It's far from an official confirmation -- and there's a couple of factors that make it seem unlikely -- but Joystiq
have noticed that a Résumé update by Rockstar North Character Animator Alex O'Dwyer on Linked.in (that has since been removed) featured shipping dates for all the titles that he has worked on, including an "Oct 2012" entry for Grand Theft Auto V.
Given that the game was only revealed last November and given their recent track record, it would be unusual for Rockstar to ship in less than twelve months. However, previous Grand Theft Auto titles have landed in October (GTA 3: Oct 2001; Vice City: Oct 2002; San Andreas: Oct 2004).
The biggest conflicting indicators for GTA V in October however, are the publisher's other big 2012 releases. As Joystiq points out, Rockstar don't traditionally release more than one major title a year, and we already have Max Payne 3 due very soon. Then there's 2K Games' BioShock Infinite also already due in October, which is another big hopeful on parent company Take 2's fiscal year outlook that they might not want to cannibalise.
Still, the holiday season always has a lot gamer dollars up for grabs, so perhaps neither of those are significant factors. Could we really be back in San Andreas in time for Christmas 2012? We'll have to wait and see. Either way, we sure wouldn't want to be in a certain Character Animator's shoes right now.
Grand Theft Auto V is in the works for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. You can watch the debut trailer here on AusGamers