More than 1,000 UK stores will be open from midnight for the launch of Grand Theft Auto V.
Retailers are out in force for what is tipped to be the biggest release of the year, with chains, indies and supermarkets reporting record pre-order figures.
Midnight launches will take place from over 300 GAME stores, 65 Grainger outlets, 270 Asda supermarkets, 248 Blockbuster shops plus HMV, Tesco and indie shops.
Meanwhile, almost every major specialist says it will be opening their doors early on the Tuesday.
The gaming community has been anticipating this launch for years and there’s a very good chance that this could be the biggest entertainment launch in history,” said GAME Charlotte Knight, Category Director. This is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the gaming industry and GTA V is a massive part of that. We have some very exciting plans for launch.”
HMV senior category buyer Gavin Howes added: "San Andreas on PS2 is still one of the best examples of how hardware can be pushed once developers understand the capabilities of a console and Rockstar have done it again with GTA V.
This is probably the best thing that could have happened to the current gen with the next-gen around the corner.”
Asda boss Craig Thirkell added: GTA IV has been flying off the shelves in anticipation. This is the first of our midnight launches for 2013. We have a few surprises up our sleeves to keep our customers happy on the night.”
Despite the imminent arrival of next generation consoles, retailers tell MCV that there’s huge demand for current-gen software.
There is no better time to launch a GTA, at the end of the current generation console life cycle,” said ShopTo boss Igor Cipolletta. Our website will be taken over by GTA.”
Grainger Games’ head of buying Chris Harwood added: We expect GTA V to blow records apart on launch. It is by far the most pre-ordered title we have had to date. There has been huge customer interest for months and this is continuing to grow each week.”