All you Gran Turismo players out there, rejoice! After what seems like eons, developer Polyphony Digital has taken the wraps off of the first game of the series on the Playstation 4 via Livestream from the Olympic Park in London, England.
It’s not called Gran Turismo 7, though. In classic GT form, Polyphony has released a prologue-style game that offers a sneak peek at the whole-hog version that will eventually arrive.
It’s called Gran Turismo Sport, and much more than simply a redux of what we’ve seen before, optimized for the better hardware and offering a few new cars and tracks, the game is taking on a format that’s never been seen before.
More than just revealing a teaser trailer – although there is that, too – the developers allowed a select few players to race the actual game, even though it’s not due to come out until November. Two new tracks were featured – an oval and a new city track based onn Tokyo – as well as a favourite returnee from older GT games, Brands Hatch in the UK. Players competed in a spec-racing Mazda MX-5 event, an FIA GT3 event, as well as an event in a mix of prototype cars and “Vision Gran Turismo” cars – cars that were developed in concert with actual manufacturers. Real life versions of these creations were on-hand at the event, too.
While there is a single-player element, it’s looking more and more like the online experience is going to be the bread and butter of GTS. Players will be competing in worldwide tournaments – that they have to qualify for by winning online races -- including some FIA-sanctioned events.
That’s right; what we have here is video gamers virtually racing under the same banner as the big guys in F1, the World Endurance Championship, and more. You can even earn an FIA license just by playing the game. We have no idea how that’s going to work, but we’re looking forward to seeing what happens with this as we move forward. Further, when you consider how the real-life Gran Turismo Academy has been running for quite some time (with graduates actually competing – and winning – in top-tier FIA events), the idea is not as far fetched as you may think.
Gran Turismo Sport will be available on November 16 in Europe and North America, and November 18th in the UK. It’s available for pre-order right now via either the Playstation Store, or at brick-and-mortar retailers everywhere.