In the world of video games, there are few sure things, but Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ:ERTS) Madden NFL is one of them. Sony's (NYSE:SNE) Gran Turismo is another, and Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Tony Hawk comes pretty close. Oh, and then there's Take-Two Interactive Software's (NASDAQ:TTWO) Grand Theft Auto.

Yesterday, Take-Two confirmed the release of the next game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, pumping the stock 5% to $32.87. The game will be released exclusively for Sony's PlayStation2 in North America on Oct. 19, and in Europe on Oc. 22. While none of this really surprised anybody, Take-Two shareholders were sorely in need of some good news.

The stock, after all, had been under pressure because of continued accounting problems, an ongoing SEC investigation, and weaker-than-expected holiday sales. As a result, Take-Two trades at less than 14 times 2004 earnings, representing a steep discount to its peers, especially for such a strong player in the industry.

And make no mistake, GTA has been a real blockbuster. Grand Theft Auto 3 has sold 10.5 million units, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is pushing 11.5 million units. GTA even spawned a blockbuster knockoff (or just another player in a new genre) in Activision's True Crime. Rockstar North, developer of GTA, had die-hard gamers drooling in anticipation of the violent "psychological thriller" Manhunt this past holiday season.

Perhaps the only mystery is why Take-Two doesn't simultaneously release the new GTA on the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox. Either way, the next Grand Theft Auto is something for both investors and gamers to be excited about.

Give us your take on the Take-Two Interactive Software and Video & PC Games discussion boards.

Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Electronic Arts.