Rockstar‘s successful launch of Grand Theft Auto V this past week seemed like it was too good to be true. Recent reports indicate that it might have been, at least for users of older Xbox 360 models. Some players who purchased Grand Theft Auto V this past week have reported that their Xbox 360 keeps crashing when trying to play the game. The Unofficial GTA Forums have narrowed it down to Xbox 360 models built between 2005 and 2009. Typically on these models, players experience issues somewhere between 5-30 minutes after launching the game. Grand Theft Auto V basically freezes, rendering the game unplayable. It should also be noted that the models built between 2005-2009 were more likely to get the “Red Ring of Death.”
Naughty Dog also had a similar issue when developing Uncharted 3, but the issue was discovered and solved in-house a few days before Uncharted 3 went Gold Master. It could just be an issue with the way the older systems need the memory delivered to them as opposed to the newer models.
Here’s what Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra said about the issue in an interview with 1Up:
After reaching the halfway point, numerous bugs would crop up. Objects would disappear. Walls would flicker in and out of existence. Nathan could find himself in a hall devoid of anything — geometry, texture, lighting, etc.
Evan Wells continues, “All of these bugs point to the exact same problem in our streaming system. We are streaming stuff constantly; we’re abusing the PlayStation 3 like a bad child. We’re streaming audio, music, animation, video, levels, textures, everything. We’re filling the memory, and about halfway through, it gets jammed up so that when we ask for a texture, it’s not there; we ask for an animation, and it’s not there.” Christophe Balestra interjects to note that the reason this bug came up was because the programmer happened to play the game on an older test unit — most of Naughty Dog’s Quality Assurance team were using newer debug hardware and hence weren’t running into this issue.
Grand Theft Auto V is pushing the limits of current gen consoles, so this could just be an issue with the way the game is handling memory. Rockstar says that they’re looking into a solution to the problem.