The Gran Turismo series is something of a Sony intuition, having long-been perhaps one of the most popular racing series available on the PlayStation platform. With the release of GT 7 however, fans of the franchise might very well be treated to some splendid surprises.
But before we go there, let’s examine the current progress of Gran Turismo 6, which is set to be released in early December (2013) on the PS3. If you’re wondering why such a thing might be important, consider the fact that development of GT 7 is aid to be in close alignment with that of GT 6, with some even indicating that the former might “evolve” out of latter, for all intents and purposes. In terms of its visuals, Gran Turismo 6 is a step up from 5, particularly where physics are concerned.
Of course this is largely expected news from a major franchise that’s working closely with Sony, but it still bears repeating that the series is advancing nicely. In fact, developer Polyphony Digital has been indicating that their idea base and general speed of implementation is noteworthy, advancing faster than they might have even imagined. The creator of the series, Kazunori Yamauchi, had this to say:
“Even now when we’re near the end of development (of GT6) we’re still creating features that will be provided in this game in updates later on. I think it’s a possibility that one day these types of update will be continuing for our titles. More recently, the speed of our output is much, much faster.”
Add to that the fact that there’s even been mention of transitioning the entire Gran Turismo enterprise from its current configuration as a numbered installment series to that of a service-based model. In other words, you’d pay for a subscription and the developer would update, upgrade and add new content on a steady basis – which is an exciting notion, particularly for hardcore fans.
Moreover, this news finds us well in advance of the release of GT 7, which has already been announced as being “1 or 2 years away”, indicating that the next game might not even be a conventional release. In fact, it’s even been rumored that Gran Turismo 7 might end up being the end result of bringing an evolving GT 6 to the PS4, and in 2014 no less!
Regardless, here are 5 things we hope to see in Gran Turismo 7…
5. A 2014 holiday release
As indicated in the press, GT developer Polyphony Digital is actually working on GT 7 in tandem with 6, even going as far as saying that they might even be on track to bring it to market by this time next year. Given their previous efforts, it’s safe to assume that delays might be inbound, but let’s hope that’s just negativity on our part. As many fans have already pointed out, the fact that the GT crew didn’t opt to release 6 on the new platform (PS4) could be construed as a disappointment, but let’s not forget that it pushes the PS3 to its limits. Had they went ahead and decided to delay GT 6 so that it could have been a next-gen release it would have derailed their current plans to integrate and evolve everything. In short, it’s very possible that we might see GT 7 headed our way by next Christmas since there’s been talk of porting certain elements from GT 6.
4. An entirely new level of detail
Naturally, the PS4’s hyper-charged graphical capabilities lend themselves toward an increasing level of realism in terms of environment, car models and game physics, which is perfect for a simulation series like Gran Turismo. In GT 6 it’s been noted that the overall level of detail has been dramatically improved from that of 5, with gamers now being able to discern the individual patterns of the leaves on trees. Keeping in line with this train of thought, it’s easy to comprehend a similar level of advancement taking place between the iterations of 6 to that of 7.
3. More diverse tracks / settings
One of the biggest criticisms of the Gran Turismo series is arguably its track selection, which tends to be perceived as being somewhat limited. Today’s gamers want more diverse terrain which spans across numerous settings, something which all of the popular racing series have been able to successfully bring to the table. Just imagine being able to take to the track at night, perhaps on a coastal road, or in the daytime, high up in snow-covered mountains.
2. Custom tracks
Track customization is also something that’s seriously lacking in Gran Turismo, although they are taking steps to rectify this with GT 6. For instance, in GT 6 you’ll be able to use a downloadable GPS-powered smartphone app to physically drive certain routes around your neighborhood in order to create tracks. Likewise, they’re planning on adding a number of new updates post-release which will provide for track customization, which fans have been asking for. If these same features are integrated into the next-gen GT however, the results will be truly spectacular. Being able to create your own amazing tracks from scratch on a platform like the PS4, perhaps even being able to share them across social networks, would be incredibly cool, to say the least.
1. Additional modes of play
With a glut of racing games out there which allow you to take part in exciting storylines and even open-world exploration, it would seem that the Gran Turismo series might need to expand their model to include new elements. For instance, eliminating many of the uninteresting vehicle models in favor of more usable, exotic ones, perhaps even assigning use of them to specific “missions” might be a good place to start. In the end, most gamers just want to have options at their disposal, or at the very least, a reason to keep on playing and exploring what the title has to offer.