September 22, 2010, 7:30 AM
‘Gran Turismo 5’ Is Only Six Weeks Away
By STEPHEN WILLIAMS
A screen shot from Gran Turismo 5.
The checkered flag — the video game version — is about to drop on “Gran Turismo 5.”
The much-hyped, six-years-in-gestation version of what many consider the ultimate driving game, “GT5,” for Sony’s Playstation3, reaches the retail finish line in six weeks — on Nov. 2 for North America.
The near-final specifications of the game were laid out earlier this month at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show by the game creator Kazunori Yamauchi, or ”Kaz” to his admirers.
Some of the anticipated highlights:
• There will be more than 1,000 cars, with about 200 listed in the premium category. Lamborghini and Bugatti make their first appearances in a GT program since the series made its debut in 1997. Two new rides deserve an asterisk: the Citroën and the Volkswagen Samba Bus, a version of the beloved microbus;
• There will be an emphasis on social interaction, including a “My Home” element that will allow players to virtually meet with fellow racers, sharing photos and user-created courses. There’s also a mode called Remote Racer, for controlling an avatar racer with artificial intelligence, and GT Life, an upgraded method of choosing and following career racing paths;
• A “Dynamic Weather System” — with working windshield wipers, of course — has been programmed into GT5, part of the advanced visual effects in the game. Racers will also be able to drive at night, using low or high beams;
• There will be a choice of more than 60 circuits, including the newly added Tuscany, Madrid, Rome and Indianapolis tracks, and there’s some classic tracks, including Trial Mountain and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, that have been tweaked;
• Gamers will be able to drive Nascar racers on their home tracks as well as on circuits, including the Nürburgring.
More details are available here.
Speaking with motortrend.com at the Tokyo show, Mr. Yamauchi said that the game was “a very complex project … in the six years it took to develop GT5, digital media made significant advances with the biggest change being in TVs, which transformed from SD to HD. That means that TVs can now process six times more information as well as being compatible to online games.”
Another hurdle, he said, was deadlines. “It’s important to understand that one racetrack takes two years to develop, while each car takes around six months to create,” he said.