Gran Turismo 6 and the PlayStation 4 – Why They Will Probably Never Meet

Gran Turismo 6 is being made and it’s going to be released on the PlayStation 3. At least, that’s what every rumour relating to Polyphony Digital’s flagship racing sim is screaming at us. It’s coming, probably at the end of this year and only for the PlayStation 3.

There’s been no mention of the PlayStation 4 in relation to Gran Turismo, at least as far as I’ve heard – not just yet, anyway. This might mean that the leaks and rumours and slips of the tongue just haven’t expanded in that direction yet but it’s eminently more plausible to think that it’s simply because the game won’t be coming to Sony’s new home console at all.

Releasing Gran Turismo 6 during the PlayStation 4’s launch window would be unwise, if Sony intends to give Drive Club its full support. Please don’t misunderstand that as a slight against Evolution Studios, they’re obviously an extremely talented group and what I’ve seen and heard of Drive Club is very promising indeed. But two utterly gorgeous, beautifully modelled racers within months of each other is going to be bad for sales of both. Gran Turismo has the legacy to allow it to act as most PlayStation race fan’s default if they’re faced with a choice on the store shelves. Drive Club hasn’t built that legacy just yet. Drive Club on PlayStation 4 deserves better than to be set against Gran Turismo 6 on PlayStation 4.

GT5

Gran Turismo is a show stealer, whenever it’s released.

So it’s the PlayStation 3, then. And that makes so much sense for Sony and for Polyphony Digital. The PlayStation 3 might be reaching its autumn years but there’s life in the old dog yet and we’ve already seen that some other first party developers, having had more than half a decade with the old black beast, are able to squeeze some quite remarkable tricks from it.

Polyphony Digital have, since PlayStation’s first incarnation, been the studio who have pulled the best out of Sony’s console in its later years. Their next Gran Turismo game can be an amazing tentpole release at the end of this year for a console that has a massive install base. Even with a new boxful of hardware on the horizon from Sony, they would sell millions. It would fund the next several years of developing even higher fidelity reflections and even more precise sound recording.

Would that studio, with their practically unrestricted budget and the incredibly forgiving attitude to deadlines that Sony has taken with them, be most productively used making a game that can only possibly be sold to a few million people? If it’s a PlayStation 4 game, that will probably be the case, for the first year at least. After that, it’ll be old news, competing for shelf space with EA’s latest Need for Speed or Codemaster’s most recent racer. It would struggle to reach the heights of previous Gran Turismo titles. It wouldn’t pay for years of more careful measuring and modelling from one of the world’s best racing developers. It might not even pay for Gran Turismo 7 Prologue to be made for the PS4’s second wave of first party releases.

So what are the chances of Gran Turismo 6 being a crossover game, released on both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4? The case in favour goes something like this: make the game for both consoles and benefit from the huge sales figures on the PS3 while also giving PS4 owners something stunning to stick in their new powerhouse. But I think it’s unlikely.

It takes Polyphony Digital years to get a game out. That’s not a criticism, their tardiness with the release schedule is purely down to the unavoidable fact that they’re notoriously particular about their product. They’re perfectionists. Nobody at Polyphony Digital is going to be comfortable with taking the car models, assets and tracks they’ve made for a PS3 release and up-porting it all to a more powerful console. Sure, they’ll be able to plug in higher resolution artwork and they might even have some extra fun with lighting and particle effects but it’ll still be a lesser game than it could have been. That, for a group like PD, will be a compromise too far.

GT5

Expect Polyphony to be as precise and exacting with GT6 as they’ve always been with the series.

Perhaps they’ve been planning for this since Gran Turismo 5 was released and they’ve been working towards a PlayStation 4 release all along? In that case, they’d be taking the more complex models and systems they’ve made for GT6 and pouring them into a lower-capacity container. Every drop that spills will be a wound to the people who spend days on their bellies under sports cars with microphones.

Gran Turismo has always been the very best it can possibly be. There’ll be no cutting corners for this game.

So it seems quite likely that, if the rumours of an imminent reveal and a release later this year are indeed true, Gran Turismo 6 will be a PlayStation 3 exclusive. So what does that mean for the likelihood of a PlayStation 4 release in Europe in 2014? Well, it’s possible but with such a strong PS3 line up planned for the rest of this year – The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Puppeteer, Rain, Until Dawn and several HD collections, not to mention what might still be to come at E3 in June – would it really be all that much of a disaster if we had to wait until spring of 2014?

39 Comments

  1. Like I’ve said previously, I think GT6 will be to 5 what 4 was to 3, and 2 was to the original; An expansion, polishing and perfecting of the title for the system.
    I think the first GT on the PS4 will be a big step and be a long time coming.

    • … and after a Prologue version to whet our whistles.

      Although, Gran Turismo’s progression would very easily be adjusted to a “freemium” model, wouldn’t it? No, they wouldn’t do that to GT… would they?

  2. First thing I’d do is put the GT6 disc into my PS4. ;)

    Reaching the absolute peak user base is very important for the GT series, as you’ve rightly pointed out. Drive Club needs to get the roots in early, along the lines of what Ubisoft said a while back, that the start of a generation is the time for new IPs, whilst GT can release whenever it damn well wants and get sales.

    But GT is an immensely profitable series, with each game more than funding the next. GT5P might have been a preview, but it sold enough to pay for the entirety of GT5’s development, and GT6 needs to do the same for GT7P and GT7.

    I would, however, be quite surprised if Polyphony aren’t already preparing assets for the next generation. I feel that the way they went about creating cars for GT5 isn’t sustainable for another graphical shift up, unless they’re actually preparing everything much higher than the PS3 can handle and then scaling back down to fit?

    That’s what I would do, anyway.

    • As one of Sony’s premium first party developers I think Polyphony would have had access to PS4 devs right from the start so would be very surprised if they haven’t done anything ‘next gen’ since GT5 was released.

  3. Basically, GT is massive in Europe. Reckon this locks down PS4 here for a 2014 release.

    • aww. It’s massive in Japan too, why don’t they make them wait for the new console instead?!

    • If the PS4 got delayed in Europe because of GT6 I would be f’ing annoyed. This generation has been sooooo long and drawn out. I know I don’t speak for everyone, but the PS4 needs to come out this year with Shadowfall.
      I see all these beautiful PC and PS4 demos and I’m chomping at the bit.
      To take my mind off it I’m spending most of my gaming time playing non-graphically intense and interesting indie titles, because (let’s face it) racing, fps, tps games are all looking the same now and nothing is progressing on the graphics front (PC excluded), and hasn’t been for a couple of years now. I suppose that’s good in a way as it’s allowing me to experience some new and innovative game experiences. But if it means my PS4 gets shifted into 2014 for another semi-1080p GT5 then… (well, you know my sentiments already.)

      • Ps4 won’t be delayed because of gt6. Gt6 is the stop gap.

  4. I can’t wait for GT6 being released, and I hope it’s for PS3 even though I’ll be getting a PS4 at release. Polyphony deserve all the success that they get with GT6, so releasing on PS3 would make more sense.
    I sincerely hope that they never go down the freemium route that Peter mentioned.

  5. If it’s a PS3 exclusive, I’ll probably skip it. The graphical problems of GT5 were a thorn in my eye and not being a racing fan, that’s a pretty important factor for me.

    • If it’s a PS3 exclusive, I’m definitely skipping it.

  6. Didnt enjoy GT5 one bit. It took an age to get released then when it did there were only a few “premium cars” The rest of the cars wouldnt have looked out of place on the PS2. This game has the honour of being the only game to have put me to sleep while playing. Why people rate this game so highly is beyond me, it should be on the selves next to those tractor and street cleaning simulators. Game are supposed to be fun.

    • “only a few”

      there were over 250 premium cars!, how many more could you want?

      • Not at launch, they were continually adding them with huge patches. All cars in the game should have been of premium standard the length of time it was in development.

    • Someone else that fell for Microsoft’s ForzaFUD.

      The fact is, GT5 was never delayed, that wat pure Microsoft spin, done to ensure that it could never reach the levels of hype it had.

      Gran Tusismo games are never launch games (the full non-prologue ones), they have always historically arrived mid generation and are perfection.

      GT5 was no different in this respect.

      • GT5 was delayed.

        Ignore any of the previous, vague release windows that it was pushed out of if you want but it’s kind of hard to say that it was never delayed when SCEA said, via the US PS Blog, “We sincerely apologize to GT fans for the delay” after putting it back on October 13th – less than a month before its previously published release date of November 2nd 2010 (in the US, Nov 5th in the UK).

        http://blog.us.playstation.com/2010/10/13/gran-turismo-5-release-update/

      • That’s odd as i recall it being delayed several times by PD and Sony were the ones to break the news to everyone. I think Sony basically told them to finish off the game and release it otherwise it would still be in development due to Kaz.

      • Sheepdip, I’m tired of your ‘fud’ tropes and rampant, embarassing (and ignorant) fanboyism. Kerb it.

        GT5 was delayed. I had numerous chats with SCEE and can categorically say it was. More than once.

        It was also rushed.

      • :O I thought they took their time with it thus the reason for the delays. That and Kaz kept adding more and more features to it thus forcing Sony to force them to release it.

        As for Sheepdip. I believe our policy of ignoring fanboys is applicable here. :)

    • Indeed, over 250 premium cars, I have around 280 unique “premiums” in my garage. Most racing games can only dream of having a quarter of that many cars in their repositories, let alone the 800+ standard cars also included with GT5.
      I don’t think that’s the real issue here though, some people just don’t get what simulation racing games are about.

      • After further checks found that I actually have exactly 250 unique Premium cars out of the 293 in my garage, really surprised that I had as many as 43 premium cars doubled up.
        Appologies for the incorrect quantity I posted, although with Special edition versions of the game and special DLC cars there are probably around 260 premiums?
        It’s still a colossal amount of Premium cars in the game, and can hardly be called “a few premiums” whichever way you look at it.

  7. “Nobody at Polyphony Digital is going to be comfortable with taking the car models, assets and tracks they’ve made for a PS3 release and up-porting it all to a more powerful console. ”

    Correct me if I’m wrong (I know you will ;) ), but aren’t around 600 of the original GT5 cars just upscaled from GT4? with the other 400 or so being the ‘premium’ versions that were built specifically for GT5.

    • There were around 250 premium cars, the rest were standard models. I don’t think they were upscaled from GT4 though, just not as precise models or as high resolution assets.

      • Na, standard cars were from GT4 and GT PSP.

  8. Maybe GT6 will be a PS3/Vita cross play title, and the Vita but hasn’t quite hit the rumor mill yet? The Vita could do with a GT game sooner rather than later, and a more substantial one than the PSP iteration would be good (although that was very impressive).

    • nah, you’ll be using the Vita as your rear-view mirror… oh, wait…

      • Haha, I’m hoping the PSP could be the mirror for the Vita. As awesome as the GT rear view mirror would be they could never live down the backlash of pisstaking if they brought it in now, so they’ll probably never bother. We are our own worst enemies :)

  9. For perfectionist, PD sure let the ball slip with the crappy standard cars from PS2 and PSP. And the awful menus. And the load times. And the stupid fake full HD resolution. And the smoke effects. And the reversed tracks that DOES NOT count as a new one.

    GT5 was fun for a while, but 6 has a lot to prove.

    • My thoughts exactly. They worked far too long on GT5 so my guess is that at least some of those issues are due to hardware limitations. Releasing another game on a console that can’t keep up with their vision of the game can only be a business descission Sony made, not PD.

  10. GT has run its course, its time for something new and this is a could time to give Drive Club that chance to shine.

    • No.

    • people seem to be oblivious to the fact that drive club is an arcade racer where as gt has always been more of a sim, i’d personally consider them to be from two different genres

Comments are now closed for this post.

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

Sign Up