Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be launching this holiday season, and while the anticipation surrounding these next-gen machines is palpable, the release of Grand Theft Auto 5 this September is one of the biggest gaming events of the year. That’s thanks to the substantial fanbase surrounding the franchise, which seemingly hibernates in some undisclosed cave until a new title in Rockstar Games’ massive franchise decides to make an appearance. No one has enough information to predict the sales figures of GTA 5 on the dot, but according Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, this three-protagonist sequel could very well sell a great deal more than GTA 4.
Just how many units can the publisher push? Bhatia predicts that GTA 5 has the potential to sell 18 million to 20 million units by the end of Take-Two's fiscal year in March 2014, which would be "substantially better" than 2008's Grand Theft Auto 4. The main reason for this sales increase would be the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360’s install base, which is much more impressive now than it was five years ago. It’s actually three times larger, if Bhatia’s numbers are to be believed.
Continuing to look at the analyst’s numbers, GTA 4 sold 11 million units in its first month and more than 13 million units in its first nine months following launch. Overall, the blockbuster title has passed the 25 million sales mark. If the next-gen evidence is confirmed by Rockstar anytime soon, expect these numbers to be shattered by this year’s GTA 5.