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July 3 2010
Gran Turismo 5 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
25/11/2010SonySonyPolyphony Digital
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-16$109.95
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This is it... Gran Turismo 5 on PS3.
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Imagine this, Gran Turismo 5, in 3D!

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GT5's car models are stunning.
Prior to the PS3's release Sony were claiming that HD gaming at 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive) would be what this generation was all about, but it was a claim that Microsoft said would never happen en masse (and we have to, disappointingly, say not many games run natively at 1080p). Possibly in order to dispel this claim, or possibly to help shift more units Sony provided a downloadable demo called Gran Turismo Concept HD at the PS3 launch. Only a single track with 10 different cars, but most importantly it was running at 1080p at 60fps. So now, here we are some three years later and we are still awaiting the full version of that game, Gran Turismo 5.

In March 2008 Sony launched Gran Turismo 5 Prologue which promised to offer a glimpse of the full game. This "glorified demo" offered a peek at the true potential of Sony's newest console with some great visuals and gameplay. However the release lacked any car damage, and was limited in game content while the price was still over half that of a full-priced latest release title. It's almost two years on now and there have been many additions announced to the full game, not least of which is a full damage model for the cars - something which was meant to be included in Prologue via a patch, but never eventuated.

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Ferrari is in Gran Turismo 5.
So now we get onto Gran Turismo 5. To date little is known of the final game in terms of game modes, license tests (yes, we think they will return), a management styled game or career storyline but there will be a tonne of content. Kazunori Yamauchi has confirmed that game will include around 1,000 vehicles - or perhaps just under depending on how development progresses prior to release. These vehicles range from top of the line racers, to commercial vehicles, motorbikes (yes, these were in the E3 demo) down to mopeds for those that like to take it slower. Over the last year or so the game developers have confirmed that they have secured the rights to use cars and tracks from the World Rally Championship, NASCAR, and Super GT. Sony has confirmed that Lamborghini and Bugatti will make their first appearance in the franchise (besides the PSP game). The game will also include hybrid cars including the Tesla Roadster.

The game will include around 20 track locations included in the game with 70 course layouts. These tracks include, for the very first time, Dunsfold Park in the UK which is the test track used by the TV show Top Gear. Other tracks include Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Nürburgring Nordschleife, and circuits in Tokyo, New York, Rome and Madrid.

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Finally Gran Turismo 5 has car damage.
Of course online connectivity will be supported in Gran Turismo 5 in the form of downloadable content and online gameplay. Given the lengthy time to model each car it has been confirmed that more cars will be downloadble from the Playstation Store after the games release. As yet we don't have a list of cars included in the game - so don't ask us which cars will be downloadable either. This feature would, however, allow cars made after the games release to be included. Sony has also confirmed that this latest game will allow you transfer vehicles from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue as well as the recently released PSP title.

Polyphony Digital has confirmed that online gameplay will be included in this game alongside online rankings for the best times around the globe. The company has confirmed that races will allow up to 16 players to complete online at once.

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The game now includes in-car viewpoints.
There are plenty of additions to Gran Turismo 5 not seen in previous versions of the game. Certainly one of the biggest is that of an in-car viewpoint while you are racing and videos surfacing in July 2010 show head tracking via the Playstation Eye camer as well - impressive stuff. This viewpoint will let you see the steering wheel and dashboard in the car. Also new is the ability to output the HD replays to Youtube so you can show your momentous wins to all your friends around the globe. By far the biggest change though is one which we've been wanting for years - car damage. Finally Polyphony Digital has confirmed they will be including car damage in the game which will not only affect the vehicles at an aesthetic level, but also on a mechanical level. Now you may have heard some reports about a very "limited" damage modeling some months ago, but we can tell you that the final game will include a full damage system rather then the early "simple" build and will even see cars lifting off the track to get airborne.

We've already spoken about the 1080p visuals at 60fps, but let's look at some of the other graphical bells and whistles. The most important aspect are the cars, and the amount of detail going into them is astonishing. Indeed Yamauchi has stated that cars in Gran Turismo on PSOne took about one day to model each, in Gran Turismo 3 on PS2 each car took about 30 days to model and in this PS3 title each car takes around 180 days to model. One other big inclusion for this game visually, although it also promises to change the gameplay too, is the inclusion of night racing for every track in the game. A variety of weather effects will also be included in the game.

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Gran Turismo 5 due out November 2010.
Certainly the most exciting aspect of this game as confirmed at the 2010 E3 show is that the developers have now included full 3D support for the game. We're not talking 3D like polygons, but proper 3D like the Avatar movie which will required a (recently released) 3DTV (from any manufacturer) as well as the 3D glasses. We haven't seen this first hand as yet, but have been told from many sources that it really draws you into the game and helps to determine distances to corners. Now that's a big plus for Sony, the PS3 and 3DTV's!

There's no doubt that Gran Turismo 5 will be a stunning title when it finally hits the shelves - and for the $US60 million development price tag Sony will be hoping the review scores justify the hefty production cost and lengthy wait for the title. Unfortunately the expected March 2010 Japanese release date was recently been delayed however at the 2010 E3 Show Sony announced an American release date of November 2nd 2010, with Europe and Australia currently scheduled for a loose November. Sony are having a monster 2010, and Gran Turismo 5, if it gets everything right, will be a massive system seller when it hits shelves.