It's especially frustrating this time around because Xbox and PlayStation systems are essentially both PCs in console trim (there's more to it than that). Sure, they're not in the same vein as big, water-cooled, overclocked monster systems that we've always associated with gaming PCs, but as far as programming goes, it's not a whole lot different. In any event, the apparent snub likely indicates that we will see a staggered release cycle, with these consoles first in line for GTA 6.
If we look at some logistical reasons why this may happen, there certainly are many, much to the chagrin of PC gamers. First, releasing for console gives developers a much more limited and restricted set of hardware for which they have to optimize this game for. It is no secret that this game will be filled to the brim with next-generation graphics
, physics, and environments. There is precedent with previous Rockstar Games titles for this slow PC release, as well.
While one would fully expect the eye-candy to be out-of-this world on a high-end PC, that also comes with some serious performance caveats. By first optimizing for consoles, Rockstar Games will buy itself more time to polish a PC version. A more widely varying PC version has plenty of obstacles to deal with compared to the more straightforward consoles.
The massive span of potential hardware that the game has to work on is staggering, ranging from years-old GPUs from the time of GTA 5, to the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 powerhouse. A glut of different CPUs also play a role, along with system memory and GPU VRAM. 2023 saw some insanely great titles released, but it also saw various duds that were poorly optimized.
Of course, developers manage to release games on PC all the time. That said, it doesn't always go smoothly. Cyberpunk 2077 is an example of a substantial project that had plenty of early teething issues at launch, which hurt its popularity due to technical problems. Not wanting to have that happen with GTA 6 is not a bad idea.
We still can't stop and ponder what the exact reasons would be, however. Rockstar Games has the personnel and expertise to pull off a simultaneous PC release, and the PC market certainly is large enough to warrant such an effort. Like many things, it perhaps comes down to money—Rockstar can keep GTA 6's momentum going by staggering the release, as we've seen time and time again.