News: GTAIV: San Andreas Beta 3 is out now

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Everyone Loves a good comeback story, right? Sea Biscuit, The Mighty Ducks, Robert Downy Jr., Rocky....Kim Kardashian. Toward the end of last year, Rockstar published an update for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas on PC. The update added wonky Xinput support, borked saved games for some countries and made some odd changes to default controls. The biggest controversy the patch caused was removing songs for which Rockstar had lost rights to.

Rockstar was no stranger to having to remove songs. A few years before, Rockstar had to remove a number of iconic songs from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Instead of removing the songs from everyone, however, Rockstar created a separate "depot" on Steam that was granted to those who owned the game before the removal. If you had this depot on your account, Steam would download the original audio files instead of the updated ones. For some unknown reason, Rockstar didn't do this for San Andreas, so everyone received the cut audio files - despite warnings on this very site that this would happen two months before the patch went live. While it would have been perfectly acceptable to remove these songs from newly purchased copies, removing the songs from already purchased copies is a huge red flag for anyone considering to go digital with game purchases.

8 months and 21 days have gone by so far without a peep on this issue. Surprisingly, 8 days ago SteamDB detected that two new depot packages have been added to the private beta version of San Andreas: GTA San Andreas: Original Radio Update and GTA San Andreas: Original Radio Update DE (German). Could the original audio be making a comeback for owners who purchased the game before the rights ended? Hopefully it won't take another two months to see the end results of these two packages - and hopefully Rockstar doesn't update anything else. :P

In the mean time, you can use the Steam to V1.0 downgraders that were created in the wake of the updates last year that not only restore the original files, but allow for easier modding and SA-MP/MTA support.

PS: You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet around here. While this is partly due to the lack of any real news coming out of Rockstar worth reporting on; I've been swamped in real life with moving into a new apartment, my full-time IT job and college. I also just found out a few weeks ago that I'm becoming a father in March. Now that I'm finally getting some time to breathe, I fully plan on starting work on some much updates to RockstarNexus and our sister sites GTAStunting and Bully-Board.

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Last month Rockstar released on update on Steam for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas that added XInput controller support while removing several songs and breaking saved games for German players. It also continued the trend excluding version 1.01 fixes such as 1080p support. A week later we reported that another update for the game was being staged. Four weeks later, the update has finally gone live. In line with the last update, there is no official version number so to avoid confusion the community is calling it "NewSteam r2". Unlike the last update, however, Rockstar has released an official changelog for this update:

  • Added 1080p Resolution

Sadly, there's no sign of Rockstar restoring songs previous owners should rightfully have access to. Just like with the last update, an unofficial community downgrader has been created to rectify this issue. This new downgrader will take your legally purchased NewSteam r2 (12/9) to before the 11/7 patch. It relies on binary differences so no game files are being distributed. As such, this will only work correctly with the 12/9/14 update. Once downgraded, we recommend making a copy of your San Andreas folder and storing it somewhere outside of your Steam folder. You should also then be able to use this downgrader to version 1.0 to gain maximum modding compatibility. There is also a downgrader to take you directly from NewSteam r2 to 1.0 that should be released later today. We'll update this article when that happens.

NewSteam r2 -> pre-11/7 Downgrader: Mirror 1 | Mirror 2 | Mirror 3

EDIT: A downgrader for NewSteam r2 to the original 1.0 version of San Andreas has been released.

NewSteam r2 -> Version 1.0 Downgrader: Mirror 1 | Mirror 2 | Mirror 3 | Mirror 4

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A few days ago an update for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas went live on Steam that that caused game issues for some and highlighted issues with digital distribution in general. While there hasn't been any word from Rockstar on the issue, it looks like another update is being tested according to SteamDB.

EDIT: An unofficial downgrader for the 11/7 Steam update has been released. More details here.

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Don't say we didn't warn you. Rockstar finally went live with the update for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas that was leaked a few months ago. Here's what we've noticed about the update so far:

  • Adds support for XInput controllers (Such as the Xbox 360 controller.)
  • "Steering with Mouse" now enabled by default (Vehicles turn when the mouse is moved. When disabled, the camera is able to be moved around with the mouse.)
  • Entirely DRM free
  • Removes several songs for all owners (Seems to be the same songs that were cut from the mobile version. We would have liked to see a situation similar to VC where only new Steam copies had songs removed and those who had purchased it before got to keep the songs.)

Other issues that have been noted by players but don't seem to be a direct result of this update:

  • Missing resolution options, including 1920x1080 (EDIT: To clarify, this was broken in the original 1.0 version, then fixed in patch 1.01. Later updates such as this reverted that fix.)
  • Mouse oddities -  Always has been an issue with III, VC and SA. Alt+Tab'ing out of the game and then back in fixes it most of the time.
  • Issues with mods - Mods always have had issues after the No Hot Coffee patch. Specifically, this new version had a compatibility issue with certain ASI loaders. Silent has already updated his loader to work with this version. There was nothing that could have been done to prevent this.
  • Some previous game saves just start a new game (EDIT: Silent has told us that the German Steam version pre-patch was actually version 1.01, which would explain broken saves for some. More information at the end of the article.)

Other issues you might be experiencing might be due to installed modifications that were partially overwritten by Steam. Try deleting the game and redownload a fresh copy. If all else fails, try using SilentPatch.

Hopefully most of you had a backup of your digital copy you can restore to or at least an original physical copy. No word yet from Rockstar.

EDIT: The cookie monster known as Silent has updated his excellent SilentPatch to work with the new update. It fixes a number of issues that have been discovered thus far, such as:

* Aspect ratios are now correct and not squashed, like they used to be
* 1.0/1.01 save games will not be rejected now
* 1.0/3.0 settings file will not be rejected now
* 10ms frame delay has been removed. As a result, game now locks properly on 30 FPS instead of 25 FPS
* Mouse should not lock up randomly when exiting the menu on newer systems anymore
* 16:9 and 5:4 resolutions are now selectable

EDIT 2: Despite what Polygon is reporting, this isn't the mobile/360 version of the game. That version is only available on PC via the Windows 8 Store.

EDIT 3: We've updated the article to clear up a few issues users in the community were having that are valid issues with the digital versions of San Andreas, but might not be a direct result of this particular update. Unfortunately, due to the wide range of releases, updates and changes San Andreas has had in its 10 years, there is bound to be confusion on all sides. Indeed, accidentally building off an older version of San Andreas would explain the missing resolution options. We encourage players and the press to give Rockstar some time to address these issues before rushing to declare malice.

EDIT 4: Silent has sent along the following information that explains why we're seeing such mixed reports:

3.0 saves (pre-update Steam) will work well, unless one was from Germany. These guys had 1.01 on Steam! So their saves did NOT work. Nor do the saves work if one downgraded to 1.0/1.01 ;)
Same with missing 1080p. The people who claim they did have 1080p on a clean Steam game pre-patch MUST have been German.

Thanks Silent!

EDIT 5: Looks like another update to San Andreas is being tested.

EDIT 6: An unofficial fan-made downgrader has been released. This will downgrade your legally purchased 11/7/14 Steam copy to just before the update. It relies on binary differences so no game files are being distributed. As such, this will only work correctly with the 11/7/14 update. Once downgraded, we recommend making a copy of your San Andreas folder and storing it somewhere outside of your Steam folder. You should also then be able to use this downgrade to version 1.0 to gain maximum modding compatibility.

DOWNLOAD: Mirror 1 | Mirror 2 | Mirror 3

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The native port of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Xbox 360 is out now. The port seems to be based on the mobile port developed by War Drum Studios last year. It includes improved visuals, achievements and runs at 1280x720. Below is a short video by Vadim M showing off the opening intro and the menus.

The port is currently selling for $3.74 on the Xbox Marketplace. We're assuming this price is a limited time discount and will eventually go up.

For those of you in the PC Master Race, San Andreas is currently unavailable for purchase on Steam. As we've reported before, Rockstar has been prepping a patch that cuts a few songs that licenses have expired for and adds X-Input controller support. The release of this patch shouldn't be too far off now.

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A few days ago we reported that achievements had popped up for an Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Today, Rockstar has silently spilled the beans in a Rockstar Support article. The article confirms that this is indeed a native port to the 360 - bringing achievements, 720p resolution and enhanced draw disance. While it doesn't give a reason as to why the Xbox Originals version was pulled, we suspect expired music licenses had something to do with it.

Those that already own the Xbox Originals version will get to keep it - though if you want to experience the updated native version you'll have to purchase it. Save files will not transfer between the two versions. The native version is set to release this October 26th.

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Xbox Achievements is reporting that achievements for an Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas briefly popped up on the Xbox website. In the past, the website has had numerous credible leaks of achievements for upcoming Xbox 360 games. The list of achievements themselves look exactly like the achievements you'd expect from Rockstar. Click the image above to view the full list of achievements.

What makes this interesting is that this seems to be an actual port of San Andreas to the Xbox 360. San Andreas was previously available on the 360 as an Xbox Classic - which was recently removed from the store without notice. We'd assume that it was removed due to music licensing issues just like the PS2 classics version. Xbox Classic games are not capable of having achievements as they are the original Xbox game being played in an emulation layer - making achievements impossible. The only way achievements could be possible is if Rockstar is working on an actual native port of San Andreas.

Last month, Rockstar mistakenly made public a beta pach for the PC version of San Andreas on Steam. It was removed shortly after but those who managed to grab it found that X-Input had been added along with removing several songs Rockstar has lost licenses for. With the 10 year anniversary of San Andreas approaching this October 26th, it looks like Rockstar has some interesting stuff in-store to celebrate. We'll keep you posted when we hear more.

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If you currently own the Steam version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, we've got some good news and some potentially bad news. The SteamDB website, which constantly tracks updates and changes to Steam titles, is reporting that Rockstar is currently testing a new build privately on Steam. When this update originally hit, Rockstar forgot to password protect the new build and was available for anyone to self-enroll in the beta. Rockstar corrected the oversight hours later but not before a number of users enrolled themselves in the beta and reported changes they could find.

According to Steam forums user Nabs, the beta had native support for Xinput with "better" default control mappings and sensitive trigger support. This is great news for anyone who has had the displeasure of attempting to get San Andreas to work with newer controllers. Currently, players have to use 3rd party utilities and patches to emulate Xinput to use controllers such the Xbox 360 controller. With native Xinput support, the 360 controller will work without any extra work.

On the bad side of things, Rockstar is removing several songs. Neogaf user madjoki noticed that the audio files were smaller than before. Comparing the new files to the old files, he discovered that the same exact tracks that were missing from San Andreas mobile are missing from this beta version. This happened a few years back to Vice City when Rockstar updated the Steam version to remove tracks that were cut from the mobile version. However, for Vice City Rockstar created separate depots - meaning that if you had owned Vice City before the update, you retained all tracks while those who purchased after the update received the cut audio. For San Andreas, it doesn't currently appear that Rockstar is separating depots and is outright cutting the songs for all users. So as a precaution, we are warning all readers to backup your Steam copy of the game before the update is released. You can typically find the files in C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\grand theft auto san andreas\.

We'll keep you posted as we get more information.

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