GRAND THEFT AUTO could be getting a new online mode with advanced features, a new leak suggests.
It means the wildly popular GTA Online may soon be revamped for gamers.
What's unclear is if the new version would be linked to the current GTA 5 – or the long-rumoured GTA 6.
Twitter user Big Jim Colosimo and Rockstar Intel have unearthed interesting patent filings from Take-Two Interactive, the parent of GTA-maker Rockstar Games.
The first is around session management systems.
These allow games to fill a virtual online world with players.
With an advanced system described in the patent, a game like GTA Online could make it much easier to swap between online gaming sessions – including with friends or strangers.
And it could help limit game disconnections.
The second patent is related to virtual environments – and how they're processed by consoles.
It specifically relates to AI design in the game, relating to how NPCs navigate around the world.
Rockstar could use in-house servers to host these AI systems, beaming the intelligence down to consoles over the internet.
This could take a huge chunk of the processing cost away from the consoles, giving them more breathing room.
It could also allow for much more advanced AI, beyond the limits of a £450 console.
This means that a future version of GTA Online could feel much more real, with a more lifelike and naturally populated world.
Of course, none of this is hard proof that a new version of GTA Online is in the works.
All it means is that Take-Two Interactive has invented clever ways to improve a game like GTA Online.
But with GTA 6 reportedly on the horizon, it's entirely possible that we could see these enhancements in the near future.
Grand Theft Auto 5 came out in 2013, and was the first main entry in the franchise since 2008's GTA 4.
It's set in the fictional state of San Andreas – which is inspired by Southern California.
The story follows three criminals who conduct heists against a backdrop of organised crime and corrupt government agents.
Importantly, GTA 5 also comes with GTA Online – a ludicrously popular multiplayer experience.
It's set in the same open-world, but you can to act out your criminal fantasies alongside other players in real-time.
Grand Theft Auto games – a timeline
Here’s the full list…
- 1997 – Grand Theft Auto
- 1999 – Grand Theft Auto 2
- 2001 – Grand Theft Auto 3
- 2002 – Grand Theft Auto Vice City
- 2004 – Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
- 2008 – Grand Theft Auto 4
- 2013 – Grand Theft Auto 5
- 1999 – Grand Theft Auto London 1969
- 1999 – Grand Theft Auto London 1961
- 2009 – Grand Theft Auto 4 The Lost and Damned
- 2009 – Grand Theft Auto The Ballad of Gay Tony
- 2004 – Grand Theft Auto Advance
- 2005 – Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories
- 2006 – Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories
- 2009 – Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars
A separate leak last week claimed that an "enhanced" version of GTA 5 may be coming this year.
In a post on GTAforums, top insider Tez2 says that there are references to Red Dead Redemption 2's game engine.
RDR2 is another more recent Rockstar Games entry, acclaimed for its stunning graphics.
The latest version of the RAGE game engine is what powers the graphics in RDR2.
And the exact same RDR2 engine could be used to "enhance" GTA 5 graphics for newer consoles.
Rockstar has previously talked up plans to eventually "expand and enhance" GTA 5 for the PS5.
It would be an impressive feat, given that the game originally launched way back on the PS3.
However, it's unclear exactly how the game would be expanded and enhanced.
In other news, The Sun's favourite alternative to a games console is the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.
Grab a VR headset and you'll be able to play the legendary Beat Saber – like Guitar Hero, but with lightsabers.
And Dell's Alienware R10 Ryzen Edition is a gaming PC powerhouse that crushes both the new consoles.
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