Gran Turismo is the most famous racing game in the world, having sold 70 million copies in the last fifteen years and appearing everywhere from Top Gear to The Streets song lyrics.
This week, Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi revealed Gran Turismo 6 at Northampton’s Silverstone race track which will be a new track in the new game.
Despite the impending launch of PlayStation 4 at the end of the year, Gran Turismo 6 will be released on PlayStation 3 this year - it’s expected to debut in September.
The existing fan base is already huge, with 10 million copies of Gran Turismo 5 sold to date.
Working with car manufacturers, Gran Turismo 6 will feature 1200 cars and 33 locations and new downloadable extras to follow.
Tyre maker Yokohama Rubber and suspension company KW Automotive have become technical development partners in a bid to make the simulator aspect even more realistic.
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Featuring dedicated apps for smartphones and tablets, Gran Turismo 6 will bolster the growing online community around the game and will have ‘multi device’ compatibility.
Players will be able to access stats, scores and updates through smartphones and tablets as the game evolves - downloadable content is set to be a key factor in extending the life of the game too.
Series creator Kazunori Yamuchi says “we have refactored the game to make it very flexible and expandable, with a view to making many future developments” perhaps hinting at PlayStation 4 compatability or even in-game interaction with smartphones and tablets like Microsoft’s Xbox Smart Glass technology.
“The launch will be only the beginning for GT6. The game will continue to develop throughout its life. I already have many ideas for things I want to achieve in the next 15 years of Gran Turismo”.
A course maker function allows users to share tracks with friends online. Car manufacturers have provided data and performance stats for the game and Sony has continued their link with Nissan and hint at real world racing challenges that can be linked with the game. Previously, Nissan show rooms in Japan have had exclusive versions of Gran Turismo with new Nissan vehicles available for virtual test drives.
The big question is whether car damage effects will feature as the series, against all rivals, has never allowed physical damage effects to impact on vehicles.
A new 3D rendering engine which Sony say ‘pushes the limits of PlayStation 3’ has been developed by the game makers are keeping quiet on any damage effects at the moment and no car deformation can be seen in the teaser trailer.
Confusingly, Sony has mentioned an ‘Edge Effect’ development which allows ‘chemical reactions between the real world and the virtual world’. Sony also say that they’ll be more tie-ins with car manufacturers and ‘brands crossing different industries’ over the next six months.
The next outing for Gran Turismo 6 will be at Los Angeles games covention E3 on June 11th. The expected release date for the game in the UK is September. Given the tie-ins with car makers, be prepared to see Gran Turismo 6 in a car show room before your local games store...