Gran Turismo Producer Interviewed, Asked About Forza

Gran Turismo 5

Gran Turismo producer and Ford GR owner Kaz Yamauchi has been subjected to a very lengthy interview at Kikizo in which they ask about, well, everything to do with the PS3, Gran Turismo 5, and even touch on the subject of the game’s most immediate competition, Forza Motorsport 2:

Kikizo: Could you give us your opinion on Forza MotorSport 2 for the Xbox 360, and in particular, the ability to reskin your car in very great detail – are you going to have this degree of superficial car customisation in GT5?

Yamauchi: Straight off the bat, I think that in terms of feature sets, Forza is ahead of us. They have more options, you can do basically anything. We take a different approach obviously – we try to concentrate on what are the core values for a racing game, and we try to elevate those standards up as high as we possibly can. I am having difficulty trying to explain the differences, but one way you can look at it is, you can buy a watch that is super multifunctional, but economical, or a watch that is reduced in functions, but premium – higher end.

He’s plainly referring to the graphics here and overall production values, something the GT series has obviously always had in spades. So, what’s more important, graphics or gameplay? The eternal debate continues.

New Gran Turismo Screens Show Best Motoring

Best Motoring on GT5

We’ve heard talk of “Gran Turismo TV,” to be included with Gran Turismo 5, and the sort of content that would be featured. There was mention of various racing series, but nothing concrete. Now, thanks to these new screens at GameSpot, we can confirm that Best MOTORing episodes will be included … at least in Japan. For those not familiar with the show, it’s the most popular automotive program in Japan, often placing some of the hottest cars in the world on track against each other with professional drivers at the helm to see who comes out first. The above pic is of the newly uglified Subaru Impreza WRX (or S-GT in Japan) going through its paces on the show.

One wonders if the game will be able to pick up the rights to other shows like Top Gear or Fifth Gear in Europe. Sadly in the US we don’t have anything that compares, as the closest comparable thing we have is Motorweek …

A Gran Turismo Retrospective

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue

Games Radar has put together a bit of a retrospective of the Gran Turismo franchise, going back to the original and tracing its progression through to what we’ve thus-far seen of Gran Turismo 5.

Comparing GT5 with the original PSone instalment is ludicrous now. Visually, Gran Turismo 5 is leading us into territory resembling the holy grail of photorealistic graphics. In fact, we’re still not entirely convinced that the top left snapshot above isn’t actually a photograph.

So, in case it’s not clear, Polyphony Digital really put their nose to the grindstone where realism is concerned. They’ve achieved some incredible visual feats. Which is why, no doubt, it’s taking so long to get GT5 out the door. Each car now has more polygons than were in the whole PSone game – multiply that by the entire GT5 garage and you’ve a hell of a lot of work.

However, what’s missing here are the various false-starts and disappointments, namely the vaporware PSP release and the aborted attempt at multiplayer in GT4.

New Gran Turismo 5 Trailer & Screens

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue

At seen at Gamersyde, Sony has released a new trailer of Gran Turismo 5, which is embedded after the click. We also have a raft of new screen shots of the game in action from E3. Most are encouragingly rendered at a resolution that equates to 1080p, so gameplay at that resolution seems like a safe assumption. The rest of the screens? They’re actually rendered at twice that resolution, which likely indicates we’ll be seeing a photo mode in GT5.

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Scans, Video, and Info on Gran Turismo 5

GT HD

Last month Gran Turismo series producer (and platform shoe wearer) Kazunori Yamauchi sat down with French gaming magazine Joypad to discuss all things GT, including the somewhat aborted GT HD and what’s happening with GT5. The article is in French, as shown in these scans at GamePlanets, but this is what our source was able to glean:

  • All Cars and tracks from GT4 will be in GT5 in HD total of approx. 750 cars and 50 tracks
  • 4 driving views
  • Damages on vehicles (only on race cars)
  • Drift mode
  • All Ferrari vehicles and Formula One cars confirmed — nothing signed with Porsche and Lamborghini so far.
  • New city tracks
  • 12-20 players online
  • Changing weather in race
  • There will be an other GT game before GT5 (a GT “Concept” in HD )

You can read some translations here. Damage only on race cars, eh? That’s a big disappointment, but having changeable weather conditions is a nice addition, as well as in-car views, though not quite all we were hoping to see in our Manifesto. No apparent mention of a release date, but with Sony pledging they’ll be showing new games at E3 next month, it’s a safe bet we’ll be returning from Santa Monica with some more info to share on this one.

Will the Prologue make it out in time for its previously indicated August release date? Time will tell, but look below for a video of the game in action.

Thanks to gabrielh for the heads up

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Will the Next Gran Turismo Have Full Interiors?

Art Morrison 1960 Corvette

In our earlier Gran Turismo Manifesto we suggested that the next GT must have fully rendered interiors if it wanted to maintain its position as king of the console racers. While we don’t have confirmation that developers Polyphony Digital are intending to do so, this interesting look at how a car gets scanned for inclusion in the game at Jalopnik.com has a few hints that interiors will play a very big role in this title:

After the bottom half of the car was scanned in the rack was dropped and the interior transferred into binary for a complete 3-D model.

“It was bizzare. A red line swept across the interior. It was sort of a spacey type of a deal. The room was somewhat dimly lit, and you would see this red line sweep across – bzzzzzzzzt. As soon as it finished it was producing a 3d wireframe model to scale on the screen”, said Art…To fill in the wireframe back at GTHD central a four-person crew took video and still imagery of the car.

“They took video of me going through the gears, and the starting sequence of the car. Turning the wheel. Setting the e-brake. Pulling the hood release. Hi-beam Lo-beam. Everything.” said Craig.

Now, I could see them scanning the interior just so that if you looked through the glass in the game you got a partially correct look at the dash. But, going so far as to take footage of starting up the car, shifting, and even popping the hood release…that sounds to me like the Gran Turismo team are planning on giving us a more interactive view of the interior than we’ve yet seen on a console game.

Gran Turismo 5 Announced and Dated

GT Vision

Jeuxvideo.fr has an interesting little story (en francais, of course) talking about the availability of the GT HD demo in Europe immediately on March 23 when the console is released. More interesting, though, is the mention of GT5, with Sony France confirming an August release date for GT5: Prologue, and a spring 2008 release for the full game.

Are these dates targets that Polyphony Digital can make? And, if they do, will they heed our warnings on the features it must include to compete with Forza 2? Time will tell.

Thanks to Darji for the heads up.

Gran Turismo 2 and Porsche Unleashed Running on PSP

Gran Turismo 2 on PSP

The PSP homebrew scene, largely unhindered by Sony’s constant attempts to thwart them with seemingly daily version updates, keeps on rolling, and we’ve got these screens to show some of the fruits of their handiwork. It seems Gran Turismo 2 and Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed are available to run on the PSP for those who have the right firmware updates.

As you can see the games not only run, but also have nice looking crossbar menus that, for a moment at least, made me think we were looking at official releases from the PlayStation Store. Alas, they aren’t nearly that legit, as Sony seems to be content to trickle mostly mediocre games to their handheld through the PS3. However, given the what must be very small numbers of gamers who have a PS3, a PSP, and a memory card suitably large enough to handle the downloaded games, perhaps that’s a wise move.

Porsche Unleased on PSP

Anyhow, for these two, GT2 obviously needs no introduction, but many gamers may have missed 2000’s Porsche Unleashed, which is a shame, as it’s held by many (myself included) to be the high point of the Need for Speed series which has, as of late, been on a rather steady decline into the Underground. Those with any era of Playstation or a PC owe it to themselves to check it out this old but great game. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll give it a spin myself later this evening…

Big thanks to Stickee for the heads up and the pics.

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A Gran Turismo Manifesto

GT Vision

For many, Gran Turismo 4 was a fun and good looking game, but still a huge disappointment. Delivered late yet still short on features it ultimately failed to provide the kind of addictive allure of its predecessors. With no online play, extremely limited visual car customization, no crash damage, and a minimally changed physics engine it was just more of the same. And, honestly, you can only spend so many hours playing more of the same, even if it is awfully good looking.

With so much bad press being piled on the PS3 today, Gran Turismo 5 may wind up being the make or break title for the console. After its predecessors shortcomings, the fifth will need to impress to win gamers over, especially with the Forza series making huge progress in a number of areas that Gran Turismo hasn’t even begun to address. So, to ensure the series’ continued popularity, here are 12 things that GT5 absolutely must do, and do well.

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