What Do You Think Of GT5’s UI?

Right from the very first Gran Turismo, Polyphony’s user interface (UI) has always strived to present something a little bit different, with striking graphics on the selection screens and that lounge musak plinking along in the background.  Back at the Tokyo Game Show Sony showed off the final version of Gran Turismo 5’s UI and to be honest, I’m of the opinion that it’s not quite as refined as previous games.

First up is the My Home screen, which is what you’ll see when you jump into the main Gran Turismo mode (as opposed to say, Arcade mode).  You’ll see the overhead map of the various sections has been replaced by a considerably more modern approach but one that lacks a little something.  Sure, it’s crisp, clean and stylish but at first glance I wouldn’t even know where to start.  I do like the menu strip on the left, though, it’s lovely.


The ‘Car Delivery’ icon is really nice, very iPhone with the little red badge on top, but overall the ‘GT Life’ tab might take some getting used to.  Moving on is the Community tab, which at first glance looks like Twitter (no bad thing) but look towards the middle of the screen and you’ll see some interesting icons: Mail and Gift in particular sound intriguing and hopefully will allow us to send each other cars in-game.

It’s telling, also, that you’re only allowed 140 characters in each message – I’m sure I’ve seen that before but perhaps this is just leaving the door open to full Twitter integration?  I’m all for convergence in games anyway, so anything that keeps me snuggly within the soft, gentle walls of Gran Turismo is alright by me.  I even like the clock at the top, and the A Spec and B Spec progress bars.

I’m wondering, also, whether your GT Friends will match up with your normal PSN Friends.  We’ve found out over the last couple of days that Gran Turismo 5 will offer worldwide races, not just locked to your own country, so let’s hope that the game takes full advantage of that and allows you to interact with your ‘normal’ Friends list.

The last screen we have is the Special Events screen.  Each special event looks like it offers multiple levels of difficulty (judging by the LV notification under each text box) and it’s nice to see that the likes of the Stig Challenge are somewhat seperate from the main GT mode so they won’t get in the way.  Most of them look authentic (and sponsored?) but I’m wondering where the main strip to the left has gone.

All in all I’m happy to reserve judgement on the UI until we get our hands on the full thing and see it in action.  None of the recent trade demos have offered anything other than the basic bare bones Arcade and Time Trials so (as far as I know) the full GT Life section hasn’t been aired in public yet – I’m confident Polyphony will have nailed it, though, even if I’m not 100% happy with the look and feel.

What do you guys think?



  1. Although very different from the older “map” look, I like it. a bit unfamiliar but there IS a hell of a lot of content to fit in there. An overhaul was probably a wise decision.

  2. As much as I like Dirt 2 and F1 2010, I hate the ‘flashy’ animated menus they have. Dirt 1 was pretty good, because although it was animated it was still quite logical.

    Seems like GT5 has a logical layout which is the most important thing, particularly for a game that people will spends literally hundreds of hours with.

    The real question is, how fast is it? GT5P menu speed was a little slow at times for me, particularly when saving settings.

  3. I suppose they’d get stick if they kept it the same or changed it regardless, they can’t please everyone.

    I think it looks contemporary and crisp, I don’t like the bar on the left though, too much going on in there and clashes with the rest of the page.

    • I am actually a fan of the bar on the left, basically a list of shortcuts, GT and GT2 had these and once you were used to them they made navigating the menus a lot simpler.

  4. Have always been a fan of GT’s UI, was always quite clean and crisp. However when some of my friends used it they were confused by the sheer number of options on the home map. I guess this is to give a more “texty” version, so the different areas are explained more.

    Have also been curious about what event 3 will be after seeing this a month or so ago.

  5. That is the best looking User Interface I have seen on any game, not cluttered and easy to navigate with stunning use of graphics and icons. Two of the “missing years” must have been spent creating all of that. It will be all mine…..soon!!

  6. At first glance, it looks kinda cluttered, but I reckon it’ll be easy to get used to. The Special Events Menu looks brilliant, can’t wait to do the Top Gear one!

    • That’s my thinking too, fella. It’s quite a face full of text and graphics but these handful of screens will contain everything you need and people will learn them exceedingly quickly when you consider how much time and effort gamers are going to plough into this title. Very smart looking.

  7. nofi, I was thinking the exact same thing yesterday when I was looking at some other UI pics – nice, but not quite up to their usual standards. Granted there is *a lot* of info to display there, and extra locations on the old GT map would have made navigation unweildy, so it had to change. However, there could be a little more consistency. There are different shapes everywhere. We have round buttons, oblong buttons, square ones and various rectangular shapes, all of varying sizes. In pic one, I like the two left-hand columns, and the top menu bar / header but it’s the centre panel which is a bit messy to my eyes. I’m not sure about the position of the three icons – they seem a little lost there. There are also too many different shapes. Even the alignment isn’t perfect, with different-sized vertical and horizontal gaps.

    OK, so I’m being overly critical without having even tried it. However, it’s amazing what little tweaks can do to the visual impact of a UI and I have come to expect some of the best UI design from Polyphony Digital.

    • I know exactly what you mean. As a UI designer myself some of the decisions are a little odd.

  8. In all honesty, who gives a toss? Surely it’s the gameplay that counts? I honestly couldn’t give a flying fuck what the menus in a game are like, i really couldn’t.

    • It all adds to the experience. Could be the difference between being easy and fun or difficult and frustrating.

    • Then leave this topic to those of us that do care, your comments are rude, unnecessary and ignorant.

      • I disagree. There’s no need in getting like that! You asked for my opinion on the uses interfaces, i gave my opinion, that being that they really don’t matter to me, it’s the gameplay that counts.

      • I think it was more the ‘who gives a toss’ and ‘couldnt give a flying fuck’ comments. very aggressive

      • Ok. They may be slightly strong words, but not deserving of the comment nofi left me. I was expressing my feeling on the matter and it was not directed at a particular individual so that comment was not warranted. The double grump tag line he has under his name seems to be very well deserved.

      • I didn’t think the comments were particularly agressive. Just the sort of banter you’d get if you were talking amongst a group of mates. I’ve seen equally as bad language from some TSA staff.

      • “I was expressing my feeling on the matter and it was not directed at a particular individual so that comment was not warranted. The double grump tag line he has under his name seems to be very well deserved.”

        Expressing your feeling on the matter is one thing. Launching into a tirade of unnecessary language is another – I don’t care who you’re directing it at, or otherwise, your comment was rude and ignorant, as I said.

        If we were discussing the gameplay and I came in and starting saying “who the flying fuck cares I only care about the UI” I’d look a dickhead, right?

        Just sayin’.

      • Come on, we’ve all had a drink, let’s just calm down and have a hug

      • Lol. Ridiculous response nofi on 2 counts. 1 – i would hardly call it a tirade, i said 1 swear word and 1 word that relates to masturbating. 2 – your analogy is ludicrous. People don’t play games for the ui, they play them for the gameplay. It may be nice to have a nice ui but it’s clearly secondary to gameplay. Back when pes used to get good reviews it was always stated that it had terrible menus, but still got good scores. A good game is a good game due to it’s gameplay, not how nice the menus are. Stop trying to justify your over the top response, there is no justification. How was i being ignorant? What did my comments ignore?

      • Your attitude comes across as agressive and confrontational, and you did sound rude. We can’t talk much yet about the gameplay of GT5. Besides, gameplay is not all that is discussed on this site – why can’t we discuss all aspects related to games and gaming?

    • How is me stating that i couldn’t give a flying fuck what the menus are like rude or confrontational? Again, it wasn’t directed at anyone, surely to be confrontational you have to actually confront someone?

      • @ Tony, i like your vigour man! feel free to add me seedaripper1973. (anybody who puts a bee in nofi’s bonnet is fine in my book)

        p.s lol ;-)

  9. Impressive, are there trophies for navigating it? :D

    • “You’ve earned a trophy. [L-UI-s Hamilton] – You’re the youngest person to figure out how to navigate GT5’s UI.” BRONZE

      “You’ve earned a trophy. [UI Lag-Meister] – Be among the first 1000 users who managed to find the multiplayer option and start a lag-free race.” GOLD

      I know that I spelled Lewis wrong.

  10. it looks very cluttered, Im sure ill get used to it after an afternoons play though. bet this game comes with a bumper manual!

    • a manual which as a man i will discard instantly and take as an insult to my manliness which i will then proceed to prove by selecting a car well beyond my ability and promptly stack it on the first corner.

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