The lights are on
If you still haven't picked up Grand Theft Auto V and are debating whether to get it on PlayStation 3 as a retail disc or downloaded title, you should watch this video. Eurogamer's Digital Foundry compiled the footage that shows a significant deficit in some areas that plague the digital version.
The Digital Foundry team used two different hard drives: a 500 GB after-market installation and an original 60 GB OEM drive. The problems are definitely noticeable on the newer, faster drive, but not nearly as pronounced as the original hardware.
You'll see side-by-side footage for the first half that shows off the more minor discrepancies. The second half doesn't need the comparison. At the 2:09 mark, you'll start to see structures disappear trees without their trunks and other oddities.
The report also indicates that these pop-in issues are only severe when driving at fast speeds in heavily populated areas. They seem to be absent when on foot and significantly less noticeable in the more open areas of the game's large map.
Our TakeFor some this might not be a significant issue, as the issue seems to present itself only during extremely fast driving in downtown areas. Is it annoying? Absolutely. Is the game still playable (and by all reports enjoyable)? Definitely.
For those that are experiencing this problem, I hope Sony and Rockstar are able to patch things up.