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