A weird reality check
During the next two weeks, some five million couch jockeys are expected to plunk down $60 to buy Grand Theft Auto IV, a violent and episodic game that hits stores Tuesday.
The release is expected to be one of the biggest video game debuts ever, extending a franchise that has already sold 70 million copies since its arrival in 1997.
Avid fans of the Grand Theft Auto games acknowledge that buying the new Grand Theft Auto — and spending hours descending into a free-for-all of crime and punishment set in an animated facsimile of New York City — can require some financial sacrifice. But for many, the purchase of the game is justified by its entertainment value. Finishing the game can take more than 40 hours, turning a $60 investment (tax not included) into entertainment that costs less than 70 cents an hour (food and bathroom breaks not included).