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  You’ll see the overhead map of the various sections has been replaced by a considerably more modern approach but one that lacks a little something.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.

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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?

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51 Comments

  1. The biggest simple change I would make would be to drop the graphic in the background of the My Home screen. There are already clipart being used in most every panel overlayed on it and it messes the overall look. Also, perhaps it’ll show only the panels that you can currently access so the My Home grows as you get into the game unlocking this and that. It’d be a great way to ease the user into a busy layout without daunting them at first.

  2. Sharing and giving cars to fiends has been confirmed.

  3. I’ve always been a big believer in speed and ease of use, especially speed. Although gt4s was quite cool to look at, it was never that quick to use. A game where you pour hours into it needs an ultra quick menu, as you want to spend less and less time looking at it and want to maximise it’s use. I feel the gt5 ui looks functional first, which I like, bit I think the styling is a bit boring and not quite executed perfectly (weird spacing inconsistencies). I’m also getting a bit tired of the ‘apple’ glass look too. Would of been nice to have see something a bit stronger/fresher graphically. As ever I’m going to reserve my judgment until I have the final product in my sticky little mitts. Overall I think it looks like it will be quick and easy to use, which I think will make it a success.

  4. At first look, it looks cramped, but of you look closer it all makes sense.
    What are you doing to do most? Race… A-Spec & B-Spec biggest at the top.
    What do you need to race? Cars… in the middle, you’re going to buy new cars more, so that’s bigger.
    Special Events and Licenses, not going to use them as much as racing… bottom-left (although I would of thought the Special events would be bigger than the Licenses.
    And finally when you tune/modify/clean you’re car, you’ll want to test the settings (practice) and you’ll most likely do that most after racing, so it’s all grouped together in the bottom-right.

  5. While I miss the old world map, this looks cluttered … the more time I spend looking … the more I like it.
    Am I sad for thinking the UI adds a hell of a lot to a gaming experience? I’ve always held that opinion and it does matter (to me). PES and FIFA are prime examples. GT5 and its prime rival (Forza … Which I thought was superb) …. are both bob-on when it comes to loves and hates though too … the UI, while initially looking cluttered will hopefully become second nature )I don’t doubt it will).

  6. Well, I think it looks very nice, very modern. No complaints here.

  7. that looks like a quality ui very rare in modern games nice bit of flashy goodness but clear and to the point at the same time

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