Red Dead Redemption LA Times Article
The article covers everything a person new to the game might ask. Aside of the usual facts and information on the game, they do touch on why Rockstar decided to tackle the West and why now. The article mentions that westerns arguably died with Unforgiven, and no movie since have revived the genre.
"The minds at Rockstar are convinced that what the western needs now is to be experienced instead of watched."
I agree with this. The promise to experience the West is what is drawing the most attention from gamers. Favorite quote from the article:
"Sometimes you can be the hero, sometimes you can be the bad guy, and sometimes while you're deciding what to do, a bear comes out of nowhere and eats someone."
Just as true then as it is now.