Back in October, Rockstar Games announced plans to bring the original Grand Theft Auto III to smartphones. The classic title re-imagined the earlier top-down games in the series as a third-person mission-based sandbox experience; when released, the new direction worked like a charm, and served as the basis for every GTA title to follow. When Grand Theft Auto III first launched ten years ago, it was seen as a technological marvel. Consumer electronics have come a long way in that time, and what used to require a dedicated gaming console now easily runs on the latest smartphones. Rockstar revealed a release date for the game today, coming to select iOS and Android devices on December 15.
Today’s announcement of the title’s release date brings a couple other nuggets of good news with it. For starters, the $5 price the app will fetch is a lot lower than it could have been, especially for the sheer amount of gameplay GTA III offers. At $5, taking a trip down memory lane is a much easier decision than if we were looking at the $10 range.
When Rockstar talked about the game earlier this fall, it said that only dual-core hardware would be supported, due to the title’s technical demands. While that left us with a few Android options, it meant that Apple would only have the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Luckily, Rockstar has been hard at work on optimization, and has gotten the game running acceptably on both the original iPad and the iPhone 4. The list of compatible Android smartphones grows a little, too, but we’re still in dual-core-only territory. Supported handsets include the HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x/T-Mobile G2x , Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, and Samsung Galaxy R.