiberg, "the most impressive feature of Grand Theft Auto IV, isn't the sex, it's not the violence, it's the story telling and the depth to which the creators, Rockstar Games have gone to make you feel like you're in a believable world." Some argue that the level of violence in this game can have a negative impact on children but this game is clearly marked M, for mature audience's only.

But despite the negative attention GTA franchise has received, analysts predict Rockstar Games'
GTA IV first week sales will easily topple previous records of 300 million units sold. What this means is that next gen consoles like Microsoft's XBOX 360 and Sony's PS3 will see a boost in sales.
This month might be a profitable month for all next generation (next gen) platforms with the release of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and the anticipated release of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and Sega's Iron Man. But Sony is already reporting record sales. Check the release below.

Following its highly anticipated release on April 29, 2008, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that, as expected, the demand for Grand Theft Auto IV drove sales of the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) entertainment system within the first 24 hours, continuing the strong legacy of the franchise on PlayStation® platforms. 

"From our position, the launch of GTA IV has been tremendous in driving traffic to our stores, as well as providing a vigorous lift in PS3 console sales over this time last week. We attribute the growth to a huge fan base of PS2 owners who see this title as the trigger for the PS3 upgrade they've been planning," said Bob McKenzie, Senior Vice President, Merchandising, GameStop Corp. 

For more than a decade, Grand Theft Auto has been closely aligned with the PlayStation brand, and previous GTA titles have sold 30 million copies in the United States alone, according to the market research firm NPD Group. 

"I think brand loyalty is going to kick in for Sony, starting today," said Wedbush Morgan industry analyst Michael Pachter. "There is a huge installed base of loyal PlayStation 2 owners who have been looking for a reason to upgrade, and they have strong previous ties to the Grand Theft Auto franchise on PlayStation platforms. Add to that a number of other big exclusive games for PS3, including Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4, LittleBigPlanet, and SOCOM: Confrontation, to name a few, and it seems like Sony's in a great position right now.", which scored the game a perfect "10", wrote, "For those wanting to know which version looks better, the edge goes to the PS3. The textures and framerate are comparable, but the PS3 has far less pop-in. The 360 has richer colors, but the PS3 has better anti-aliasing making it look a little cleaner." 

"Grand Theft Auto fans who love the game grew up on PlayStation and we believe that rich heritage will be a deciding factor for many gamers at retail," said Peter Dille, Senior Vice President, Marketing & PLAYSTATION Network. "This enthusiasm for GTA IV, combined with the excitement behind Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4, LittleBigPlanet, and Resistance 2 will further drive PS3 hardware sales."

The launch of Grand Theft Auto IV is the second blockbuster release for PS3 in April and follows the April 15 debut of Gran Tursimo™ 5 Prologue, the fifth installment of the world's best-selling racing franchise and an intense precursor to Gran Turismo™ 5.

By Chad Chamberlain

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