From the Wild and Unsubstantiated Rumors Department comes word that Rockstar North is already well into development on the next Grand Theft Auto title, and that it may be ready in time for Christmas 2009.

Grand Theft Auto V is already in the works and “should be ready for release this holiday season,” according to a Loose Talk report in the latest issue of Game Informer. “We’re not talking about new DLC or a collection of previously available DLC, we’re talking about a full retail game,” the report says. “We expect this title to follow the suit of previous GTAs and use a subtitle such as GTA: San Andreas, etc. Tokyo might be a possible setting for the game, but details are non-existent at this time.”

It sounds like a ridiculously fast turn-around time, particularly given that Xbox 360 DLC for Grand Theft Auto IV is still in the pipe, but two factors keep it within the realm of possibility: First, Take-Two is probably desperate to have a big gun for Christmas ’09 and may very well be offering generous incentives – ie., huge wads of cash – to make it happen. Second, as PSU points out, it’s been done before: Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the PlayStation 2 just a year after putting out Grand Theft Auto III.

So, possible? Absolutely. Likely? No way. Interesting rumor? You betcha. Stay tuned for updates.

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