Race to launchgame

Sony is rush­ing to meet a hol­i­day dead­line, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

PIRACY fears are be­lieved to have scut­tled the planned Novem­ber 4 launch of the PlayS­ta­tion3 car rac­ing sim­u­la­tor, Gran Turismo 5.

Sony has apol­o­gised to an­gry fans who have been wait­ing for the lat­est in­stal­ment of the re­al­is­tic rac­ing sim since as far back as 2007.

A Sony Aus­tralia spokesper­son says the com­pany is ‘‘ very apolo­getic’’ and ‘‘ can un­der­stand the frus­tra­tion.’’

The of­fi­cial com­pany line is the game’s cre­ator, Polyphony CEO Kazunori Ya­mauchi, is mak­ing some fi­nal op­ti­mi­sa­tion tweaks to the code to en­sure ‘‘the per­fect rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence’’.

In­ter­net ru­mours sug­gest the rea­son be­hind the code changes is a need to make the game com­pat­i­ble with Sony’s lat­est PS3 firmware re­lease, which was launched af­ter a pirate fi­nally cracked the pre­vi­ously in­vul­ner­a­ble anti-piracy plat­form.

Gran Turismo 5 is coded on the sus­cep­ti­ble 3.41 firmware and the ru­mours in­di­cate it is Sony’s in­sis­tence all games launched af­ter Oc­to­ber be ported to 3.50 to avoid theft that is be­hind the de­lay.

Sony would be par­tic­u­larly concerned about theft of the ac­claimed and com­mer­cially lu­cra­tive Gran Turismo fran­chise, which has sold about 56 mil­lion copies since the se­ries launched 13 years ago.

‘‘We’re aware of the ru­mours do­ing the rounds, but Sony won’t com­ment on spec­u­la­tion,’’ the Sony Aus­tralia spokesper­son says.

The com­pany also in­sists the de­lay will be a short one, but an­other po­ten­tial prob­lem for Sony will be find­ing a time slot to man­u­fac­ture the Blu-Ray DVDs.

The de­layed launch may af­fect the win­dow Sony booked to make seven mil­lion copies of the game.

That would have en­sured global sup­plies for the end-of-year hol­i­day pe­riod of what is tipped to be the best-sell­ing ti­tle of the year.

With the Blu-Ray fac­to­ries work­ing at ca­pac­ity for the Christ­mas rush, find­ing an­other pro­duc­tion slot could be prob­lem­atic, or could push back other Sony ti­tles.

Ya­mauchi tweeted ear­lier this week ‘‘I be­lieve we won’t keep you wait­ing un­til then (end of the year)’’ in­di­cat­ing Sony and/or Polyphony may still have time to ad­dress the is­sues be­fore it misses its pro­duc­tion dead­line.

A win­ner: (above) Gran

Turismo 5 has sold 56 mil­lion copies since its re­lease and (right) Polyphony CEO Kazunori Ya­mauchi.

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