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News for December, 2004

Friday, December 31, 2004
Happy 2005!
Posted by DigitalD at 18:23. Category: General

From the staff here at GTANet I'd like to wish all of our visitors a happy new year. 2004 has been a great year for the network and all the fans with the run-up to the release of San Andreas and release of the long anticipated game. We look forward to a successful 2005 which will feature the release of both PC & Xbox releases of San Andreas.

Speaking of which, partnersite PlanetGrandTheftAuto is reporting that Take-Two have registered a booth for E3 2005 - something they didn't do in 2004. There's a strong possibility that they will unveil the XBox/PC versions of San Andreas.


Thursday, December 30, 2004
Headin' out to paint the town.
Posted by Tsuroki at 00:02. Category: General

Grand Theft Auto (and ultimately Rockstar) once again takes the heat for inspiring young delinquents to perform acts of vandalism, violence, and other criminal mischief.

In Vice City, protests arose over the Rampage sub-mission that instructed you to "Kill the Haitians". During the golden age of GTA3 (back in November of 2002), GTANet reported that police officials had purchased GTA3 to see whether or not it had any influence on the Washington sniper (link).

This time round, the Tribune-Review (a newspaper based in Pittsburgh) is reporting that a handful of young teens have been running amok in Greensburg, tagging public property with the initials "GUK" and "GKU" ("Gangster Kids United").

The scapegoat in this case? Surprise surprise, none other than Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The young juveniles claim that they were inspired by the tagging sub-missions performed by Carl in the districts of Los Santos.

The five boys face criminal charges for allegedly "tagging" 16 buildings and objects in the city with the initials GKU and GUK. The crudely painted letters began appearing on city structures Dec. 7, including on a Jewish temple and at the base of a statue outside Westmoreland Museum of American Art.
- Tribune-Review

Remember, kids. San Andreas is a game - not a "How-To" guide to committing crimes. Keep the mischief off the streets and on the screen, please & thanks.

Sources: GTA-SanAndreas.com, Tribune-Review article


Tuesday, December 28, 2004
$100 San Andreas Style
Posted by DigitalD at 11:31. Category: General

Turns out that Rockstar North held a private San Andreas party on Friday, 10th of December in Edinburgh at the Caligula's Palace casino. This $100 bill served as both an invite to the party as well as gambling currency at the casino.




San Andreas $100 Bill Front & Back

The auction is now over and the item was sold for Ł31. Thanks to CodenameGTA for the heads up.


Monday, December 27, 2004
Grand Theft Auto 4
Posted by adamcs at 12:25. Category: General

San Andreas has only been on the shelves for a few months, but Rockstar aren't wasting any time and it seems they're already planning the next title in the series.

The domains GrandTheftAuto4.com and GTA4.com have been registered by Sam Houser, president of Rockstar Games.

So the title of the game is definitely Grand Theft Auto 4, and the release will likely be October 2007. No further details have been released, although the MCV Trade paper believe that Rockstar have hinted the location of the next title:

Due for next-gen systems, sources close to the project suggest the team is looking beyond the US for the setting of the next title, with Europe a strong contender.
- MCV

You can discuss the next release at our forum.


Sunday, December 26, 2004
IGN's San Andreas Radio Station Blowout
Posted by DigitalD at 15:51. Category: General


IGN's Complete Review of San Andreas Radio Stations

IGN have finished their review of the San Andreas radio stations station-by-station. You can now read summaries of all the radio stations and what songs can be heard in the game.


Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Christmas Giveaway by Rockstar Games
Posted by DigitalD at 14:47. Category: General


BMX Bike

Rockstar Games have let us know that they are holding a 'Str8 Jack Move Giveaway,' during which they are giving away some Grand Theft Auto branded items, perfect for any fan of the series.

MAIN PRIZE: Five lucky winners will receive a super package consisting of one Grand Theft Auto BMX bike, a San Andreas Carhartt hooded sweatshirt, an official Double CD Soundtrack, a t-shirt, hat, bandana and more. Estimated retail value of this package is $350.

SECONDARY PRIZE: Ten runners-up will be receiving the San Andreas prize pack, which is the main prize without the BMX bike. Estimated value of this is $150.

In total, Rockstar is giving away $3,250 worth of merchandise. To be eligible for these prizes, you must be a legal resident of the United States, and be either 18 years of age or have your parents' consent. The deadline for the entries is January 31st, 2005.


Interscope/Universal Music Sponsored Giveaway
Posted by DigitalD at 14:31. Category: General

Interscope Records and Rockstar Games have partnered up and are organising a San Andreas gear giveaway to highlight the release of the official soundtrack sets. The contest is open until February 1st, 2005 to all residents of US age 13 and over.

GRAND PRIZE: One lucky winner will receive a prize pack worth over $350 and including a San Andreas rare BMX bike, hoodie, shorts, beanie, bandana, socks, lock pick, lighter and beverage cooler.

FIRST PRIZE: Five winners each get a San Andreas hat & Dickies jacket.

SECOND PRIZE: Thirty winners each get a San Andreas beanie, poker chips, lighter and bandana.

Related Link: Universal Music "Soundtrack" Contest


Sunday, December 19, 2004
GameSpy PS2 Game of the Year
Posted by DigitalD at 01:22. Category: General

GameSpy is holding their game of the year awards, and although all the categories have not yet been chosen (gamers' choice, top multiplayer and overall game of the year awards are still up for grabs), Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has picked up the PlayStation 2 Game of the Year award.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is one of the most memorable games we've ever played here in the office, and it just keeps on giving -- just ask the handful of us who are still playing it to this day. Cliché as it is to say so, it's a game that just keeps on giving, and we say that with zero hesitation.

Related links: Awards Index, PS2 Game of the Year, Vote Gamers' Choice.


Saturday, December 18, 2004
Second Batch of Christmas Cheat Codes
Posted by DigitalD at 20:09. Category: General

Courtesy of IGN, who has presented us with the second pack of new cheat codes for the PS2 version of GTA San Andreas.

Jump High
CJ can now jump 10 times as high as before. That's right, CJ's getting higher than ever.
UP, UP, TRIANGLE, TRIANGLE, UP, UP, LEFT, RIGHT, SQUARE, R2, R2.

Fatty
CJ turns into one hell of a tubby.
TRIANGLE, UP, UP, LEFT, RIGHT, SQUARE, CIRCLE, DOWN

Skinny
CJ loses all the fat and the muscle to turn into one scrawny gangster.
TRIANGLE, UP, UP, LEFT, RIGHT, SQUARE, CIRCLE, RIGHT

Quad
Spawns a quad that drops down right in front of CJ.
LEFT, LEFT, DOWN, DOWN, UP, UP, SQUARE, CIRCLE, TRIANGLE, R1, R2

Flyboy
Spawns a Hydra in front of CJ.
TRIANGLE, TRIANGLE, SQUARE, CIRCLE, X, L1, L1, DOWN, UP

Vortex
Spawns a hovercraft in front of CJ.
TRIANGLE, TRIANGLE, SQUARE, CIRCLE, X, L1, L2, DOWN, DOWN

Also, Psy of GTA-SanAndreas.com claims that even more codes exist, including all cars with nitrous, all cars with hydraulics, infinite health, infinite ammo, infinite oxygen, never wanted, anyone can be recruited to your gang, spawn Hunter, spawn Dozer, all streetlights "strobe" streetlights, all cars turn into bikes / countryside cars / sports cars / special vehicles. The existance of these codes has been confirmed through the game data, and they can be turned on/off, but the button combinations are as of yet unknown.


Friday, December 17, 2004
Official GTANET IRC Channel Launch
Posted by DigitalD at 17:18. Category: General

A while ago we received an interesting offer from two regulars on our forums, Smithers2 and TwoZero, who run an IRC server and offered to host a GTANET IRC channel. Earlier this week we accepted their offer, and the chat room was opened up a few days ago. Since then, news has been spreading about it by simple word-of-mouth, and now we have close to 40 users in the main channel. Now is the time to make it public, and we are proud to present to you the official GTANET chatroom.

For those experienced with relay chat, go ahead connect to irc.gtanet.com, and join #gta. We'll show you the ropes and strings there. For those who are less experienced but would still like to chat, a web-based applet has been put on GTANet.com, which should fill all the basic needs.

Moderating the IRC chat will be Smithers, TwoZero, eggburt, Dalpura and a few others. If you have any questions, please ask them, otherwise make yourself comfortable and come chat with us.


Selection of New Cheat Codes
Posted by adamcs at 14:43. Category: General

Courtesy of IGN, and a bunch of other sites who all seem to claim these codes to be exclusive to them:

Beach Party
Pedestrians turn into girls wearing swimsuits. Vehicles are also beach style and CJ will be dressed in shorts and sandals:
UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, SQUARE, CIRCLE, L1, R1, TRIANGLE, DOWN

Get Parachute
Puts a parachute on CJ's back:
LEFT, RIGHT, L1, L2, R1, R2, R2, UP, DOWN, RIGHT, L1

Massive Bunny Hops
CJ has the ability to bunny hop on the BMX over massive distances:
TRIANGLE, SQUARE, CIRCLE, CIRCLE, SQUARE, CIRCLE, CIRCLE, L1, L2, L2, R1, R2

Maximum Muscles
Immediately bumps CJ to full muscle:
TRIANGLE, UP, UP, LEFT, RIGHT, SQUARE, CIRCLE, LEFT

Monster Truck
Spawns a monster truck vehicle in your vicinity:
RIGHT, UP, R1, R1, R1, DOWN, TRIANGLE, TRIANGLE, X, CIRCLE, L1, L1

Spawns a Stunt Plane
A stunt plane spawns in your vicinity:
CIRCLE, UP, L1, L2, DOWN, R1, L1, L1, LEFT, LEFT, X, TRIANGLE

Vehicle of Death
Any vehicle the player is using becomes invincible and gains the ability to instantly destroy anything it touches.
L1, L2, L2, UP, DOWN, DOWN, UP, R1, R2, R2


Thursday, December 16, 2004
Take-Two Q4 and Year End Conference Call Details
Posted by DigitalD at 23:14. Category: General

The fourth quarter and year end conference call for Take 2 Games was held earlier tonight, which revealed the sales numbers and success of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Take Two was very pleased with the performance of San Andreas, and considered the worldwide launch of San Andreas the "the key driver in the fourth quarter." "We are incredibly proud at the success of this extraordinary product," said a spokesperson for Take 2 Games, and thanked the hard work of Rockstar Games and Rockstar North. He also called the release of San Andreas "the biggest product launch in the company's history, arguably the most successful launch of any video game."

San Andreas represented 54% of the fourth quarter sales, which totalled $438 million. This means San Andreas made $236.5 million within its first quarter, and "sales of San Andreas were higher than originally forecasted", primarily because the german language version was completed before schedule.

San Andreas has earned over 30% more revenue than Vice City. Also, according to NPDFunworldSM, San Andreas was the "top selling PlayStation 2 title in the United States in October and November." Not surprising really. On top of this, San Andreas was the top selling product for the year, with the GTA double pack following second. The GTA franchise represented 34% of revenue for the year.

Lastly I'd like to bring you a question from a shareholder. He was rather critical of Take 2's decision not to reveal exact sales numbers for San Andreas, and I'd like to applaud his honesty, since I agree with him.

Hi guys, I'd like to invite you to be a bit more shareholder friendly and point out that in the aftermarket your stock is trading at a 50% discount to Electronic Arts. You've just told us you have very strong cash flow and it sounds to us like the SCC issue is imminently to be settled, so that would lead me to believe that you would consider a stock buyback programme.

Could you respond to that, and also I'd like to invite you guys to rethink your position on giving out unit estimates or unit ship-in numbers for San Andreas. Each of your competitors seems not to be shy about telling the street what their unit ship-in numbers are, and Microsoft seems to be bragging about how Halo has outsold Grand Theft Auto. I think your shareholders would really like to know how many units you've shipped in. Thanks very much.
- Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan Securities

To which Take Two answered "with regard to the unit shipments Michael: we hear your point, we'll take it under advisement, and we'll consider it going forward" and repeated their quotes about San Andreas selling 30% higher than Vice City, and referred to NPD data.

Detailed financial results are available in the press release.


San Andreas PC Date and Xbox Version Announced!
Posted by DigitalD at 21:37. Category: General

The PC release date of San Andreas will be at the same time as the Xbox release, which was also announced to be in development today in a press release by Take 2 Games. Both titles will be in North America on June 7th and Europe on June 10th. You heard it here first!

ROCKSTAR GAMES ANNOUNCES GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS FOR XBOX®
Street dates confirmed for Xbox® and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

New York, NY December 16, 2004 - Rockstar Games, the world-renowned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), is pleased to announce that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is making its way to the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. Developed by world-class designers Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Xbox® and PC will be in stores in North America on June 7th, 2005 and in Europe on June 10th, 2005.

Also ongoing is the video press conference of the Take-Two fiscal 2004 fourth quarter and year end results. If anything else is revealed, we will let you know.


Sam Houser Speaks to Game Informer's January Issue
Posted by DigitalD at 14:33. Category: General

The January issue of Game Informer magazine contains a lengthy interview with the president of Rockstar Games, Sam Houser. Even though he is notoriously elusive in speaking to gaming publications, Game Informer have managed to sit down with him and ask him about the GTA series, as well as the gaming industry. Here is a sample of the interview:

Qestion: Is this the last new Grand Theft Auto game we'll see on this generation of hardware? It seems like you've probably pushed the PS2 hardware about as far as you can.

Answer: "Terry [Donovan, CEO of Rockstar] will batter me if I answer that question! [Laughs] It is the last full-blown thing we're going to see for now. But someone might come up with a wacky idea that's fun and relevant tomorrow. I'm one of those "never say never" kind of people. It was really important for us to do this trilogy. A fictional New York in a contemporary setting, Miami in the '80s, and a '90s Cali - that was the trilogy. That was the plan from a long time ago. I'm not the biggest fan of games coming out with new versions year after year. Putting out the same game every year, plus ten percent, that's not our thing."


January Issue of
Game Informer

When asked about an online GTA game, Houser mentioned Everquest as a possible source of inspiration. Additionally, "just giving people deathmatch, or even a cooperative deathmatch - that's not GTA." Houser spoke on Rockstar's choice of systems, saying he is "supporting all the next generation systems," and that "what we built the company on when we moved from PSone to PlayStation 2 was a desire to make games that you couldn't play on the existing platforms. That's very important."

Sam also believes GTA III had a big influence on the gaming industry, and that games such as Def Jam Vendetta and True Crime: Streets of L.A. "wouldn't have happened."

Go out and pick up the issue from the newsstands, and we'll have more information for you when we have the full article at our disposal. Big thanks to PlanetGrandTheftAuto for the quotes and information. Comment on this news at GTAForums.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Care for a San Andreas Bandana?
Posted by DigitalD at 21:49. Category: General

All you have to do is buy the January issue of PSM2. Read more in the following notice, courtesy of our partnersite PlanetGrandTheftAuto and Alex Reist.


Sample Bandana
Brisbane, CA (December 14, 2004) PSM: 100% Independent PlayStation 2 Magazine, Future Network USA's market-leading monthly magazine for PlayStation 2 news, games, hardware and culture, will partner with Rockstar Games to produce a limited-edition black bandana, emblazoned with the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game logo. The exclusive piece of fashion memorabilia, modeled after bandanas worn by characters in the groundbreaking game, will be polybagged in over 200,000 January newsstand copies of PSM, which hits newsstands on December 21, 2004.

In an editorial exclusive, the January issue of PSM will feature six pages of cheats, codes and secrets to help gamers get the most out of Rockstar's best-selling title. To promote the editorial feature, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will also be featured on PSM’s cover.

"We wanted to design a fun, buzzworthy premium that had never been done before on the newsstand and Rockstar Games was the perfect partner …they've created one of the most talked about video game franchises in the history of the industry," said Simon Whitcombe, Publishing Director for Future Network USA's Games Group. "With GTA's red-hot reputation and PSM’s loyal reader base, the polybagged bandana is sure to become an instantaneous collector's item."

200,000 bandanas sounds like a huge number to me, and with the retail value being at around 60 cents, PSM2 is giving away over $100,000 of merchandise. So if you want a San Andreas bandana for your collection, go buy the January issue of PSM2.


SpikeTV Awards - GTA is a Winner!
Posted by adamcs at 12:32. Category: General

Last month we reported that San Andreas had been nominated for Game of the Year, Best Performance by a human male (Samuel L. Jackson - Officer Frank Tenpenny), Best Action Game, Best Soundtrack and Designer of the year (Sam Houser and Rockstar North).


Is there a reason he
referred to San Andreas
as GTA2?

The results are in and we are glad to announce that San Andreas picked up the following awards:

  • Best Action Game
  • Best Soundtrack
  • Best performance by a human male: Samuel L. Jackson
  • Game of the Year

Thanks to tehhunter for the heads up and nitzkit for the image.

Related Links: SpikeTV, GTAForums discussion.


Thursday, December 09, 2004
Sony: DualDisc Doesn't Meet Technical Requirements
Posted by DigitalD at 14:56. Category: General

An interesting topic entitled Reports of olders PS2's having problems with SA has been growing steadily on our forums since the release of San Andreas, and has gathered over 300 replies and 13,000 views to date. The GTA series seems to be plagued with problems with its PS2 port. I even recall people complaining about GTA3's compatibility with the Playstation 2. Whether this is a standard engineering mistake of the PS2 or just random occurences seems to have found an answer in a recent consumer alert bulletin by the official Playstation website.

The consumer alert bulletin states that the Playstation 2 may not play the DualDisc format correctly. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas uses the DualDisc format to allow for its wide range of radio stations and in-game audio, so anyone playing San Andreas on their PS2 is also affected by this.

The bulletin lists the following models to be not fully compatible with the DualDisc format:

  • SCPH-30001
  • SCPH-30001R
  • SCPH-35000GT
  • SCPH-39001
  • SCPH-39001/N
  • SCPH-39010/N
  • SCPH-50001
  • SCPH-50001N
  • SCPH-50010/N

Interestingly, this list is effectively all the Playstation 2 models, including the new PStwo models. Sony's recommendation for safely playing a DualDisc format game on the PS2 is the following:

The console should be placed in the horizontal position. When the console is placed vertically, there is a greater likelihood that the DualDisc will come into contact with the mechanical parts of the console, causing a light scratch on the disc. Avoid using the console in the vertical position.

So now there is official confirmation for the recent compatibility concerns. It's interesting that Sony is distancing itself from the DualDisc format publicly, seeing as San Andreas is one of their key titles, and Sony was in close cooperation with Rockstar while the game was being developed. If you have experienced problems playing San Andreas on your PS2, please sign the relevant topic.


Soundtrack Box Set Released
Posted by DigitalD at 14:39. Category: General

A recent Rockstar newsletter has announced the release of the San Andreas Official Soundtrack 8 CD Box Set.

The set consists of 8 different CDs, all packed with different flavours of 90s music, and Rockstar's marketing people have called it "the mother load of the San Andreas musical experience."

Read more about the San Andreas soundtrack at the official website, or order it now from Amazon.

Read More

Sales Still Strong
Posted by DigitalD at 14:26. Category: General

The success of San Andreas as not died out since the release of over a month ago, and is still expected by many analysts to be one of the strongest sellers of the upcoming holiday season. Sure eed for Speed Underground 2 has toppled San Andreas off the #1 spot, but San Andreas has kept strong through the releases of Halo 2 and Half-Life 2.

Sales umbers continue to be above expectations, the video game market is growing with every month, and San Andreas has stayed at #1 for video game rentals over the past 5 weeks.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Sam
Posted by adamcs at 20:02. Category: General

Introducing, Sam - the San Andreas Java Map created by Azkoyen that enables you to select and view the locations of health icons, two-player locations, gifts, police bribes, unique stunt locations and more.



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