The long-awaited Grand Theft Auto V has been launched.

The videogame, whose first incarnation appeared in 1997, is available worldwide for Xbox and PlayStation 3 game consoles.

RW Baird analyst, Colin Sebastian, predicts that makers, Rockstar Games, can expect at least $1 billion U.S. dollars in retail sales in the first month.

Set in a fictional city inspired by present-day Southern California, Grand Theft Auto is both popular and controversial - gamers play as protagonists, carrying out often violent car heists.