March 1st, 2010, 16:36 Posted By: wraggster
So far fans following the fifth Gran Turismo in the series have been rewarded with nothing but delays and disappointment. You'd be forgiven for turning your attention to other things. But hold your horsepower, PSM3 have gathered 8 reasons for you to hold on just a little bit longer.
1. OFFICIAL LICENCES
GT-creator Kazunori Yamauchi (CEO of Polyphony Digital) wants to appeal to a global audience with Gran Turismo 5. The announcement of IndyCar and NASCAR - both new to the series - add a more American ﬂavour to the game.
Meanwhile European petrolheads will probably be more interested in the inclusion of a fully licenced World Rally Championship. If GT5's rendition of ofﬁcial rallying ends up as authentic as the American ﬂavours, expect your copy of DIRT 2 to be gathering dust by Christmas.
Then there's the small matter of Ferrari and Bugatti (including the formidable Veyron) - it's the ﬁrst time ever that the automobile legends have been snapped up for Sony's racing stalwart.
2. IT'S BEAUTIFUL
It looks better than real life. That's what GT's famous mastermind, Kazunori Yamauchi said of GT5's astonishing visuals. Okay, so that's perhaps a bit much - see bit.ly/4FApAI for a head-to-head comparison video, captured using the game's 'Data Logger Visualization' tech - but his intentions are crystal clear. From every wheel nut, tyre tread and grill dimple, GT5 exudes almost pixel-perfect photo-realism.
The entire engine has been built from scratch, utilising none of GT4's code. Every car is painstakingly built from scratch, using roughly half a million polygons - up from a mere 300 in the original PSone game. It's no surprise that a staggering 60% of GT5's development time to date has been spent just creating the cars. Not satisﬁed with the results shown in GT5: Prologue, Kaz has been delaying GT5 for years polishing the graphics to a higher and higher sheen. Running at a staggering 60 frames per second, even in full 1080p HD without even a hint of a jag or blur in sight, it's an unparalleled technical achievement. Polyphony Digital isn't just trying to raise the bar for visuals: they want to obliterate it.
Kazunori and his team are well known for their attention to detail when it comes to tracks, too. Visiting circuits to include in the game, they photographed plants, paving slabs and even the grain of the tarmac to help nail the details.
The most staggering thing of all though? Kaz reckons these beautiful results use only 80% of the PS3's power', leaving room for improvement for GT6. Hang on Kaz, let's have this one ﬁrst, eh?
3. IT'S GOT THE MOST REALISTIC HANDLING PHYSICS
Each one of GT5's enormous roster of vehicles was test-driven by Kazunori and his team - all predictably avid race enthusiasts - to ensure spot-on handling. But Gran Turismo 5 promises to bring the most realistic handling models yet. As anyone who attempted the recent GT Academy demo without the traction controls will attest to, the game is punishingly demanding. Each car's handling model is built from scratch in the same way as its appearance.
The physics, too, are a real step up over GT4 and even GT5: Prologue. Cars' bodies rock through sharp corners and authentically spiral out of control at the slightest nudge from rivals. They can even completely ﬂip over. The result is a racing experience that not only feels more realistic than ever, but much more white-knuckle than the stuffy bumper-cars approach of old.
4. IT'S GOT DAMAGE
The damage model looked a bit limited when it was ﬁrst shown off last year, but Kazunori is insistent that it was just the beginnings, merely showing the early direction. The full release, it's promised, will utilise a far deeper damage mechanic.
Every one of GT5's impressive roster of vehicles will be wreckable in some way, acquiescing to fans who have cried out for vehicle deformation for years. Okay, so only 170 'premium' vehicles will be fully damage-modelled, but every car can be visually broken, with huge potential consequences for the internal mechanics. End up braking too late and smash into a wall? Think brake failures, loss of speed, slower gear changes - a whole host of race-wrecking results. A generation of cheeky barrier-bouncing, shunt-happy players will need to adapt, ﬁxing the bumper-car tactics that have plagued GT. The damage on the premium models is where the real visual treats lie. Kazunori promises not just pre-rendered visual changes - think Burnout Paradise - but a fully implemented model which reacts to the speed, force and angle of a crash and crumples and twists cars accordingly. Not only this, but the interiors too will be affected by every bump, scrape and knock. Caved-in roofs and smashed-up doors add an extra tension to getting into scufﬂes, lending the cockpit view a visceral edge.
5. GT5'S BIG NUMBERS
950 cars currently in Gran Turismo 5.
2 player split screen running at 60FPS.
1000+ cars that might feature by release day.
16 maximum players in each online race.
Infinity: The potential limit for GT5's soundtrack due to custom playlists.
3 peripherals usable with GT5 simultaneously (Steering Wheel, PSEye, 3D glasses).
500,000: Number of polygons in each car.
5 years spent developing GT5.
1,826 days in the making
60% of the time spent creating the car models
300 Total polygons in each car in the original Gran Turismo
3: Number of discs GT5 will be released on.
70 possible course variations.
$60m reportedly spent developing GT5 so far
1920 x 1080 pixels used to make a full HD screen.
4 officially licenced competitions revealed so far.
6. IT'S GOT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ENVIRONMENTS OF ANY GT YET
GT5 boasts 70 circuit variations spread over 20 environments. The game won't just comprise the usual mix of street circuits and dirt tracks on a bland selection screen either. It promises to be a tour de force of some of motor racing's most famous circuits in some of the most naturally striking locales on Earth. Whilst it's by no means conﬁ rmed, we'd put money on 20 environments equalling 20 different countries, each complete with real tracks and GT originals. The old favourites, such as The Nürburgring, make a welcome return, but we're most excited about the new additions. We've already seen the Daytona Speedway unveiled from America's favourite left-turn motorsport, NASCAR, but it's pretty much guaranteed that Polyphony have much more up their sleeves. Oh, and GT5 also features a humble little circuit called 'Dunsford Park', also known as the Top Gear test track, which even shows replays from the same angles used on the hit BBC show.
A track editor has also been heavily hinted at too. As if this wasn't enough, dynamic environment changes will play a part in races. Though the GT devs have been characteristically slippery about the details, dynamic weather and lighting changes are conﬁ rmed for longer races. This means 24 Hour events (no word on whether they will actually be 24 hours in-game), will challenge your adaptability as well as your endurance.
7. IT'S GOT NEARLY 1,000 CARS
The heart of Gran Turismo 5 lies in its glorious representation of automotive history, from the very beginnings of the motorcar - such as the 1886 Benz Patent MotorWagen - to brand new 2011 supercars like the Mercedes SLS AMG. They'll all be accurately modelled and drivable come release.
It's the world's largest motor museum, interactive toybox, hyper-accurate driving sim and realistic racer, all in one. GT5 will also be the ﬁrst full iteration to feature some truly historic marques, including Ferrari and Bugatti - conspicuous by their absence in GT4. If you think the Lamborghini Gallardo could use a few tweaks (read: if you're mad) you'll even be able to alter almost every aspect of the car inside and out, as teased by Kazunori. That means both paint-jobs and mechanical tweaks. We can't wait to see the kind of fantastic/ hideous creations that the darkest corners of the PSN community will manage to conjure up.
Check the top of the page to see a few of the factory-standard models we're looking forward to taking for a spin when GT5 hits later this year.
8. IT'S INNOVATIVE
GT has been criticised in the past for sticking too closely to one formula - more cars, shinier graphics. GT5 bucks the trend, packing in a wealth of fresh features - most notably 3D. GT5 was the highlight of Sony's recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES)PS3 3D demo, with silky smooth frame rates, solid cars (like tiny 3D toy models) and crisp scenery. You'll need Sony's forthcoming RealD-tech glasses (our guess £50-£100) and a 3D ready TV (Samsung offer the UK's only current 3D TV for about £800, but most manufacturers will have 3D sets from summer 2010). Sony are backing 3D hard, and prices will tumble to mass-market levels over the next year or so.
Head tracking using the under-rated PSEye will feature too. Integrated with the cockpit cam, looking left or right will move the camera in-game. Stealing a glance at a rival driver as you slip past them on the inside, or checking the apex of a hairpin in a rally drift would be so simple yet feel so rewarding. The sense of realism - especially when combined with 3D tech - will be unrivalled.
PSP connectivity, while more mundane, is another interesting feature. Get converting those GT: PSP credits into portable supercars now, because when 5 hits, you'll be able to transfer your favourite rides from pocket PlayStation to its bigger brother. Whilst this might ruin the rustbucket-to-dream machine journey that is the career mode, we can't wait to convert all those train-ride struggles into online bragging rights. Our ﬁrst transfer? The Bugatti Veyron of course.
You can also upload replays direct to YouTube,
making GT5 a true technical showcase - if you've got the kit to match.
For more information and downloads, click here!
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