Gran Turismo 5 will define the future of PS3 development

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When the first Gran Turismo released in Japan in December of 1997 (May 1998 for everyone else), it was met with immediate praise by critics and would deservedly go on to be the top-selling game for the PlayStation. With each subsequent release in the series, Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital have gone above and beyond what anyone thought was possible in a hardcore simulation racer.

Fast forward to 2010, and the series is in a bit of a strange position. Millions of gamers are anticipating its release…whenever that may be. Unfortunately, PD’s strive for excellence comes at a price. In this case, it’s in the form of never, ever believing an announced release date for a Gran Turismo game until it’s spinning in your PlayStation’s disc drive. In the time since Gran Turismo 4 launched, Microsoft’s Forza franchise has seen 3 releases across two platforms. PlayStation gamers, on the other hand, have only seen the release of Gran Turismo for PSP. While I’ve never enjoyed any Forza game as much as any one Gran Turismo game, it’s always something that Xbox gamers hold against PlayStation fans. Sure, the games aren’t as good, but they have the advantage of being available for purchase.

Fortunately for those that have never wavered in their fandom, Gran Turismo 5 seeks to be not only the most ambitious game in the series, but possibly this entire generation. Anyone who’s so much as watched a Gran Turismo game can tell you that they set a high graphical benchmark, but have you seen the latest night driving trailer? Comparing it to any other racing game is just plain unfair, and not a single one can compete, and don’t be surprised if this is still the best-looking racer five years down the line. On top of this, GT5 will finally feature vehicular damage, which is the first thing detractors of the series always point to. So far it doesn’t look perfect, but it’s definitely a giant first step in the right direction.

As if that weren’t enough, PD got their hands on the licenses for several racing circuits: World Rally Championship, Super GT, and, most interestingly, NASCAR. While some may not find NASCAR very interesting (such as myself), there are millions of people in the United States that do. If you don’t think that the ability to race Jimmie Johnson’s number 48 is a big deal now, just wait until the game releases; I guarantee you’ll be shocked at the new demographic that this title opens up for the franchise. When you add this to the fact that Yamauchi wants approximately 79 million cars in the game, each with their distinct interiors, engine noises, and damage modeling… well, it becomes a little easier to see why this is taking so long.

Finally, GT5 will be the first full release in the series to feature online connectivity. Obviously, racing against other people around the world plays a major role here, but much more is expected these days. Going back to Forza, Turn 10 has done a fantastic job creating a community of players that not only race, but also sell custom cars to each other with the in-game auction house. While this doesn’t seem to be a feature that will make its way to Gran Turismo, players will have a different reason to be excited- Gran Turismo TV. GT-TV was introduced in GT5: Prologue as a hub for all the video content that a gearhead could ever want, with Top Gear leading the pack along with original content.

So why should this matter for those that have no interest in the Gran Turismo 5? For starters, Sony has poured an awful lot into this game and its success, with the game’s presence being felt since the launch of the PS3. Obviously, the game won’t flop; despite hardcore racing sims being a rather niche genre, Gran Turismo is Sony’s all-time best-selling franchise. However, this is the game that will finally prove whether or not Polyphony Digital is willing to evolve its game and craft. Just look at how long it took for PD to finally cave and implement a damage system. If GT5 releases to lukewarm reaction from fans and critics after all of this hype and hoopla, you’d better believe that this will change how much leeway Sony gives to future games, and not just in the GT series.

Is there anything to worry about? Even taking off my GT-loving goggles for a second, the chance of this game being less-than-stellar is slim to none. We’ve all seen the trailers and screenshots, and analyzed every last bit of GT5:P and other demos. It’s pretty apparent that this is shaping up to be the all-time driving sim.

At this point, it all rests on Yamauchi & Company.

Readers Comments (50)

  1. That means anyone who wants to play NASCAR has to buy a PS3 . . . not cool.

  2. why not??

  3. @TRF
    same as all other exclusive content. its to get you to buy that console.

  4. Well, because they’re taking a series that was normally available to everyone and making it only available to PS3 owners. Yes, there are exclusives that you must own a PS3 to buy, but it’s not like they made it for everyone then snatched it away.

  5. 79 million cars? Typo to the extreme.

    Also, I think you saying “forza isnt as good but at least its available for purchase” is a little fanboyish of you. In fact a lot of the article is. No offense.

  6. It was Nascar that approached Polyphony. If you want to talk to someone talk to the head of Nascar. Considering how EA used the franchise, going to Polyphony was the right choice.

  7. dude Mehdi this site is called playstation university so of course you have to consider there will be some bias, on top of that this site is more fair on both consoles than most.

  8. @Mehdi: really?!! do you think forza is any good??!!

    no way, i have it and play it from time to time and there is nothing that impresses me…

    driving physic is OK , not realistic and not arcade!! just between( to appeal to casual gamers)

    lack of presentation quality ( some popular performance cars not included and you have to pay to have them in the game) a typical Microsoft scam strategy..

    and graphics is the best xbox can get this generation impressive for xbox but not for those played “Gran Turismo HD” and witnesses the better shadowing and car modeling, lightning,etc.

    i see forza to improve in terms of driving physic and they should consider realism in their future releases.

    graphics are excellent not compared to gran turismo..

    audio is also good but some cars need improvement and tuning..

    but for sure gran turismo is a winner…this is the truth

  9. @TRF

    I don’t see you taking this same attitude with Splinter Cell: Conviction.

    What’s with that? A franchise once given to everyone and all of a sudden, it’s exclusive.

    Play it up the middle or not at all, man.

  10. @TFR You act like they just stole something, it is still available to everyone and with that I’ll add nothing is free. To be honest this does more justice to the fans and the franchise than a mediocre version with a name slapped on it for sales any day.

  11. umm no …. Sony will still throw money at PD. Why? Because the amount of money they’ve made off the demo (ie. GT5P – 4million at 30 – 120 million, assuming Sony as the publisher and dev got at least 50% of that [although i’m sure they got more], thats 60 mil, which is the apparent dev cost of GT5, thus far) alone is enough to fund the full development of GT5. So considering GT5 is easily gonna eclipse the sale of GT5P … Sony is going to mint off this, and mint nicely. Money will still be flowing PDs way and to other first parties. Most of their first party games have been good and successful, successful enough to at least bring in a lot more than they put in. Which is all Sony cares for at the end of the day.

  12. CodeNameSnake March 27, 2010 @ 13:20

    Articles like this make me excited for this game.Even tho i never was into the franchise.
    this game looks good.

  13. CodeNameSnake March 27, 2010 @ 13:26

    @Nav “GT5P – 4million” if that’s true Sony should say this at E3,i know for a lot of people,hearing that a game is doing good and selling good,makes them want to check it out….. i bought Halo 3….

  14. Gran Turismo The Real Driving Simulator!!!

  15. “Sure, the games aren’t as good, but they have the advantage of being available for purchase.” Wow what nerve, you PS3 fans always speak in absolutes like your opinions are facts! WTF the Forza games mainly the last one have arguably been superior to every GT ever released. With the exception of graphics Forza has LED the way in the evolution of driving sims. GTs biggest problem is that it had become stagnant and boring, so how is that better?

  16. @Num Skull

    Most Forza enthusiasts agree that Forza 2 was far superior to Forza 3 in every aspect — yet you’re here saying that Forza 3 is the one that is arguably better? Lol.

  17. WTF are you all talking about? Gran Turismo has ALWAYS been exclusive to Playstation consoles. Nobody’s taking anything away from anybody. GT 1 & 2 were exclusive to PSone; 3 & 4 were exclusive to PS2; and 5 and beyond will be only on PS3. What is the big surprise here? I don’t get the initial commentary…

  18. Uh, no Dean, Most Forza enthusiasts DO NOT agree that Forza 2 is superior to F3, they believe the online match making was superior on F2, F3 is FAR superior to F2 in every other way, I live on Forza forums, do you, GT fan?

  19. 79 million cars? does that number of cars even exist? o.o’
    I think that the game is gonna be sick but I also think that it’s taking WAY too much time than it should… nonetheless, it’s must have in the library.

  20. @Num Skull

    LOL @ Your ignorance.

    I’m one of the biggest charity contributors throughout the Forza community. Throughout Forza 2, I gave away over 500 L.E. custom cars alone.

  21. The author is correct in more ways then one. GT5 really has more riding on it then any game in the Playstation library. The expectations of GT fans are very high. Plus, no game (not even Forza) has come even close to matching the charm a GT title has. With Gran Turismo, everything is just right.

    To someone like me and the millions of die hard GT fans, it represents an end game for any other race game purchases. For example, since GT4, I have bought Forza 2 and 3, Need for Speed Shift, and a few arcade racers including Midnight Club LA. All of these games have been shallow to me. Barely a step up from GT4. Yes, I am aware of the online, damage systems, and painting features in these titles, but to me, that is more for the fans who spend more time creating a livery then they actually do on the virtual track.

    All of these games have given me about a month or two of things to do, while each Gran Turismo represents over a year of my dedication to this title. Sony, PD, and Kaz are well aware of folks such as myself, for we buy everything with a Gran Turismo label on it.

    When GT5 arrives, I will have two copies (for my family afterall) and will purchase any and all DLC day one. I also have a steering wheel system in place for this game in my office. Yes, Gran Turismo is that big to me. It’s why I do not care how long it takes for GT5 to come out. I want perfection, and Kaz will deliver it.

  22. OK Dean you win, your the worlds biggest Forza fan, who happens to think GT is better, right.

    Those games, at least forza, has more features, superior physics, and better (fewer nissans, and more Porsches) cars, yet you are trying to convince us that for some imaginary spiritual reason GT is better? That is your OPINION, and the only reason you have that opinion is because you are most likely some irrational fanboy.

    GT is the oldest, most successful console sim perhaps, but its far from the best.

  23. @Num Skull

    Continue your ignorance — GT offers more cars, more tracks, superior physics (lol @ you giving this to Forza — get real, each GT iteration is the next step in physics, GT5 won’t be any different)….and until the feature set is released, you really can’t even make that comment…

    So thanks.

  24. More nissan skyline variations does not equal more cars, pretty much every review of Forza 3 mentioned that it had the best physics on a console sim to date, just because you can play the same track at night, in the rain, and backwards, does not equal 4 tracks, its still only one in the real world.

  25. Lol @ Posting like Turn10 doesn’t qualify their “reverse” tracks as track options.

    And yes, there is more cars — get over it.

  26. @Num Skull – So thinking GT to be the better game can only be fanboyish rhetoric, while doing the same for Forza makes it cold, hard fact. It’s too bad you don’t realize just how foolish that makes you sound.

  27. Gran Turismo 5 physics?!?!?! OMG! What Sony Fanboy! Physics? What physics? I can crash any of my cars into a wall at 200 mph and not have a scratch or any damage to the car functionality. Yeah, some car sim that is.

  28. LOL Except that has nothing to do with physics… Way to go.

    It’s much cooler to have cars hit each other head-to-head at 200MPH and instead of being crushed, one car just lifts straight up into the air and the other just sits there, lol. Yeah — Some car sim that is.

    Move along.

  29. I think Forza is the better series, its my opinion, its based on facts but its and opinion all the same.

    You dudes have declared it fact that GT is superior, and GT5 will be superior, even though its not out yet, and we have seen little more of it than a few dashboard videos, a bunch of CGI and bull shots, and a really crappy looking and playing demo.

  30. What facts is it based on? Certainly not sales — which would show consumer demand, right?

    LOL @ Based on facts

  31. People love to show ignorance over the internet. Driving physics and crash/damage physics are two completely different things.

  32. @ The Dean

    Crashing into walls has nothing to do with physics? I think you are late to your Subway job, don’t be late.

    Notice that I did not specify crash or driving. I just stated physics in general.

  33. @Soh-knee

    I think you’re late for your job handing out tokens in the subway.

    Gran Turismo’s driving physics (which is what I was talking about considering, crash physics have never been a key component to the franchise), is what YOU chose to respond to. That continues the conversation along the path it was already set forth on, DRIVING PHYSICS — which your stupid crash comparison has nothing to do with.

    Reading comprehension, Spence.

  34. @ the guy who made this article….
    79mill cars… r u kidding me… was that a typo or something??? cuz ive been anticipating the release 4 this game and i heard close to 1000….. * 79mil cars is gna take a lot more than 1 blu ray disc…

  35. @ The Dean

    Nice try. But physics is physics. And your argument is typical of your standard Sony Fanboy.

    Crash your car in GT5 and no damage. As a real driving sim … EPIC FAIL.

  36. @Soh-Knee
    What year are we in? 2008? Cosmetic and mechanical damage has been confirmed to be in GT5. “People love to show ignorance over the internet”- zevehcj

  37. why wouldnt GT5 define such things?

    its polyphony man!

  38. @Numskull: The GT5 demo was just a showcase of the new driving physics, not even close to a represantation the final product will have regarding graphics.

    @Soh-Knee: No, there is a difference between driving physics and crashing physics: One has to do with handling the car while the other with, well, crashing against anything (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, lol).

    Forza is a nice cars game I admit, but if you want the real driving simulator you’ll go with GT for sure.

    BTW, one of the things I love about the site is that we see direct responses from writers and stuff. It makes commenting a lot better xD

  39. @Soh-knee


  40. I seriously can’t believe I have to say this — 79 million was hyperbole. The actual number will be between 900-1000 cars.


  41. @Soh-Knee
    People were complaining because the GT Academy time trial was too hard. What does that have to tell you about the driving physics in GT5? Forza 3 was made for the wanna be sim players. The cars feel like they have training wheels. Over and understeer barely or mostly never happens ( except a few cars).

  42. People obviously must have not felt Forza 3 was as good as Forza 2, since 2 sold 4 mil units and 3 only 2.3. I don’t know how anyone can tout Forza’s crash pyshics. I’ve seen a player wreck onto the top of his car, skid about 50 or so feet, only to be flipped back over with no damage to his car whatsoever. Yea, that’s so much more realistic. As far as driving physics are concerned, PD created a special tool so all they have to do is punch in the statistics for a car and then that car automatically drives like the real car in the game. I just hope with how much of a perfectionist Kazunori Yamauchi is about driving physics and graphics, he’ll treat the crash physics the same way. So far, the most realistic crashes I’ve seen in a game would have to be from Burnout: Paradise.

  43. It’s a shame that this game has been so long in development. Since then I’ve brought a 360 sold my PS3 and lost all interest for this game.

    Still it’s shaping up to be a stunner. It’s going to be hard to beat Forza on the physics though I reckon. I read that there is like 200fps on the physics engine.

  44. I love that gt producers want it to be perfect, but its taking to long and that might come back to bite in the ass…

  45. why would you sell your PS3? they worth more than 360

  46. @Barry: dood, rebuy the PS3….its awesome without GT5 already lol

  47. Haha great article, the Fanboys are going crazy. People need to wake up and see that Gran Turismo is the best Car game period. Oh, and TRF your an idiot.

  48. Num skull –

    Off-topic : Why is that when a discussion is initiated (as was the case by me) and something is posted that might cause a disagreement, someone such as yourself falls back to type with the immature statements such as “fanboy”? I am a fan of racing games, pretty much all of them, on BOTH platforms. I just see the truth in the matter, and presented viable points. Seriously, discuss, or move on.

    Forza with superior physics? When it comes to driving, not hardly. Want to see “superior” physics? You should have tried the GT Time Trial Demo that was out in January. Winners went on to compete in an a actual academy to become a real race driver for Nissan and Sony. Plus, Kaz has test drove every car going into GT5 and has raced proffesionally. These two facts alone bring more merit him and PD then any other studio has. When someone from Turn 10 meets these qualifications that Kaz has, maybe I’ll take comments like yours more serious.

    The damage modeling that I have seen anywhere is lacking when it comes to sim racers. Forza 1-3 has done nothing revolutionary, while Gran Turismo has done nothing at all (thus far). Shift? I have never seen fiberglass bend like aluminum before. No one has done damage right.

    Forza’s tire model is impressive, but comepletely un-neccesary waste of time and resources. I would have much rather seen more cars (seriously 400?) , a way to get more cars on track (8 is even worse the NFS Shift), and a realistic driving model for each car. The RWD cars, despite obvious advantages in certain circumstances are comepletely rendered useless. Shameful when one considers how Turn 10 proclaimed themselves as car lovers.

    I am currently at level 15 in that game, and I grew bored of it. The tracks outside of the real ones are un-inspired. The performance index in the game is so broken, all one needs to do install a race LSD and watch your index get worse. Yeah. OK. That game places way to much emphasis on weight of a vehicle, when there are so many more influencing factors and tunes that can work around it.

    F3’s leaderboards are nothing more then one or two cars dominating each class. Go browse them, you’ll see something ugly. This game isn’t for automotive enthusiasts, it’s for people who want to do nothing more then play a race game and paint pictures. Yes, there is some extremely talented individuals out there, but come on. It’s one shoe fits all approach has failed to keep folks like me (which represent a majority) from buying F3 in droves. If GT5 was out, or coming in a few months, I would have never picked up Forza 3.

    There is a reason ever Gran Turismo released has sold nearly 10 million copies each worldwide. The same reason can be defined by GT5 Prolouge selling over 4.5 million. As I mentioned in my first post, everything feels right.

    Joe Garcia –

    I took what you said about the 79 million cars as a reference to Kaz’s desire to have Gran Turismo become an encyclopedia of automobiles. I have read that he wants all cars in his game.

  49. I think the overall message is that forza is a gd driving sim but when compared to gt5 its going to look ordinary at best. Gt5 is going to be a awesome driving sim game and proably the best on consles to date. The only bad thing about the game is how long we have had to wait!

  50. *looks at #48’s wall of text*

    oh lawdyyyyy

    guys really tho, stop bickering about which one is better…the Forza series is a great one and GT5 isnt out yet so we cannot say. imo its GT5 thats going to be better but thats the GT fanboy in me talking lol

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