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June 13, 2007
Gran Turismo 5 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
2009SonySonyPolyphony Digital
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-?$TBA

Note: The screenshots in this preview are from the previously announced Gran Turismo HD, which has been scrapped and merged into Gran Turismo 5. They are an indication of the final product only.

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Imagine this at 60fps!
Prior to the PS3's release Sony were claiming try HD gaming at 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive) but it was a claim that Microsoft claimed would never come to fruition. Possibly in order to dispel this claim, or possibly to help shift more units Sony provided a downloadable demo called Gran Turismo Concept HD. It was only a single track with 10 different cars, but most importantly it was running at 1080p at 60fps.

As yet we don't have many details about what will be in the game exactly. We have heard rumours that the game will include every track and car found in Gran Turismo 4 however others are speculating that the game will include all the tracks, but not all the cars given the extensive time it takes to model each one (more on that later). We would also expect some new tracks and cars to make an appearance in the game too.

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Heading under the bridge at 182km/h...
While 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 anything else we do expect plenty of familiar tracks to make an appearance - especially the real world race tracks, while the cars will 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. Naturally most of the major, and many of the smaller car manufacturers will be present in the game and while not mentioned at all yet we would be surprised if there wasn't some form of modifications allowed to each of the cars - perhaps paint jobs, decals, after market parts. Time will tell if this happens or not.

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The Grand Canyon, like never before.
Online will be supported in Gran Turismo 5 in the form of downloadable content and also 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. In terms of online gameplay it will be included for certain, and so should online rankings similar to those in Gran Turismo Concept HD, but the number of players remains unclear with rumours pointing to between 12 and 20 players, but this probably won't be decided until much closer to launch when the game will undergo extensive testing.

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Heading under the bridge at 182km/h...
Certainly one of the biggest disappointments - and to me this is inexcusable these days - is the fact that yet again the series will still not see any collision damage. According to Kazanori Yamauchi some companies still do not want their cars damaged. If that's the case, drop them I say. They'll soon come groveling back when they realise they are losing Perhaps more concerning is the fact that by implementing damage the developers would have to alter the games physics model. I wouldn't have thought that a game, that is calculating hundreds of different physics effects would have struggled to have this implemented. Perhaps the real reason is that every panel of every car would have to be modeled twice - once in good condition, and again in damage form. Still there is hope as Kazanori Yamauchi has stated this feature may be made available later as a downloadable update.

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.

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The car select screen from GTHD at E3 2006.
One rumour doing the rounds - actually it started on French TV station M6 when they visited Polyphony Digital - is that Gran Turismo 5 will, for the first time, include an in-car viewpoint which shows the dashboard. Actually Polyphony Digital are still playing with the idea, but we can only hope it ends up happening. Another rumour is that the game will, for the first time, include dynamic weather which means it can change during races - thereby forcing you to change your race strategy, and probably tyres too!

There's no doubt that Gran Turismo 5 will be a stunning title when it finally hits the shelves. This one game alone has the potential to shift millions of copies, and also millions of PS3 systems. Kazanori Yamauchi has stated he is targeting a Spring (Japanese) 2008 release, however he has also apparently been assured by Sony that he can have all the time he needs to make it as good as possible - making a late 2008 release also possible.