Gran Turismo (GT) is a hugely successful and critically acclaimed series of racing video games produced for the Sony PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 gaming systems. All of the games are said to simulate the appearance and performance of a large selection of vehicles, nearly all of which are licensed reproductions of real-world automobiles. As of April 30 2008, the franchise has shipped 50 million units worldwide. The title Gran Turismo is Italian and Spanish for "Grand Touring."
The Gran Turismo
series is developed by Polyphony Digital
The producer for all eight games is Kazunori Yamauchi
The appeal of the Gran Turismo series is due significantly to the graphics, the number of licensed vehicles, the extent and detail of simulation, and the ability to tune performance. Handling is modeled on real-life driving impressions, tuning based on principles of physics, and sound on recordings of real-life vehicles. The game has been a flagship for the PlayStation console's graphics capabilities, and is often used to demonstrate the system's potential.
Although Gran Turismo has an arcade mode, the majority of gameplay derives from its simulation mode. Players start with a certain number of credits (usually 10,000, except in GT3, where the player starts with 18,000 Cr), which are used to purchase used or new vehicles from a number of manufacturer-specific shops (e.g., one sells only Toyotas, one sells only Mitsubishis, and so on), or from used car dealers, and then can tune their car at the appropriate parts store for best performance on the circuit. Certain events are open only to particular types of vehicles. Also, in order to enter and progress through more difficult races, there is a license-testing system, which guides players through skill development. Players may apply prize money won in events to upgrade their existing car or buy a new one, collecting a garage of carefully tuned cars.
As of May 11 2008
, there have been four "full" Gran Turismo
games released, two on the PlayStation
and two on the PlayStation 2
. Four comparatively partial versions were released in limited regions between Gran Turismo 3
: three different Concept
games, and Gran Turismo 4 Prologue
. A number of demo discs relating to specific real-life models have also been released. Two Gran Turismo
games are currently in development, one for PlayStation 3
and one for PlayStation Portable
The PlayStation 3 title is the highly anticipated Gran Turismo 5
. 2 Games are currently out for the PlayStation 3, Gran Turismo HD
is free to download, using a PlayStation 3 console, from the Playstation Network
; and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
was released on 13 December 2007
, North America receiving it April 17 2008
, with Europe
receiving the game on March 28 2008
. Gran Turismo 4 Mobile
is a PSP
game of which has no release date as of August 2007 and with no confirmation that it will ever be released. The kids dedicated Gran Turismo for Boys
project was announced in November 2004 and officially confirmed for a 2005 release in December 2004. Eventually, Kazunori Yamauchi stated that this PlayStation 2 project was still in development in September 2006.
Gran Turismo is the best selling PlayStation game ever. The game is one of the most popular games within the racing genre. It features 11 courses and 178 cars, and both arcade and simulation modes.
Gran Turismo 2
Released in 1999/2000 for the PlayStation
, Gran Turismo 2
has 28 courses and some 650 cars, making it one of the biggest games at the time; it was released as a double disc due to its sheer size. It also has dirt tracks, Racing modifications (race colors, etc.), tallies the player's game completion percentage, and has the series' first real life track, Laguna Seca
. The first North American
release had several severe bugs because it was rushed into production before the 1999 Christmas season. This includes a bug that erases the player's garage, although the bug was later fixed in the newer versions of the game. Other bugs include a lack of restrictions on races, and a change in a listed car's horsepower after you buy it.
The limited "Le Mans Special Edition" which was available in France in June 2000 included a "bonus CD" allowing to create a gamesave ("Defi GT2") unlocking the license B, 15 race cars and 100,000 credits.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
The first installment of the Gran Turismo
series on the PlayStation 2
, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
(GT3) featured vastly improved graphics and new gameplay features, such as oil changes. It was released in July 2001. The Gran Turismo Mode has a reorganized layout, with a more structured and progressive arrangement of races and challenges. As of December 2007, the game has sold 1,890,000 copies in Japan, 7,140,000 in North America, 5,840,000 in Europe, and 10,000 in Southeast Asia.
Gran Turismo Concept versions
Gran Turismo Concept: 2001 Tokyo
Released only in Japan
in the year 2002
for 3,200 yen. It first appeared in 2001's Tokyo Motor Show
Gran Turismo Concept: 2002 Tokyo-Seoul
Released only in Korea
on April 9
, this game featured Korean cars from Hyundai
for the very first time. This game was based largely on the Gran Turismo Concept: 2001 Tokyo Collection and served as a launch pad for Sony Computer Entertainment Korea's Playstation 2 launch in Korea.
Gran Turismo Concept: 2002 Tokyo-Geneva
Released in Europe
and South East Asia
in July 2002, this the most complete "Concept" version, giving all cars from others two previous versions adding a total of 65 new cars. The South East Asian version has a Tokyo Motor Show
Gran Turismo 4 Prologue
Gran Turismo 4 Prologue was released December 2003, originally intended as a teaser for GT4. GT4P has a driving model improved from GT3, and included the new GT4 HUD
, however, continued development meant that GT4P ended up less than representative of the driving experience in GT4. Additionally, GT4P had only a few cars and a small number of tracks, and instead of the familiar simulation mode or multiplayer features, it had a series of events similar to licence tests, few of which include other cars. Despite this lack, GT4P was sold on store shelves in Japan (taglined "Signature Edition"), Asia and Europe. It includes a DVD with behind-the-scenes footage and driving advice, and was eventually released in other countries after GT4's production cycle was lengthened. GT4P also had a special event requiring completing a track in a Toyota Prius under a certain time and level of fuel consumption, modelling the functionality of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive
, foreshadowing the Toyota Prius demo disc (below).
The original game was released on a special promotional demo with Playstation box sets at christmas 1996. The game featured arcade mode only and had a selection of Clubman route 5 and three cars to drive. A time limit of ninty seconds was placed on the playable time of the game.
Gran Turismo 2000
Gran Turismo 2000
was the demo
of Gran Turismo 3, shown in E3 2000
and to promote the PlayStation 2
release in US. The name was changed because the game was delayed and could not be launched in that year.
Toyota Prius demo disc
In the summer of 2004, Toyota
sent a demo disc of GT4 along with a marketing brochure for its 2004 Prius hybrid car
by way of customer request from their web site. The demo was also given out at a presentation of the Toyota MTRC at the New York International Auto Show. The demo disc featured only two cars, namely the Prius and the Toyota MTRC concept car. Two tracks were included, Fuji Speedway 90's and Grand Canyon, but each was limited to two minutes of play time. Toyota stopped offering the demo discs when the requests for the marketing brochure became disproportional to the real interest in their cars. The disc became a collectible item for Prius owners and is still sometimes available via auction at eBay.
This Toyota edition was also available in European (PAL) territory and it is named Gran Turismo Special Edition 2004 Geneva Version (SCED-52455). It comes in a regular card sleeve with an illustration of the CD.
If you select the Toyota Prius in the full version of the game, the instrument panel at the bottom of the screen shows a representation of the Energy Monitor on the real-life Prius, as well as an MPG gauge and a counter showing the approximate amount of fuel burned.
BMW 1-series demo disc
Features four models of the 1-series
(118i, 120i, 118d, and 120d), and three Gran Turismo 4
tracks – including the Nürburgring
(driving around this circuit was limited to three minutes). BMW
customers in the United Kingdom
who ordered a 1-series
before its official release date were invited to a private event at the Rockingham Motor Speedway
. On departure from the event, all guests were given a pack containing the demo disc.
Nissan Micra demo disc
With the release of Nissan Micra Roma, Nissan distributed a press kit for each concessionaire in several countries in Europe to promote the car. This press kit included several photographs, a press information booklet and three discs. One of the discs included in this kit is an official Gran Turismo demo named Nissan Micra Edition.
Nissan 350Z demo disc
Similar to the Nissan Micra Edition, this CD also comes in one of the many press kits available for the Nissan 350Z in the United States. There is no confirmation that a European version exists. The press kit containing the game demo comes with two other discs inside a silver folder. An additional booklet with information and pictures of the Nissan 350Z is also included.
Gran Turismo 4
Gran Turismo 4
(GT4) was released in 2004/2005 with 728 cars and 50+ racetracks (including the Nürburgring Nordschleife
), and the notable additions of installable spoilers
(different from "racing modification" in earlier versions), nitrous oxide
, a photo mode, an auto-drive feature dubbed "B-spec", and HD
capability. An online
component, originally intended, was not included.
Gran Turismo 4 Online test version
The public beta
for Gran Turismo 4 Online
was freely sent by local SCE
branches to 5,000 Japanese and South Korean players. Online services lasted three months during summer 2006
and included the extra "Online" mode including 6-player online competition (6-player LAN
was yet available in GT4), online Time Trial
with ranking chart and chat
Gran Turismo 4 Mobile
Gran Turismo 4 Mobile
is intended to be an exact port of Gran Turismo 4 for the PSP
. Originally due for release at the same time as the PSP itself, multiple delays have led to belief that the game may never be released at all. Sony says it has just been 'shelved' while they develop GT5.
Gran Turismo HD
Gran Turismo HD Concept
was released on December 24 2006
in Japan, December 23 2006
in North America, and March 23 2007
in Europe for free download on the PlayStation Store for PS3. It was originally set for a retail release but Polyphony decided to scrap the retail release and instead work on Gran Turismo 5. The free demo includes 20 cars (10 stock vehicles and 10 tuned vehicles for high performance), including a 2006 Ferrari
model and one track which is unlocked in reverse once all time trials have been completed. The demo offers time trial and drift trial (once unlocked) for each car on the tracks with online leaderboards and 1080p 60fps graphics. Polyphony has stated that they will release additional free downloadable content for the demo including a photo mode.
Gran Turismo HD Concept Version 1.2 (version 2.0 in Europe) is now available for download, which refines the gameplay experience in Time Trial mode and the accuracy of lap times within the online rankings. Online ranking results recorded by version 1.2 players will be given priority. Version 1.2 is compatible with existing game save data, allowing you to race your previously unlocked cars.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is the most recent GT title released by Polyphony Digital and SCE for the PlayStation 3, both on Blu-ray Disc and on the PlayStation Store. First announced at E3 2007, the game was released in Japan on December 13, 2007 (a downloadable demo arrived October 20). It was released on March 28, 2008 in Europe, and on April 17, 2008 in North America. The Japanese version of the game features over 50 cars, 5 tracks, and 16-player online play. Both the American and European versions have a few extra features than the Japanese version, 6 tracks instead of 5 and over 70 cars. Regular updates have enabled different regions to have extra features. Spec II (or 2.0) was released on March 28 2008 (the release date of the PAL version of the game), which added some 21 extra features; from new cars to new modes. On April 15 2008, version 2.10 was released to coincide with the North American release of the game, adding some 6 new features including new music and new videos. Another update is planned for the Fall or Autumn of 2008, speculated to have the all-important damage feature for the first time in the Gran Turismo series.
Gran Turismo 5
Gran Turismo 5 (also known as GT5) is the fifth edition of the Gran Turismo series. Expanding on the Prologue version, it will be the first of the main numbered series to be released for the PlayStation 3. It has been confirmed that the Top Gear test track will be featured in the game. The game is due for release on the PS3 on the 27/03/2009.
Official simulator kits
Since the 2001 release, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, Polyphony Digital has collaborated with peripherals manufacturer Logitech and auto parts maker Sparco to design official driving simulator kits for the Gran Turismo franchise. Lately, EB games has announced that it will be released in the U.S. on March 18.
The Gran Turismo
video game series has been one of the most popular over its lifetime, appealing to an audience ranging from casual gamers to fans of comparatively super-realistic
PC racing sims. Also, the game helped to influence car sales and a mass influx of grey market
imports, especially with Japanese cars to Europe
mainly in the United Kingdom
, aided by the newly introduced SVA
regulation, which the majority of people who bought one in during the late nineties mentioned in reference to the car they bought. As a result, car manufacturers stepped in to offer free licensing, in return for advertising their cars within the game, which also explained why Polyphony did not feel the need to pay for licenses for other manufacturers. Also, during the production of GT4, Yamauchi was given a VW Golf R32
as a gift from the company.
Because of the success of the Gran Turismo series, Guinness World Records awarded the series 7 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Largest Number of cars in a Racing game", "Highest Selling PlayStation Game", and "Largest Instruction Guide for a Racing Game".
Despite the commercial success of the series, Gran Turismo
has sometimes been subject to criticism. First of all, the slogan "The Real Driving Simulator" and constant advertisements of improved realism before every release didn't please everybody, because the game's driving system has not undergone major changes after the first installment (which was one of the most realistic games of its time) and the driving model is intentionally kept accessible. The game contains no damage-modeling due to licensing agreements prohibiting car damage (Gran Turismo 2 did feature damage but only mechanical damage, and no cosmetic damage). In addition to reducing the consequences of mistakes, this allows players to gain time or position advantages through deliberate unrealistic driving. For instance, they can corner faster by sliding their cars along barriers, or even collide violently with other cars, and bounce off unscratched and without penalty to themselves. It may be worth noting, however, that this problem was somewhat fixed in GT4, where players would receive a short speed penalty after hard collisions on rally tracks--however it was only the player that would receive a penalty regardless of who initiated the collision, and that was only available in certain modes. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue builds on this by introducing very strict penalties for collisions with cars, barriers, and taking short-cuts. This is only unlocked on the later, more challenging races. Gran Turismo 2's (optional) damage system was enough to make the above mentioned exploits negligible, but for unknown reasons was removed from the series.
Additional problems include the maximum of five opponent cars and the apparent lack of demonstrable "intelligence" in the driving abilities of the AI cars. The small number of cars limits the variety and excitement in races. Since the restrictions on engine power are very lenient or non-existent in most races, a player can often overpower the field with a superior car. When the player does contest the AI for position, he often finds that the AI seems not to be cognizant that the player's car is even there, usually driving into the player from the side or from behind in an apparent effort to keep on a predetermined racing line. It should be mentioned, however, that with the game's lack of damage modeling, this can give the colliding AI car some edge over a player. Although, up to 16 cars now feature in the latest game in the series, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue as well as improved AI.
There are no Lamborghinis (except for a privateer Diablo in the Japanese edition of GT3) or Porsches (although Ruf, which is available, builds its cars on Porsche chassis). The omission of Porsche is due to Electronic Arts, a competing game publisher, who secured exclusive rights from Porsche to be the only game maker able to feature Porsche's lineup officially. However Turn 10 Studios, the developer of Forza Motorsport 2 secured rights to feature Porsche in its game as well. Perhaps the most surprising absence of the game was that of Ferrari (although it is finally making an appearance in the new Gran Turismo 5 and features in Gran Turismo HD, and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue). Skoda Auto too is strangely absent from GT, despite being present on other videogames such as the official WRC series.
Another aspect of the game that has been criticized is that many of the nominally different cars are only variants of a single model: there are 48 varieties (56 including race cars and other varieties) of Nissan Skylines out of 100+ Nissans, and 20 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions in GT4. Also, more than half of the 721 cars are Japanese; in addition, most used cars are Japanese. In GT1 and GT2, almost all cars were Japanese, and used cars dealer sold only them. In GT4, some European and American used cars were added, but seldom showed up. Additionally, many of the manufacturers featured in the game do not include many of their current sports models or the ones included are outdated. For example, in Gran Turismo 2 most models of the Chevrolet Corvette featured are older C4 generation models, despite the fact the then newer Corvette C5 model had been introduced two years prior to the game's release. Once again, in Gran Turismo 4 the newest Chevrolet Corvette featured was an outdated model (the C5), despite the fact that Chevrolet released a newer model (the C6) in 2005. In GT2, the Toyota 2000GT was made available as a used car, but seldom showed up and was often expensive.
In Gran Turismo 4, several 'concept' vehicles are criticized because they are only playable in Arcade Mode. The Auto UnionType 2 is one such car; along with the Nike special car it is only available on the Nürburgring Track, the Test Course and the Las Vegas Dragstrip. Likewise, the Cadillac Cien is not selectable by a player in the "500+HP Competition", despite having well over the required 500 horsepower, yet it can participate as an artificial intelligence-controlled race competitor.
Several open cockpit vehicles, like the Caterham 7, can only be driven at the Arcade Mode (although Test Driving on tracks, such as the Photo Mode or Free Run is possible), and not the Gran Turismo Mode due to the issues inherent in having to render the additional detail of the driver.
In order to progress in simulation mode, the player must pass a series of "license tests". Though a few of the early tests are very basic, the difficulty does increase in later tests. Some reviewers, sensing that the series is pitched at players with driving knowledge and skill, complain these tests feel patronizing to that same audience. License tests were completely removed in Gran Turismo 5: Prologue however.
But, probably the biggest problem is lack of cars you can compete in GT mode in all editions of Gran
Turismo.You can't race just against 5 cars, in all races you need at least 20 cars and 50 to 60 laps
and in endurance races like Le Mans there should appear at least 70 cars.Another defect is unreal engine sound (among the most important parts of any driving game) , come on some cars have sound like vaccum cleaner.There is more, tires ran up in a few laps and we all know that the softest tires can be used at the worst for 15 laps.Also, all cars have anti-lock brakes (even muscle and old timers).Furthermore, fuel usage is not real(Gran Turismo 4), there are no flag rules (in fact there are no rules at all). To conclude Gran Turismo 1,2,3,4 are great games, but we can only hope that this defects will not appear in next edition of Gran Turismo.