I think we're all sort of dancing around the obvious, here.
I've been looking at video game screenshots and media for many years. Over the course of the industry's history, this has proven to be an interesting – and ever-changing – process.
Back when magazines were pretty much all we had, how new games photographed was a constant issue of debate among us hardcore fans. Then when CGI started to gain a foothold during the original PlayStation days, we started to ask inevitable questions about still-frame shots we saw before a game released (especially an RPG with lots of cut-scenes). Perhaps most recently, we get powerful hardware with tons of media often available online, and that media could be touched up in some way, running on a system most don't have, or even, at the end of a generation, screenshots from a game that could be on both current- and next-gen consoles.
The new GTAV screenshots have arrived , only a day or two after the Transport images surfaced. These new pics show off some leisure activities, such as parachuting, tennis, and dirt biking. But there is an extreme amount of detail involved, even up close, to the point where we have to start questioning the origin of the screenshots. After which, we have to consider the project's position and the distinct possibility that in fact, GTAV might launch for at least one next-generation platform. The Xbox 720 seems to be the prime candidate right now.
GTA has never set the graphical bar in any generation as its vast open-world approach requires a ton of processing power and with every extra mile, less detail can be included if the game is to run correctly (without the frames per second slowing to a crawl). Right now, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim might feature the most stunning visual presentation in the open-world genre, but that isn't close to what we're seeing in these GTAV screens. There is a flat crispness, a minimal amount of pixelation/jaggies even on a close-up inspection; the vehicles (look at the bike closest to you in the top photo) and the people seem a touch too perfect.
…for this generation, anyway.
Last generation, there were quite a few games that launched on the PS3 and PS2, for instance, and some multiplatform titles that released for just about everything; PS3, 360, PS2, Xbox, etc. That only lasted for a year or so but it proves that "generation-straddling" has been done before. Plus, GTAV appears to be taking quite a long time, longer than even analysts predicted when it was first officially revealed in December of last year. It's feasible that this delay (GTAIV launched in April 2008, remember) is due to the simple fact that Rockstar is churning out one of the first games to launch for next-generation and current-generation hardware. Just a theory.
Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto V