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Opinion

Why Sony's Being Smart By Releasing Gran Turismo 6 On PS3 Rather Than PS4

This Club's not for you.

As we reported back at the weekend there, Sony’s Michael Denny said in an interview that Gran Turismo 6 would be heading to the PlayStation 3 rather than – as most expected – the PlayStation 4. The curious thing is that – with a few days of reflection to have a proper think – this really isn’t such a crazy idea as we might have first thought it was.

The concept of a “Gran Turismo 6″ is hardly out there, though.

Nearly a year ago we got our first confirmation that another Gran Turismo game was in production, with the team jetting about photographing new tracks like Bathurst. We’ve heard more since – GT Academy drivers mentioning the next game, for example. It’s coming, not least because it’s one of Sony’s biggest IPs, at least in Europe where it tends to sell like hotcakes.

But why PS3? It’s true that Gran Turismo 5 felt hamstrung by the hardware, cruelly delayed at the last moment and still seemingly rushed, but that was because it was trying to be a catch-all poster-child for everything the PS3 promised at launch. 1080p, 3D, 60FPS – none of which it seemed to manage when combined with any other – the frame rate staggered frequently and the game launched with considerable tearing, for example.

And then there was the issue of the severe difference between the Premium and the Standard cars. The former still look incredible and the latter lot look like PS2 leftovers given a slight buffing – in tandem, on a course, it was jarring, but in the garage you’d be mistaken for thinking you were looking at a PSP rather than a PS3. Ugly shadows, poor smoke effects and barren courses also felt like slightly uncomfortable last-gen hangovers.

But that was then. 2010, remember? In the two year period are we really to assume that Polyphony have been doing nothing but figuring out how best to approach a PS4 version of the series? It’s far more likely that they’ve been refining the tech, balancing out the visuals (seriously, 720p will do just fine) and expanding the number of vehicles that actually look like they belong on the PS3. After all, they’d port just fine to a PS4 game down the line, the fidelity of the modeling so high.

But the biggest issue is the current install base of the PS3. It’s massive. Everybody that might be interested in another Gran Turismo already owns the console that it’s apparently coming out on, and there’s no need to buy anything else. Whilst next-gen titles are all rather exciting, the take up for the PlayStation 4 won’t be nearly large enough to sustain two top tier racing games for some time – launching GT6 on current-gen makes economical sense.

That way, Evolution’s promising looking Driveclub isn’t competition, it’s a long-tail social title that doesn’t necessarily need big numbers at launch. It’s likely to come with some kind of subscription model that’ll mean players will be dipping in and out of it for a year or so – Gran Turismo 6 is a totally different style of experience and one that most PS3 gamers will be already familiar with.

It’s not like Polyphony need worry too much about the handling (it’s still sublime) or the breadth of content (the number of cars and tracks is probably enough if they manage to get a few more courses in there) – Gran Turismo 6 might end up being an incremental update that fixes the last game’s major issues and sends the PS3 out on a rather unexpected swansong. That’s reason enough to think that staying with current-gen is actually the smartest decision.

So whilst we’d all like a PlayStation 4 Gran Turismo down the line, perhaps now isn’t the best timeslot for it. Get another PS3 game out there, let Driveclub bring in the punters and then allow Polyphony to work their automotive magic buoyed by a huge pile content (that’s likely being built with future platforms in mind) that’s easily transferred over. Yeah?

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30 Comments
  1. djhsecondnature
    Since: Forever

    I kind of like a GT6: Prologue on PS3 and then a full GT6 game on PS4.

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 10:52.
    • Spotter5
      Member
      Since: Forever

      Yes. This.

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 10:59.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      So do I, but from a financial standpoint it make sense to have Prologue & the full game itself on the same machine purely because of how much work it takes to get an engine perfected for the system.

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:00.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Would have been my preference also, and a neat swan song for PS3 sim racing. Prologue PS3 would have made a great extended demo advertisement for a full fat PS4 release.
      Still, that’ll be my PS3 tied up for several hundreds of hours, so happy either way and will be pre-ordering asap! :)

      Comment posted on 02/03/2013 at 09:31.
  2. Taylor Made
    Member
    Since: Oct 2011

    ‘let Driveclub bring in the punters’ I wouldn’t be too optimistic, it’s a new ip most people likely wait to see the momentum to see what others think of the game. IMO, GT is a big brand on ps, I think bringing 6 at the end of the gen doesn’t always play to their advantage.

    Off the topic ain’t played GT since ps2, do they still do that license stuff to advance to races?

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 10:56.
    • hol
      Member
      Since: Oct 2009

      Licenses are there but it’s not essential to actually do them to progress, it’s based more on an XP level, more comparable to driver skill than tests.

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:01.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      By that logic Motorstorm was also a gamble when the PS3 launched and that turned out fine.
      I’m not a racing fan but what Evolution showed really got me interested. While I always like new entries in franchises that I love, trying out new IPs is something that I enjoy just as much.

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:20.
  3. hol
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    Ok, good points :) even though my personal opinion is it should be on PS4, I can see the reasoning, both from a fans perspective & a financial one.
    If PD let us import our GT5 garage & use our paid for DLC & our hard won prize cars, brilliant. Obviously only the premiums in our garages.
    Still, until we hear from Kaz himself, nothing I’m going to worry about. ;)

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 10:59.
  4. 3shirts
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Couldn’t agree more. I love GT5 but it does disappoint in a lot of areas. I think, as you say, it’s trying too hard to tick boxes like 3D and 1080p. They need to win back full support for the series with improved menus, better online features, all cars being premium and damage modelling.
    If GT6 does all of that then GT7 will be the PS4 console seller they need it to be at a time when sales will have slowed down

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 10:59.
  5. Temascos
    Member
    Since: Jan 2013

    It is a smart idea for PD to take up, at least because development costs will be a lot lower and the rate of return will be big. By having the graphics engine and lot of details already in place, using what they have learned with the DLC and the criticism of GT5 (Which I’m still to get, and really want to at some point) everyone is sure to come out okay.

    And when GT7 is being made (Lucky number 7!) for PS4, PD can simply up the resolutions and details on the cars which were already done for GT5 and 6.

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:01.
  6. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    GT has become tired and boring. It was good when it first came out but the latest one I thought was bad. It needs something different to bring something new to the game to get me playing it again.

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:03.
    • DividSmythe
      Member
      Since: May 2012

      You prey much echo my sentiments. Apart from it GT5 wasn’t a bad game just average really.

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:31.
      • DividSmythe
        Member
        Since: May 2012

        You prettymuch echo my sentiments. Apart from it GT5 wasn’t a bad game just average really.

        Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:31.
      • DividSmythe
        Member
        Since: May 2012

        Arghhhhh. *pretty much

        Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:32.
      • f4rgo
        Member
        Since: Dec 2011

        I didn’t have a big problem with the game, more an issue with running out of skill and loss of progression. Switched to Forza, much more fun.

        Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 13:52.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      My biggest frustration with it was how TSA decided not to award it a score in the review and how that felt like a huge sidestep to avoid certain backlash. The “review” sounded so very positive. Sure, a few downsides but truly positive stuff. However, when reading the above it sounds far removed from what was originally reviewed. Sorry… just don’t see why GT5 appeared to be offered special treatment.

      Anyway, best of luck to GT6. Hopefully the right man is in charge of putting a “game” out as oppose to indulging the whims of an obsessive madman. :-)

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 13:02.
      • Alex C
        One for all.
        Since: Forever

        Absolutely wasn’t to avoid backlash. Never done anything like that.

        I just think I’d not spent enough time with the game to award it a score. Same with Forza Horizon. And limited time means I’ve never been back to them.

        Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 13:06.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        It felt like such a cop-out, fella. Just saying how it felt as oppose to what you/TSA went through. Anyway, I’m hoping GT6 is far more of a delivered game as oppose to what appeared to be going through the motions. I still sigh merrily when seeing old GT footage on the PS1 although that’s rose-tinted to be fair. Tell me they’ve got rid of this “bumping” http://youtu.be/RSV4IBa1pMI?t=3m24s

        When a franchise is leading the way with obvious traits, it’s easy to forgive certain things. However, there’s so much more that I want to see in GT that’s still not considered but that’s, as always, personal preference.

        Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 13:36.
  7. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    I agree, but I also think that as PlayStation’s biggest title, by far… It will act as a drag on PS4.

    Why buy a new machine if the absolute best game is on the old system.

    GT6 will bury Drive Club – They may as well write that off.

    Also… How many people can afford a PS4, some games & probably an extra controller without selling their PS3, which they may now need to keep because the best, top selling game has only just come out.

    The other thing is GT6 will need to be supported with DLC & other stuff for around a year or so, so this really, really hinders work on GT7. Releasing GT6 on PS3 could well be the most foolish thing Sony can do.

    On the flip side, it could be a great tactic by Sony to shift loads & loads of those super-cheap build quality PS3SuperSlims, whilst hindering sales of probable loss-making PS4s, but Sony will need the install base of PS4 to outpace rival platforms to ensure 3rd party devs are fully supportive of the system.

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:07.
    • cam the man
      Member
      Since: May 2009

      I would have thought it will be better for Sony to have GT6 on PS4 as it would sell a lot of consoles. Bringing it out on PS3 would stop people upgrading. Sony will want to do everything possible to sell as many PS4′s as they can.

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 13:35.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Yes they do.

        But, do they?

        Sony need money in the bank, that crappy new PS3 will make loads of money per unit by then, the PS4 in all likelihood won’t anything and with the tooling-up needed for that unheard of RAM will most likely make a loss.

        Each time someone buys one, Sony lose money… Now ordinarily that’s not a problem with the profit coming later in the generation to not only cover those losses but make a profit too.
        Except the PS3 has hit them hard, contributing to $5bn in losses for the whole gaming division over this generation.

        Given every other division at Sony has also been rolling up the losses they surely need money & need it sooner rather than later.

        Growth of install-base of the PS4 is better coming once the heavy plant & tooling-up costs have been paid down (in part by a profitable PS3 SuperSlim)

        On the flipside, it’s a race to grow the PS4 install-base to keep 3rd parties interested in signing off big budget titles for the platform and GT6 on the PS3 will massively hinder that.

        Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 13:59.
      • cam the man
        Member
        Since: May 2009

        A bit of a balancing act needed by the big wigs at Sony.

        Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 14:36.
  8. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    They will start development on GT6 for the PS3 and end up releasing it on the PS4 due to them taking so long then keep on delaying it as they keep adding features untill Sony forces them to release it. ;-)

    They would be best off releasing it on the PS3 due to it’s massive install base but they could port it over to the PS4 at a later date. They need to make it fun as from what i’ve seen of GT5, it looks a bit boring and i can see myself, playing it for a week or two, getting bored, deleting the save, playing it again in 8 months etc..

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 11:13.
    • 3shirts
      Member
      Since: Aug 2008

      It’s a weird one with GT games. I wouldn’t say they are ‘fun’ in the same way as most games. They are simulation and as such, they make no effort to flatter or assist the player, that can alienate a lot of gamers.

      I you only really play arcade type driving games, it can seem pretty boring

      Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 12:45.
  9. Motalla
    Member
    Since: Dec 2011

    To be honest I do not understand why not more companies reason like this, and continue making games for ps3.

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 12:44.
  10. Porcupine_I
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    I suppose the PS3 Gran Turismo assets will be good enough for PS4 anyway, it should not take too long to bring the game over.

    …then again, it’s Polyphony…

    Comment posted on 28/02/2013 at 12:46.

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