Home Gaming PSA: Do not buy the digital version of GTA V on the PS3

PSA: Do not buy the digital version of GTA V on the PS3

1 min read
84

Why is it always the good part thats pixelated

Now here’s something that simply doesn’t make any sense to me. The poor streaming speed of the Blu-Ray drive has always been the reason why PS3 games have to be installed rather than run straight from the disc.

So it goes without saying that buying a downloadable version of a game or the retail version would make no difference as the game still has to be installed to the drive and streamed from there.

Well I was wrong, because while I thought that was obvious it really isn’t.

Case in point, the downloadable version of GTA V on the PSN store actually doesn’t work very well at all on the PS3, so much so that Digital Foundry are currently recommending that you simply do not buy that version and rather opt for the PS3 retail version which has no problems.

The problems relate to the textures and assets in GTA V not rendering fast enough through the digital version leaving you with flat boring textures, missing background objects and in the worst case scenario, entirely missing walls that can still be driven into.

Just imagine you are screaming down the road trying to get away from the cops when you run smack bang into thin air that then materialises into a brick wall.

Now according to the YouTube comments, which you should never read if you value your sanity, this doesn’t appear to be happening to everyone and may only be an issue on older PS3’s.

Personally I find Digital Foundry to be a very trustworthy source when it comes to graphical comparisons so I for one will recommend people to rather get the retail versions, that and it supports local industry which is always better than handing your money over to corporate machines who would kill their own mothers for an extra dollar.

Last Updated: September 20, 2013

84 Comments

  1. CrasH

    September 20, 2013 at 13:03

    reminds me of playing the old larry games…

    Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    September 20, 2013 at 13:07

    One thing you can say about Youtube comments is that the top voted ones are usually the best ones. Two bad they only have two.

    Reply

  3. Skyblue

    September 20, 2013 at 13:11

    Aaaaah, quality assurance at it finest once again. I would hope that Sony/Rockstar will be offering refunds. Probably the same reason that Rockstar recommended a partial install for X360 as well.

    Reply

    • Verrayne

      September 20, 2013 at 13:57

      You can’t get a refund from SK.. they outright refuse.

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        September 20, 2013 at 14:04

        This is the digitally distributed GTA V giving the problems, not the disk based game.

        Reply

        • Verrayne

          September 20, 2013 at 16:02

          SK run the PS store on behalf of Sony.

          Reply

          • CONFUSED

            October 1, 2013 at 06:12

            SK?

          • Verrayne

            October 1, 2013 at 08:06

            Ster Kinekor.

  4. fred

    September 20, 2013 at 13:41

    It costs more , needs more hard drive space ,uses 20 gig of your data cap , and you cannot sell it , so all in all does not make sense from the start anyway , oh , and you don’t get the printed map .

    Reply

    • Grimthwacker

      September 20, 2013 at 13:51

      And don’t forget about the files becoming corrupt during download, forcing you to do another full 18GB download (while hoping this time it’ll work).

      Reply

      • Kevin Balouch

        September 20, 2013 at 22:57

        Yep, wasted several hours downloading it to find out that the files were corrupt.

        Reply

        • abdul

          September 21, 2013 at 14:50

          add ezway_ if you have gta 5 digital version ill help you out k

          Reply

    • Roper

      September 20, 2013 at 17:18

      who cares how much space it takes, if you have the space why does it matter? I for one don’t sell my games so that does not affect me either.

      Reply

      • Preston Pope

        January 5, 2016 at 21:20

        I’m in that same boat. Every time I sell a game I regret it later. Having them digitally means I never get rid of something I enjoy. Of course there are a lot of games I own that I don’t like at all, but that’s my money I’m willing to risk. I don’t do things like smoke, drink, or gamble, so buying games is my bad habit.

        Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      September 23, 2013 at 11:53

      (In a Trevor voice)

      I don’t see why consumers would push for digital. It makes no sense, and the benefits are outweighed by the negatives. Like you said, you can’t sell it, it’s heavily dependent on your connection, it’s not really yours, sure it might be more convenient if you’re a lazy ass who doesn’t want to lift his fat ass off a couch to insert a disk….

      Same with movies, I get streaming from a free site, and I support online rentals, but if you buy a digital version of a movie, you are an idiot, and an enemy of Freedom, the rights of the consumer and probably a sado-masochist who likes it when people stand on your balls!

      I hate digital! Death to DIGITAL! LET THE NEXT WAR BE … A WAR AGAINST DIGITAL!

      Reply

      • pikikikilisoso

        September 23, 2013 at 21:56

        dumb. game is digital. ps3 is digital

        Reply

      • Brett Michael Hall

        September 30, 2013 at 01:11

        Digital makes sense for people who cannot leave the house, ie: me post cancer op unable to walk. And kids that’s parents wouldn’t allow them buy it also. So there is definitely a market. Although you’d gta v is still installing I have no idea if it worked or not..

        Reply

        • melodicmizery

          October 18, 2013 at 20:48

          you can order the game from amazon, gamestop, best buy etc. and get it just as easy as the ps store, even release day delivery. hell you can also get it for almost half less most the time. sometimes i buy used games for like 17 dollars while there still 50 in the ps store. but im sorry to hear about you having cancer that sucks i hope you get better. i have bad anxiety which i dont like to leave at all but i kind of force myself to just because digital is such a horrible offer.

          Reply

          • Crazy

            October 27, 2013 at 00:29

            Sometimes the games are a bit cheaper on eBay so I use eBay to buy stuff bro. What the hell is digital distribution good for!? I hate to leave the house just to find a Garage Sale or some shit. Buying the digital copy means you’re paying for a LICENSE, and it’s a RIP-OFF!! Yes, I have done it and I got RIPPED-OFF!! I ended up regretting it big time. Digital distribution is a RIP-OFF. It’s the truth because people don’t realize it’s true.

        • Mwhahah

          November 6, 2014 at 02:48

          I use to live in a place where there were no new games being sold. Whenever I bought a game and shipped it to where I lived, it would always cost at least double the price (normally more). And that’s why digital was a huge saver for me ;3. Less money on shipping and more money on gaming.

          Reply

      • durr

        October 10, 2013 at 16:28

        all good points Minus your (b) answer.. You can share digital copies.

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          October 10, 2013 at 17:41

          You will be able to with Steam’s “family sharing” – KIND OFF!

          But, it will also depend on how that service is structured. In other words, what limitations will exist on shared content. But what I meant by not being able to share is what we’ve been doing for years – i.e. going to your buddy’s place, handing over a disk to him, allowing him to play it and then getting it back later on or not at all…sigh! Some friends… assholes.

          With digital, you can’t do that. For digital it’s a license transfer and who knows what DRM hoops we’re going to have to jump through.

          Reply

        • melodicmizery

          October 18, 2013 at 20:48

          you can only share a digital copy on ps3 with one other system they use to have 5 but now its down to just 2.

          Reply

      • UnbiasedGamer

        October 24, 2013 at 08:17

        You can share thats why digital is important,Say if you want to play the same game with your friends,,,Digital allows you to only spend $60 on one game instead of $120 adding both you and your friend to play the same game for the price of one.

        Reply

    • Michael Wesley Lemmer

      October 3, 2013 at 02:55

      damn i wish i knew that before but shit i didnt want to wait in line

      Reply

  5. TiMsTeR I miss Gta V

    September 20, 2013 at 13:43

    Poor people, They better get refunds. That’s not cool but what happens when you push hardware to the edge.

    Reply

  6. A??n??g??e??l?? N??i??e??v??a?

    September 20, 2013 at 18:38

    i have digital version i thought can did better in hdd :/

    Reply

  7. Kevin Balouch

    September 20, 2013 at 20:26

    Read this just after purchasing the digital version 🙁

    Reply

    • Bernardo

      September 20, 2013 at 20:27

      Yeah. Me too

      Reply

      • Ramsey513

        September 21, 2013 at 19:06

        looks like that makes 3 of us. i called them and they told me it would 7-10 business days for them to even send me a email ABOUT a refund

        Reply

      • Ramsey513

        September 21, 2013 at 19:06

        looks like that makes 3 of us. i called them and they told me it would 7-10 business days for them to even send me a email ABOUT a refund

        Reply

        • SnoDawg666(psn name)

          October 1, 2013 at 07:38

          it’s funny, i never noticed a problem with visual experiences when i bought it from ps store. one of the good things about ps store, is that you dont have to worry about your disk getting scratched, cracked, or broken.

          Reply

  8. Ross

    September 20, 2013 at 22:12

    Unfortunately, I’m forced to buy the GTA V digital version. Get this. Right after I buy GTA V, about an hour into it, GTA freezes, my PS3 messes up, and now it won’t play any Blu-Ray disks, movie or games. So I’m going to install the digital version of GTA, get my $60 back for the disk, and play this until the PS4 comes out. At least it’s on the Store, I’d be screwed if it wasn’t tbh.

    Reply

    • Maxiviper117

      September 23, 2013 at 15:19

      Same thing happened to be 1 year, 9 months ago, got it fixed, (blu-ray drive is stuffed) lasted a year and then broke again begining of this year, so i just left it , cuz the repair is R1200

      Reply

      • Felix

        September 29, 2013 at 00:37

        Same problem here mate! My blu ray drive is not working and I( am now seeing wheter to buy a new blu ray lense and see if I can fix it..it only cost 25 pounds so8 it might worth it to spend the money…if it does nt work then i will do the same as >Ross get it online and be my last game for the ps3.

        Reply

    • melodicmizery

      October 18, 2013 at 20:50

      same thing happened to me from gta5, ever since i started playing it it has screwed up my blu ray and now im having bad problems starting and playing games. i have spare blu rays but still i shouldnt have a broke ps3 because a game is coded badly

      Reply

    • ohNoey(psn name)

      December 15, 2013 at 02:49

      do you mind gamesharing with me? money is tight in my family right now 🙁

      Reply

  9. oasis

    September 21, 2013 at 06:27

    i have the digital version and mine hasnt done anything that the video is showing
    digital version works the excat same

    Reply

    • abdul

      September 21, 2013 at 14:49

      hey add me on psn ill help you out add ezway_

      Reply

    • MrSonyPro

      September 22, 2013 at 08:41

      Add me on ps3, I can SE sony for a chance you to get a refund or to help you with the problems.

      Reply

  10. nemopsp

    September 21, 2013 at 07:51

    I have digital version on ps3 slim 320gb an I don’t experience this issues plus disk game isn’t the best way cause what if ur disk drive breaks.. An it’s very common for ps3 to jus stop reading disk plus y would you want to sell this classic games I still have gta 4 an wouldn’t sell it! Plus you can share the game to one of ur friends so you can play online together

    Reply

    • abdul

      September 21, 2013 at 14:49

      hey add me on psn ill help you out add ezway_ t

      Reply

    • ohNoey(psn name)

      December 15, 2013 at 02:52

      gameshare the game with me please? parents both got laid off 🙁

      Reply

  11. abdul

    September 21, 2013 at 14:49

    hey add me on psn ill help you out add ezway_

    Reply

  12. abdul

    September 21, 2013 at 14:50

    add ezway_ if you have gta 5 digital version ill help you out

    Reply

    • Anon

      September 21, 2013 at 16:26

      @ abdul … How, pray tell?

      Reply

  13. Ramsey513

    September 21, 2013 at 19:07

    Does anyone know what model of PS3 is not having problems with the digital version?

    Reply

  14. myname

    September 22, 2013 at 06:20

    i have both versions disk and digital installed on my ps3 was switching back and forth , played same missions on each and haven’t noticed a difference , this whole digital vs disk is exaggerated

    Reply

    • ohNoey(psn name)

      December 15, 2013 at 02:53

      can you please gameshare the digital version? Money is tight in my family nowadays 🙁

      Reply

  15. MrSonyPro

    September 22, 2013 at 08:42

    Add me on ps3, I can SE sony for a chance you to get a refund or to help you with the problems.

    PSN: Pireyy @ Everyone

    Reply

  16. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    September 23, 2013 at 11:48

    (In a Trevor voice) And yet again… Disk beats Digital! Death to Digital! They will never take my right to own!

    Reply

  17. Maxiviper117

    September 23, 2013 at 15:16

    For Effs SAKE! and i bought the Digital version. Unbelievable!!

    Reply

  18. Maxiviper117

    September 23, 2013 at 15:16

    For Effs SAKE! and i bought the Digital version. Unbelievable!!

    Reply

  19. Jhony Bravo

    September 23, 2013 at 15:50

    that girl picture is from my homeland 🙂 Azores Island

    Reply

  20. sdfsdfsdfsdf

    September 24, 2013 at 19:48

    ……

    Reply

  21. MonkyCrasure

    September 26, 2013 at 02:52

    so thats 1 guy who had corrupt files, another who obviously has issues with digital even though its a digital world right now mad as hell cause u may not be able to see a window on the 18th floor from 2 blocks away, also if you press start there is a map. im pretty sure its the same as the one thats on paper. this is y i buy digital so i dont have to stand in line next to those types of people.

    Reply

  22. SKOoOTA

    September 30, 2013 at 02:10

    Thanks dude, was just about to blow my money, time to drag my Fat arse to the store then!!

    Reply

  23. Guess

    September 30, 2013 at 04:13

    i have the digital version on my ps3 and i can assure you mine doesnt have these problems..i drive slow and top speed. i have a 500gb samsung hard drive on my ps3. i have movies, psn games music, pictures on it, and no problems what so ever…It took me 11 hours to download but i still was able to play before noon on release date… Oh and i didnt pre load downloaded from North America PSN

    Reply

  24. Michael Wesley Lemmer

    October 3, 2013 at 02:53

    if u downloaded the game on psn does it affect ur online play?

    Reply

  25. Dark Ass Nigga

    October 3, 2013 at 13:38

    Mine works fine

    Reply

    • faggoit

      October 6, 2013 at 00:57

      Fuck off

      Reply

  26. Iggy452001

    October 18, 2013 at 05:47

    I bought the digital copy, and have had no problems of running into empty air that materializes as walls. I do have the slim. I had this problem when I bought Red Dead Redemption for the Xbox 360. There are some times when GTA V does render a little slow, but that’s when many things are happening, and its only a partial second before everything catches up, but many games do that, disc or otherwise. This is just anti-digital hogwash, I’ve bought digital only for over a year and have had no issues.

    Reply

  27. melodicmizery

    October 18, 2013 at 20:52

    is anyone having problems with the blu ray disc destroying the blu ray? ever since i started playing gta5 my blu ray hasnt been working correctly. i get errors at startup and have to try 4 or 5 times before the game starts

    Reply

  28. guest561

    October 26, 2013 at 23:17

    The fix for this is simple, buy a 360 and play it there it plays perfectly issue resolved…. just saying

    Reply

    • Crazy

      October 27, 2013 at 00:16

      SHUT UP!!

      Reply

    • Crazy

      October 27, 2013 at 00:19

      XBOX 360 SUCKS!!

      Reply

    • The Madara Uchiha

      July 29, 2014 at 10:14

      Except that i rather play with a ps3 controller and ps3 controls…..

      Reply

  29. PoorGTAV

    November 1, 2013 at 16:36

    You even can’t play online with the download version.. -.- DAFUQ R* ?!

    Reply

  30. Austin Peggs

    November 5, 2013 at 16:08

    Is this happening on Xbox

    Reply

  31. Mike Gonzalez

    November 12, 2013 at 05:40

    Ehh I bought my digital copy since day one and I NEVER had any issues like that, I have a stock 160GB hard drive :p

    Reply

  32. Jancox13

    November 16, 2013 at 17:25

    Just Buy the PC Version. and u’ll never disappointed

    Reply

  33. Diamond_Overdose

    December 9, 2013 at 02:31

    Well, this post is not entirely true. I own the GTA V 1-Day Digital, since my disk reader got burnt up. But, this really depends on the usage of the system itself. My digital copy looks like the physical copy that is played up there. It just depends on the usage, and how strained your graphics card has been over the years.

    Reply

  34. TurdBurdDeluxe

    December 9, 2013 at 19:53

    You may just be paying for a liscense, but you get multiple liscenses. split the cost with a couple buddies all download it and then play on your own psn account.

    Reply

  35. itsDrexxWantsGTA5

    December 30, 2013 at 23:14

    It’s 39.99 USD on the PS Store right now. And you can have it download overnight. Plus, my mom won’t let me buy the game, so I’ll just download it on the PS Store for 10.00 USD less.

    Reply

  36. oiewfnweo

    January 4, 2014 at 05:54

    Are you stupid? I have no problems with it… most likely, since the PS3 is more powerful than the 360, this is ps3 on the left and 360 on the right

    Reply

  37. Chris Rogers

    January 17, 2014 at 01:37

    The slow rendering on the digital version is purely due to the slow HDD. An upgrade to a hybrid or SSD drive would fix that issue.

    Reply

  38. usman tariq

    January 26, 2014 at 17:26

    Wowow Admin Thanku

    Reply

  39. Jarious

    February 2, 2014 at 04:22

    Nope problem with my digitsl one

    Reply

  40. Cronzy

    February 12, 2014 at 09:50

    One benefit is thay my ps3 wont read disks anymore but I can still play the PSN version. Only reason I bought it on PSN, cuz I dont got money for a new PS3 or a rep. And I dont dare to change the laser myself :p

    If my ps3 were still working, then ofcource I would buy the Disk version!

    Reply

  41. Chuckgpfer

    May 11, 2014 at 21:35

    It’s because the games load content from both the disk and the Hard drive at the same time. This has been an issue from the beginning, when Xbox users were installing both disks to the hard drive in an attempt to play the game from the Hard drive. This method of loading from two sources is what enables the game to look as good as it does.

    Reply

  42. diknob

    June 20, 2014 at 09:42

    is it still buggy like this?

    Reply

  43. Arken Falgurd

    December 22, 2014 at 23:00

    no problems here with digital version,but my ps3 is among the latest fat versione models

    Reply

  44. G-Real

    January 5, 2015 at 02:57

    Digital is good for people who have broken disc drives or blue ray laser issues and can’t afford a new ps4.

    Reply

  45. mog

    August 7, 2015 at 00:57

    Fully mod a super bike and take it flat out ON THE PHYSICAL DISK VERSION and the road disappears. disk version isn’t without its faults, that and the constant cd drive racket.

    Reply

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