Take-Two's Rockstar Games has confirmed that the next Grand Theft Auto
game, DS title Chinatown Wars
, will be available on March 17 and 20 in North America and Europe, respectively.
The title, first announced during Nintendo's E3 press conference earlier this year, is in development by Rockstar Leeds, and is said to be set in a modern-day Liberty City. It features a custom game engine and new characters, but the "same free ranging gameplay", according to Nintendo executive marketing VP Cammie Dunaway.
Take-Two has asserted in the past that it aims to develop closer ties with Nintendo, and a GTA
title for the DS marks a step in those efforts. The company's spent what Take-Two president Ben Feder said is "an enormous amount of time and effort" with Nintendo building a "partnership" to bring GTA
onto the DS, and he also feels the franchise has "significant value to add" to the platform.
"It's not a one-way relationship in any way," Feder said earlier this year
. "Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is not even the first step, but an important step, in continuing to develop that relationship."
"Rockstar Leeds have once again created a game that far exceeds our standard for deep and innovative entertainment," Rockstar founder Sam Houser said alongside today's announcement. "We are incredibly excited to share this enormous and uncompromising Grand Theft Auto experience with DS fans."