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Don't expect to spend much time hanging out with your Xbox 360 and/or PlayStation 3 gaming buddies for the next few days. If they're fans of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto franchise, chances are they stood outside a GameStop, Best Buy, or Walmart last night in anticipation of the midnight launch of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), one of the most highly hyped games of 2013 and perhaps one of the most lucrative.
It's too early to tell, of course, though RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian estimates the latest GTA installment will generate over $1 billion in revenue in retail sales during its first month on the market, Fudzilla reports. According to Sebastian, shipments are likely to reach 12 million units this year and surpass the 20 million mark by the end of 2013. As a point of comparison, total GTA IV sales were 25 million units.
In related news, if you plan on picking up a copy for your Xbox 360 rather than waiting for the inevitable PC release (still unannounced, by the way), be advised that Rockstar Games is recommending against installing the Play disc for optimal performance. GTA V comes with two DVDs, one is the Install disc and the other is the Play disc, the latter of which you'll need to pop into your console when playing the game.
The reason Rockstar Games says you shouldn't install the Play disc is because of the way textures are loaded. Game data is loaded from the hard drive and optical drive at the same time, and if you install the Play disc, it can mess up the high-res textures and cause corruption, as well as slow down performance. You can see some of the effects in the video below.