It's okay, I'm kinda resigned to GTA 6 not getting a simultaneous release alongside the PlayStation 5 (and PS5 Pro?), Xbox Series X and Series S launches now. I'm not happy about it, but I'm coping. But with the console version not landing until sometime in 2025 what will a serious gaming PC look like by the time it hits the PC?
We don't know when in 2025 the main game will launch, which makes it impossible to know when a PC version might deign to grace us with its presence. Red Dead Redemption 2 was the most recent Rockstar PC port to release, and that was some 13 months after the console release in October 2018.
If Rockstar follows its traditional release pattern we'll see GTA 6 around September or October 2025, and then potentially the same sort of timeframe in 2026 on PC. So, around two years from now. Now I've depressed myself. Two years? Damn it all, I lied; I'm not coping at all.
But wait, it could get worse. If you want to follow me into the worst possible timeline then you could make a case for Rockstar hitting the 25th anniversary of GTA: Vice City with a GTA 6 (set in the same environs) PC release on October 29, 2027. That couldn't possibly happen, could it? Maybe it will just reserve that for another special release for the consoles as a further cash-in?
2026's GTA 6 PC
CPU: Intel Panther Lake or AMD Zen 6
GPU: Nvidia RTX 50-series or AMD RDNA 5
SSD: PCIe 6.0
Screen: Micro LED or bust
I'm going to stick with a 'sometime in 2026' release date for now, because my fragile gamer's mind cannot cope with anything else, if I'm being totally honest. Hopefully Rockstar is feeling generous and throws us PC gamers a crime-ridden bone just six months after the console launch and hits mid-2026.
So, what will a top-end gaming PC look like in 2026? Well, 2025 itself is shaping up to being a hell of a year in PC gaming hardware terms, and that means by the following year all the latest architectures will be bedded in and—barring a crypto/AI run on GPUs and CPUs—will be available to all. Well, all who can afford them, that is.
For one we're expecting Nvidia's RTX 50-series graphics cards to release in 2025. That's later than we were originally hoping, but means that by GTA 6's presumed PC release even the mainstream RTX 50-series GPUs will be available to us mere mortals, and not just the $2,000 RTX 5090—or whatever Nvidia ends up calling its next generation of cards.
Presumably, given the 'GB20x' GPU codenames that have been leaked, we're looking at the Blackwell graphics architecture given a second, more consumer-oriented spin after the main datacenter GB100 GPUs hit the big boi market in 2024.
And what of AMD GPUs? We're expecting some mainstream RDNA 4 graphics cards to launch next year, with RDNA 5 chips not likely until 2025 at the very earliest. But AMD RDNA 5 chips could be the biggest thing to happen, not just to Team Radeon, but to gaming graphics for a generation.
If (and yes, it's a big 'if') the recent 'Distributed Geometry' multi-GCD patent forms the basis of AMD's RDNA 5 GPUs then we could be looking at the company hitting the big time again with its high-end graphics card releases. Being able to just throw more and more chiplets into a GPU package, and see commensurate performance lifts from doing so, could lead to AMD taking its position at the top of the graphics card market.
On the CPU side we'll likely see gaming PCs rocking either Intel's Panther Lake (18th Gen?) processors or AMD's Zen 6 chips. We know even less about these parts than the speculative specs of the next-gen graphics architectures.
Though the idea is that Intel will be using its Intel 18A node, sporting the tantalising prospect of full backside power delivery, and AMD picking TSMC's 2nm node for its part.
Given the ~120GB scale of Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, and the promise of GTA 6 being "the biggest, most immersive evolution of the Grand Theft Auto series yet," I expect we're going to need a fair chunk of space. Good job that 2-4TB SSDs will be readily available at decent prices by that point, and we might even get some PCIe 5.0 SSDs that don't melt through our motherboards.
But we should also be seeing PCIe 6.0 SSDs by that point, too. Again doubling the bandwidth of PCIe 5.0 drives, the new PCIe 6.0 specification—finalised early last year—will likely start to be available by 2026. Fingers crossed new drives actually offer something compelling for PC upgraders beyond faster straight line speeds.
By 2025 OLED gaming monitors will be old hat. Every second monitor on your desktop will be an OLED and you'll be bored of running anti-burn-in protection routines on all your screens by that point.
So, it's a good job that Micro LED monitors could be a thing by the time GTA 6 eventually rocks up. The current expectation is that Micro LED panels (not to be confused, but inevitably will be, with Mini LED) are going to be in displays by 2025 at the very earliest.
And what's so special about Micro LED? Essentially all the best bits of OLED tech, namely the fact they require no backlight as they use self-emissive pixels, but they're able to be run at higher brightness levels that OLEDs. Impressively Micro LED is also able to deliver even better contrast levels, have higher response times, and have a longer lifespan than OLED panels.
There is also the potential for them to be modular. This is a benefit for manufacturers, who can slot modules together to create different monitor sizes without having to spend out on specific sizes of individual panels. There is also the prospect that you could do that as a consumer, too, adding Micro LED modules to create bespoke screens and wild aspec ratios.
They won't be cheap, however, the Samsung TVs it's released with Micro LED tech inside it have ranged from $50,000 - $100,000. Luckily you've got plenty of time to save up, eh?
The final piece of exciting PC tech we're expecting to drop in 2025, potentially delivering devices using it by the time GTA 6 drops for PCs, is AMD's monster APU: Strix Halo. This is essentially a PS5-in-a-chip with 16 Zen 5 CPU cores and 40 RDNA 3.5 GPU cores in the same package.
That would make for jaw-dropping performance in a handheld gaming PC—something like the "generational leap" Valve has specifically been looking for in its second-gen Steam Deck. I for one would love to see a Steam Deck 2 coming out just ahead of a GTA 6 PC launch, giving me the option to take it on the go with me, and you're not going to be doing that with your PlayStation or Xbox even by 2026.
And don't come at me with those streaming PS Portal vibes either, I want a handheld that can deal with GTA 6 on local hardware, thank you very much.