PSN Streaming Issues. My Experience and Status of DE.

#1 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

* If you want a quick summary of the post and don't care about any take I have on the issue, Rockstar knows about the issue and that's it. No word on fixes or anything. Sony won't give you a refund and can't swap you for a digital copy.*

Please, if you on the fence about it don't get the PSN version of GTA V

By now I think most people on this forum are familiar with the PSN texture streaming issues shown in the Digital Foundry article here: In my experience the Digital Foundry problems aren't quite as bad as mine. Here is a video of how the issue manifests itself for me: (I apologise for the poor video quality I have nothing but a Samsung Galaxy S3 to take video with. The issue starts 18 seconds into the video). Maybe I'm just super picky, but major pop in issues like that spoil the game for me. My issue doesn't occur all the time but, it comes up enough that it kills the immersion. I sort of thought at first my console (PS3 Slim from 2010) might be pooched, but I didn't have issues with other games with my most recent title being The Last of Us (PSN copy), I looked into it a bit.

I found it was confirmed by Digital Foundry that the disc version does not suffer from the issues I was experiencing I contacted Sony about being refunded for what I believe is a defective digital copy they said:

Thank you for your recent call to Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) Consumer Services.
We are unable to process your request for a refund on the PlayStation® Network.
According to our Terms of Service, all sales are final.
For more information please check the Terms of Service and User Agreement.

Terms of Service :

Consumer Information :
Contact Date: 9/27/2013 05:28:41 PM
SR #: 1-536999101

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a PlayStation specialist at 1(800) 345-7669.

Our specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Pacific Time.
Please reference your SR# 1-536999101 when calling.

With regards,

So I was SOL with Sony (not that I was surprised, I know digital retailers tend not to do refunds), so I figured I'd see if Rockstar could hook me up with a disc version. They said:

Hi [redacted]

Thank you for contacting R* Technical Support. There are a few things we can suggest to help increase performance in GTA V.

Ensure your PS3s firmware is up to date (settings > system update - on the main menu).

If it is up to date then delete the game data (go to Game > game data utility and find the problem game (if it is just one) - press triangle and select delete) - NOTE this is the game's install data and not the save game so you will not lose your progress.

Next follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off Playstation®3.

  2. Hold The power button down; The system will turn on and turn off once again.

  3. Once the System has been shutdown, re-press you finger until you hear 2 consecutive beeps

  4. When you hear the 2 beeps take finger off power button.

  5. You will be prompted to plug in your controller via usb and then hit the PS button

  6. The Recovery menu will pop up.

  7. Select Restore File system

  8. Repeat and Rebuild Database

Once finished, make sure your PS3 is connected to the internet so it can download any game updates and then launch the game

If this is still happening let's try this on a second PS3 to see if the same issue is occurring.

Kindest Regards,


I had tried the restore stuff before I submitted the ticket, as I read online that it helps. I did the other stuff and I replied to the tech with this and.... nothing. It's been about 6 days. I followed up to the phone support a few times and the Rockstar support people are super friendly and sympathetic, but all they've been able to tell me is that Rockstar knows about the issue and that my issue is above the level of phone support. I've submitted the link to my YouTube video and some screen shots to them but zero responses. I tried a co-workers disc copy and in my short time playing it seemed to work okay, much better than my PSN copy. I told R* about that too.

Maybe I'm being unreasonable thinking that R* should send me a disc copy; though they do replace defective disk copies and I feel like I have a defective digital copy, so maybe it's not totally Crazy Town. I know if they fix the streaming issues then everyone who got the PSN version would be a maniac with 2 copies of the game, and what then? Though, I think it's a bit unreasonable to believe that the PSN streaming issues just "slipped" by the QA teams and maybe we shouldn't have to wait for a fix (if one is possible). I also think maybe they shouldn't be charging $60 on the PSN store for GTA V at this point and time.....

I know they're probably busy but even something minor like an update to my ticket or the the R* support Twitter feed saying "Hi, we are woking on a fix for the PSN texture streaming issue" would be nice. Then we could know if the issue might be fixable. I know some people are "sure" that Rockstar is working on a patch for this, but some people were probably "sure" that R* wouldn't release a noticeably inferior version of the game.....

#2 Edited by MethodMan008 (938 posts) -

I've beat the game once and about half way through my second play through via the PSN version..

Maybe I'm very lucky, but honestly, I think it is a small amount of people wildly exaggerating about the problems the PSN version has.

Twice in the (~40 hours of) game have all the textures not load for about 3 seconds then everything pops in.

Hardly a big issue. Or really an issue at all to me, I played plenty of Mass Effect on 360 and plenty of other games rife with pop-in.

#3 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

Did you see my video? Took me all of 10 minutes from starting up my PS3 till I started seeing that problem. How many videos would it take to bring me down to just exaggerating?

#4 Posted by Nodima (1542 posts) -

Yea, it's a real bummer. I can't count the number of times I've skipped over a completely clear median, only to have street signage load in JUST as I'm crossing over it, causing my car to spin wildly out of control. Or I've watched fences load in alongside me as I drive (and all KINDS of fencing, from wood posts to 12 foot barbed wire). I've only had the entire architecture of the game disappear once, but I've definitely experienced 10-30 seconds of gameplay where the entire world is a blur of muddy, mid-PS2 era textures.

I wish there were a louder march ahead of this issue, I'm sort of amazed that there were all those articles about the 360 disc install but no one in the media seems to be beating the drum for PSN players that appear to be completely shit out of luck at this point.

#5 Edited by Nekroskop (2831 posts) -

I've had textures not load the high rez versions and object popping in a few times on the PSN version, but that's during 80 hours of gameplay.(100% and everything)

It may of course be because my PS3 slim is "brand new"(the production year is 2010, but the system wasnt used until August this year)

#6 Edited by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -
#7 Posted by Nodima (1542 posts) -

Have you had any further luck with Rockstar? I've been asking Jeff, Patrick and now Totilo since he's hosting an AMA what they think about this largely being swept under the rug by news outlets. I really think we should be able to demand a disc copy of the game, hell maybe even charge us $10 just to make it a business deal but we should get vouchers or something for the actual game we were promised. Or at least a word from the developers that not only are they aware of the issue but are prepared to solve it. Quickly.

#8 Posted by THRICE_604 (217 posts) -

I have had zero issues with my digital version of the game. Textures are fine and only the normal amount of pop in you'd expect from an open world game. Nothing extreme. I'm fairly sure Digital Foundry said the issues are much much worse if you still have the factory installed HDD. If you upgrade your HDD with a faster read speed the issues are not as noticeable. Guess I lucked out when I upgraded my drive.

#9 Edited by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

No, I have not gotten a response as of yet. If I have time tomorrow I will follow up again after work, though I don't really think I'll get anywhere. Given how committed they are to staying quiet on the issue, I think that the problem is that my stock HDD doesn't have the speed to play the game properly and R* isn't just going to patch the issue away. It doesn't really cost them anything to ignore me, and seems like an effective strategy on their part if they don't want to issue any sort of refund or replacement. It's been a week since they claimed my issue was marked as "urgent" (I forgot the mention that in the OP) and since they respond at lightning speed to anyone on twitter who has a decals issue, I am guessing I am as close to a resolution as I am ever going to be.

#10 Edited by StrainedEyes (1355 posts) -

I have had all the streaming issues with my PSN version. A lot of general pop in, texture flickering when driving fast, and like 5-10 occurrences of turning a corner and almost nothing rendering (buildings, roads, etc) being in a grey void. Seems to happen near highway overpasses for me.

I was also denied a refund, though I have heard that some people managed to get one.

It's unfortunate that Rockstar has made no real statement on the PSN version, they made a big deal about not installing the 360 version because it wouldn't be ideal. I guess releasing a statement saying buyin the digital version isn't ideal wouldn't do them too good.

#11 Edited by Nodima (1542 posts) -

I never got a response from Jeff or Patrick (though I submitted my Patrick question for an upcoming premium Q&A so who knows) but I did get one from Stephen Totilo today and he wasn't aware of the issue so it was a vague response. Real bummer.


I've been asking everyone (ok, Klepek and Gerstmann) with an open forum this question but haven't gotten an answer yet, so I suppose I'll ask you: with the bugged out way GTA V launched on the Playstation Network (see: fully installed 360 version) and seemingly no course of action for what I see as a fraudulent purchase (there are no refunds on digital retailers, and Rockstar can simply suggest flashing the file system) for consumers, is this actually a big deal as we head into a console generation that will be closer than ever to a 50/50 split between digital and retail? What are your thoughts on unknowingly getting clearly inferior products at the same price point and then getting stuck with the consequences once you discover them?Today 1:28pm

Stephen Totilo

Games that aren't being made to be fully installed shouldn't be sold digitally. But the PS3 version, as far as I know, was ok to be installed, yeah? So I'm not sure what the issue is there. Digital "ownership" will indeed drive some consumers crazy and make them more cautious. Some publisher will screw up badly enough eventually that I'm sure we'll be writing about a ton of customers demanding a refund for some buggy downloaded game. Today 2:40pm


It's specifically the Playstation Network version of the game. Digital Foundry covered it here ( ). Compared to video I have seen of a one-disc 360 install and disc-based PS3 install, the PSN version consistently comes out inferior in terms of content streaming and pop-in. I wouldn't expect you have the time to watch DF's video right now, or an answer for what customers like me should expect from corporations like Sony/Take Two/Rockstar, but I found it odd that most news outlets reported on the 360 install issue but the PSN story barely caught traction so I've just been fishing for thoughts from the press. Thanks for your time! Today 2:46pm

#12 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

I called today and gave up after being on hold for 20 minutes. I am guessing that the call centre is flooded with calls about GTA Online. As far as I can tell Rockstar's position on this is "We know about the issue, but if you have issues you're on your own". On the off chance someone made an honest mistake I have made another ticket restating the issue.

#13 Edited by RonGalaxy (3683 posts) -

Im guessing it's because the ps3's stock HDD is 5400 rpm. Thats a fine speed when its being combined with the data being read off of the bluray, but when it's doing all of the work for a 40 something GB file its just not good enough. The RAGE engine makes extensive use of texture streaming, so having a slow HDD is probably causing the issue.

I bet putting in a 7200 rpm or even faster drive would mitegate the problem.

Edit: MY 1000th POST!

#14 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

@naru_joe93: Yeah, I've head from a few people online that a faster HDD will fix the issue. I am thinking at this point it's almost entirely a hardware issue, though maybe there is some magical streaming optimizations possible I am not aware of. If the game isn't up the the requirement of being run strictly off a stock HDD, then maybe they should you know, not release a version that installs only to the HDD. This actually jogs my memory about part of an interview I read in Eurogamer the other day with Sony's UK boss:

"We saw with the recent release of Grand Theft Auto 5 that lots of people like to download their games rather than buy discs from shops. PlayStation Network, which was designed nearly 10 years ago, struggled with the demand and download speeds were very slow. For PS4, are you confident people will be able to download these huge games en masse from your servers and install them without technical problems?

Fergal Gara: First of all, it is definitely going to grow as a means of consumption. And there are big innovations in the PS4 to make it more attractive and more easy gamer wise to want to download. The Play as you Download functionality, for example, means you don't need the whole file before you go. This is a little bit counterbalanced by the fact the files themselves are getting bloody big. Killzone: Shadow Fall is an uber file - I think it's cracking on for 50GB. It looks it, too, when you see it.

It is still a relatively tedious process. We've done a lot of work on pre-delivering files. It's not perfect. It's not seamless. The file version of the game versus the disc version of the game maybe needs to go through additional QA and additional testing. Some of the problems that have occurred have occurred on older machines, which of course when you go into the next-generation you at least get to reset and start again and everything's the same age and new. That helps.

But it's a major area of focus. It's a major area of investment. The network will perform better on multiple levels, because it becomes not just a sales or gaming delivery but increasingly it becomes a social network. So it's got to be a compelling experience on multiple levels. It's going to be for no lack of investment, for no lack of effort and no lack of intention that things might fall a bit short. But we're definitely moving in the right direction, and I'm confident when step on and understand its importance."

#15 Posted by RonGalaxy (3683 posts) -

@puffin_salad: Rockstar has, literally, pushed the power of texture streaming to the max. They've been tweaking and updating it for years, and the outcome is what you see with Max Payne 3 and gta5. It was careless of them to release gta5 digitally because they, almost definitely, knew consumers would be using stock hard drives that, simply, cannot handle it.

At the end of the day, Sony probably pressured take 2 into making a digital version available (that is where the industry is moving), which resulted in rockstar releasing a version of the game that never should have existed.

All you can hope for now is that there's enough of an outcry to warrant either some sort of fix, or giving digital purchasers a disc copy of the game (printing those discs would cost nothing to them). Hopefully that happens

#16 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

@naru_joe93: Yeah, one thing I would be interested in hearing on that front is why Microsoft doesn't have a digital version on their store.

The thing that bothers me the most in all this is that the danm thing is still for sale on the PSN store. I think it stretches the limits of plausibility to say that neither Sony or Rockstar knew about these issues prior to release, but they danm well know about them now. It says to me that they don't give a shit about the customer.

#17 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

At least in Canada, phone support is so busy that it's nearly impossible to get through. I got in one call queue but after 30 minutes gave up, as I had better things to do. I am no longer going to be following up by phone at this point.

#18 Posted by RonGalaxy (3683 posts) -

I just sent a tip to kotaku detailing my hypothesis and sources to back it up. If they write something about it/contact rock star it could bring assistance to folks dealing with this issue.

#19 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

@naru_joe93: Cool, I've sent some info to Joystiq as well. I also tweeted to @RockstarSupport, since they will issue a response to topics such as "@RockstarSupport where is all the support for gta5? what a pathetic online launch for the best game ever made! just plain terrible!" within minutes. I know they probably won't respond, but hey why not?

#20 Posted by StrainedEyes (1355 posts) -

@naru_joe93: Yeah, one thing I would be interested in hearing on that front is why Microsoft doesn't have a digital version on their store.

The thing that bothers me the most in all this is that the danm thing is still for sale on the PSN store. I think it stretches the limits of plausibility to say that neither Sony or Rockstar knew about these issues prior to release, but they danm well know about them now. It says to me that they don't give a shit about the customer.

While the streaming issue can break immersion from time to time (a cutscene loaded where Trevor was peeing on a nothingness void which eventually turned into a bridge), the game is in no way broken or unplayable.

It's a bummer, but it's nothing they should pull the game from the store over.

#21 Edited by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

@strainedeyes: For me if I have a fast car, it's not so much a "from time to time kind of issue". As seen in my second video I can reliably recreate the issue. I think knowingly letting users buy an inferior version of the game that may have major issues for them, without giving them any sort of warning, is at least somewhat unethical. They're charging $60 for something they know isn't working right. People who buy games on PSN have no reason to think the quality is not identical to the disc product, and if not pulling the game from the store they need to address that somehow.

#22 Posted by Puffin_Salad (15 posts) -

I guess they could always split the digital edition into 2 parts, one of which streams from the HDD and one which could stream from a USB drive plugged into the PS3. Though I guess they might need an exception from Sony from that as I am not aware of the ability to run games off a USB drive on the PS3.

#23 Posted by TheHT (12561 posts) -

Sounds like this is something that can't be fixed completely with a patch, only mitigated to some extent. Has it been, or are the load-in issues still bad?

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