Our predictions over the summer weren’t 100% accurate, but at the 2015 Paris Games Week, Polyphony Digital unveiled Gran Turismo Sport for Sony’s Playstation 4. While we initially believed GT Sport to be a Project Gotham Racing-like spinoff, and Polyphony would also be producing a stand-alone title to cash in on the increasing popularity of the Blancpain Endurance Series, in reality it appears Polyphony has combined our predictions into one giant all-purpose title; potentially an iRacing-like experience for the PS4 centering around online competitions.
Not only does the trailer display a large amount of Endurance Racing content, featuring both Audi’s most recent LMP1 entry, as well as a handful of various GT3-spec cars, the trailer proudly announces a fully sanctioned FIA online championship, as well as the ability to “represent your favorite automotive marquee.” Real world footage of several different Porsche race cars can be seen throughout the first half of the video, indicating the brand may finally come to the legendary virtual racing franchise, and street legal vehicles appear to take somewhat of a back seat to purpose built race cars during the two minute announcement trailer. There are no implications that GT Sport will be a generic car collecting game like the previous entries, given the heavy emphasis on a very specific group of cars and and online championships. Until recently, the yearly GT Academy was an entirely separate download and never used as the focal point for Gran Turismo 6, so there’s definitely been a shift in priorities with this upcoming game.
Thankfully for us, Martin Robinson of EuroGamer.net provided live updates on the lengthy press conference, in which the first details of GT Sport were revealed to the general public.
GTPlanet has much more info on the reveal, breaking down some of the officially sanctioned online championships that will make up the core of GT Sport.
- As announced on stage by Kazunori Yamauchi, two versions of the FIA’s official competition will be “running simultaneously throughout the year”. First is the “Nation’s Cup”, where a player will represent his or her country. The second is the “Manufacturer Fan Cup”, where players will drive to represent their favorite car manufacturer.
- The finalists in each competition will be brought together for an annual “FIA World Final”, and the winners will be awarded “alongside FIA sanctioned race winners in Paris during the Christmas season”, including the Formula 1 World Championship.
- Kazunori made it clear he has big ambitions with the FIA, as Polyphony Digital is working closely with the FIA to “drive the future of motorsports for the next 100 years”.
My best guess is that the two online championships will center around GT3-spec cars given the diverse list of cars presently competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Support for Sony’s upcoming Virtual Reality headset is also said to be included, and in the end we will be looking at a very different Gran Turismo title than what longtime fans of the series are used to. Given that the market has changed drastically since Gran Turismo 4 shocked the world in 2005, this is a move that’s probably for the better, as Gran Turismo 6 was notorious for poor load times and recycled content.