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Grand Theft Auto V release date confirmed - for September

Grand Theft Auto V will arrive on 17 September, game manufacturer Rockstar Games has said.

The follow-up to 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV will be available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this autumn. The release, however, is later than the previously announced launch timeframe of spring 2013 "in order to allow additional development time," Rockstar claimed.

"The biggest, most dynamic and most diverse open world Rockstar Games has yet created, Grand Theft Auto V blends storytelling and gameplay in new ways as players repeatedly jump in and out of the lives of the game's three lead characters, playing all sides of the game's interwoven story," the company said.

As Rockstar tipped back in 2011, Grand Theft Auto V returns to Los Santos, described as "a sprawling sun-soaked metropolis full of self-help gurus, starlets and fading celebrities, once the envy of the Western world, now struggling to stay afloat in an era of economic uncertainty and cheap reality TV."

"Amidst the turmoil, three very different criminals plot their own chances of survival and success," Rockstar said.

That includes: Franklin, a former street gangster "looking for real opportunities and serious money; Michael, an ex-con who is not too excited about how his retirement has turned out; and Trevor, a "violent maniac" bent on achieving the next cheap high or big score.

"Running out of options, the crew risks everything in a series of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life," Rockstar said.

"Grand Theft Auto V continues to push the series forward in new ways; Rockstar North are creating our deepest, most beautiful and most immersive world yet," Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games, said in a statement. "We are very excited for people to learn more about the game in the coming months."

Rockstar first announced plans for Grand Theft Auto V back in October 2011, releasing a trailer several weeks later.