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PS5 could seal the deal with a GTA exclusive

The next-generation console war has officially begun, with both Sony and Microsoft talking up the tech in their respective machines. Sony seems to believe the best path forward is a focus on blazing speed, with a custom PlayStation 5 architecture that hopes to provide almost instantaneous load times. Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to have an eye on raw power, offering up Xbox Series X specs that slightly edge out what the PS5 is packing.

I/O bus speeds and teraflops don't tell the whole story, though. At the end of the day, it could all come down to games; namely, which company has the better lineup. If a resurfaced rumor is to be believed, Sony could be looking for a way to land a major timed exclusive for the PlayStation 5. It's one that could help the PS5 sell in a very big way. It's also one that'll have a lot of Xbox fans very angry.

As referenced by Screen Rant recently, a supposed leak from several months back tells a very interesting story about Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 6. That game, despite not being officially announced, has fueled rumors for several years now. This time around, the leak revolves around the release of GTA 6 and makes a fairly bold prediction about the platform it'll appear on. According to the original poster, "Sony paid 'huge money' in order to secure a 1-month PS5 exclusive" period for the next Grand Theft Auto.

If that is true, it would be a potential game-changer for the next-gen console competition.

This scenario is at least fun to think about. Can you imagine Sony dropping a bomb like this, perhaps at the reveal event for the PlayStation 5? The hype leading up to the launch of the console would be positively outrageous. Some Xbox fans would undoubtedly be forced to think about switching allegiances. Sony would get to spend months touting a "first on PS5" release of the long-awaited Rockstar title. It could be the bump that gives the PlayStation 5 an early and commanding lead, and gives Sony a shot at another hugely successful console generation.

When you study the idea a little more closely, though, it doesn't seem all that realistic. In fact, it seems more like a dream someone is trying to will into existence than any type of event that could actually take place.

You're likely well aware of how successful the Grand Theft Auto franchise is. GTA 5, in particular, is the most lucrative piece of entertainment in all of history. Wrap your mind around that for a moment. All those huge Star Wars movie releases? All those Beatles albums? None have made more money than Grand Theft Auto 5. Rockstar managed to pull that off largely because it made the game widely available over the course of two console generations. GTA 5 launched in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It later made the jump to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014. Despite holding out on PC — which seems typical for Rockstar these days – GTA 5 didn't really play favorites. That likely helped the title sell as well as it did.

Now imagine how much money Rockstar could make on a two-console launch for Grand Theft Auto 6, and then imagine how much less the company would make selling the game exclusively on PS5. Even if that window of exclusivity was just a month, Rockstar would still be missing out on a whole lot of dough. It wouldn't be able to talk up its huge release numbers, as a whole platform would be missing from the equation. A number of fans, too, would be a bit peeved at the company.

And one has to wonder how much money Sony would have to offer for a month of exclusivity. Such a move would have to be worth it for Rockstar, which means that check would have to be very, very big. Would that kind of deal be worth it? Would Sony offer Rockstar millions of dollars, potentially, to keep Grand Theft Auto 6 off of Xbox Series X for a single month? It sure seems like that money could be better spent in other ways, and is yet another reason we don't really see the situation unfolding in this manner.

Odds are, this is less a leak from a reliable source and more an item from the wish list of a hopeful PlayStation fan. We'll certainly let you know if we hear anything about exclusivity for GTA 6 on PlayStation 5, but for now, we wouldn't put a lot of stock into this actually happening.