Grand Theft Auto 3: 10th Anniversary

Spotlight

Digital FoundryGrand Theft Auto 3: PlayStation 2 vs. iPad Video

The original console game versus the iOS download.

Digital FoundryGrand Theft Auto 3: Xbox vs. iPad Video

Microsoft's aged console against Apple's new tablet.

Key events

Grand Theft Auto 3 PlayStation 3 release date delayed

Grand Theft Auto 3 PlayStation 3 release date delayed

Music licensing "issues" radioed in.

The planned PlayStation 3 re-release of Grand Theft Auto 3 has been delayed due to music licensing issues, Sony has explained.

Sony had previously announced GTA3 would launch yesterday in North America, but it failed to arrive in the weekly PlayStation Store refresh.

A European release would presumably have followed today in our regular Wednesday update.

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Grand Theft Auto 3 PS2 Classic PSN release date

Old game Grand Theft Auto 3 will be released as a PS2 Classic on PlayStation Network this Tuesday, 31st July.

That's an American date, revealed on the American PlayStation blog podcast - Blogcast.

Maybe that means the European date will be Wednesday, 1st August.

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Grand Theft Auto 3: 10 Year Anniversary Edition Review

"Have they pulled it off?" That was the question spitting incredulously from our lips back in 2001 when Grand Theft Auto made its leap from top-down 2D distraction to fully 3D, open-world game-changer. In a moment of cultural symmetry that probably means something or other, "have they pulled it off?" is also the question that greets GTA3 in 2011, as it celebrates its 10th birthday by debuting on mobile platforms that don't even have buttons.

It's a blue-plaque moment as far as technological change is concerned, and even though games like Infinity Blade should have convinced us that these pocket-sized devices can offer more than Snake and Minefield, the arrival of Grand Theft Auto on the iPhone is momentous enough to warrant a contemplative pause.

Given the ubiquity of so many of its ideas, it's easy to forget just what a paradigm shift Rockstar's opus represented. There had been open-world games before, of course, and Driver had already offered free-roaming car chase thrills only a few years earlier. What GTA did, in its leap to three fully fleshed-out dimensions, was expand the canvas. It wasn't just the freedom of movement, but the sense of place. The radio stations. The characters. The sly sense of humour. To be told we were at liberty to go nuts in Liberty City was a pivotal moment in the evolution of game design.

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Retro Face-Off: Grand Theft Auto 3

Digital FoundryRetro Face-Off: Grand Theft Auto 3

PS2 vs. Xbox vs. PC vs... iPad 2?

Back in October 2001, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto 3 exclusively on PlayStation 2 and everything changed. A genre was defined by a gameplay formula that still persists to this day, many millions of copies were sold, and a megabucks franchise was born. 10 years later, Rockstar has unleashed a celebratory new version of the game for iOS and Android mobile devices - so what better opportunity for Digital Foundry to begin its long-threatened Retro Face-Off coverage?

In this article we'll be examining this iOS GTA running on iPad 2, and seeing just how Rockstar has converted it onto mobile platforms, noting the improvements made and perhaps the opportunities missed. We'll also be factoring in the PC version of the game, released seven months after the original in 2002, and most intriguingly of all we'll be examining the classic Xbox conversion, released precisely two years after the original once Sony's exclusivity period had expired.

In our usual Face-Off coverage it's rare that we actually see enormously significant differences between platforms these days. There's seldom any kind of financial imperative in making different versions of the game that utilise the respective strengths of each set of hardware to produce exciting, unique features, so instead it's all about finding a balance. With GTA3 on Xbox though, it was different, and with Rockstar Vienna on development duties the Xbox version was enormously improved over its predecessors on PS2 and PC.

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Grand Theft Auto 3 release date for iOS/Android

Grand Theft Auto 3 release date for iOS/Android

10th Anniversary Edition will set you back $4.99.

Grand Theft Auto 3: 10th Anniversary Edition arrives on the App Store and Android Marketplace on 15th December, Rockstar Games has announced.

Priced at your local equivalent of $4.99, it's the same game you played back in 2001, updated with touch screen controls. See the screens below for a better idea of how it looks.

As detailed on Rockstar's official site, it's compatible with the following devices:

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