Lat­est hot game guar­an­teed to win hands down Gran stand fin­ish

Gran Turismo 5 is driv­ing con­sole sales, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

THE lat­est ver­sion of the world’s most suc­cess­ful car rac­ing game will earn Sony an es­ti­mated $1 bil­lion in sales.

Gran Turismo 5 is pre­dicted to sell more than 10 mil­lion copies, out­rank­ing Hollywood movie block­busters and en­shrin­ing the game’s sta­tus as the most re­al­is­tic car rac­ing sim­u­la­tor on the mar­ket.

More than 2.5 mil­lion copies have re­port­edly been sold in the first week of sales (Sony won’t con­firm or deny fig­ures).

With the Christ­mas rush to come, the com­pany is bank­ing on a soft­ware and hard­ware bo­nanza— you need a PlayS­ta­tion 3 to play.

‘‘ Gran Turismo 5’s first four days in Aus­tralia has ex­ceeded our sales ex­pec­ta­tions and we are re­ceiv­ing great feed­back on the ti­tle from con­sumers,’’ a Sony spokesper­son says.

‘‘Num­bers will be shared in due course. How­ever, we can con­firm that af­ter the re­cent open­ing week­end this is the biggest ex­clu­sive re­lease on PlayS­ta­tion 3 ever in Aus­tralia.’’

Noth­ing has come close to de­thron­ing the ti­tle as the mus­town four-wheeled fran­chise.

No mat­ter whether you’re play­ing for fun or us­ing the game to learn tracks be­fore ac­tu­ally rac­ing on them, its fo­cus on physics hasn’t been se­ri­ously chal­lenged.

It’s a tes­ta­ment to the game’s pop­u­lar­ity — and cred­i­bil­ity — that car­mak­ers are queue­ing to place their ve­hi­cles in the game.

Mercedes-Benz launched its SLS AMG on the cover of the con­sole game and Toy­ota also col­lab­o­rated closely with the de­vel­op­ers in cre­at­ing some of their ve­hi­cles.

Red Bull de­signer Adrian Newey was im­pressed enough to cre­ate the 450km/h X1 vir­tual grand prix racer as an ex­er­cise in how quickly an F1 car can go if there are no rules to slow it down.

Re­tail­ing gi­ant Har­vey Nor­man mounted a huge ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign be­fore the game’s launch, ex­pect­ing game sales to help sell PS3 con­soles in the leadup to Christ­mas.

And early in­di­ca­tions are it will, with plenty of par­ents seen leav­ing shop­ping cen­tres with a PS3 un­der their arm.

And the more you play it, the bet­ter it be­comes.

Game cre­ator Kazunori Ya­mauchi was crit­i­cised in re­views for

not mak­ing the dam­age re­al­is­tic enough, but it turns out you have to earn the right to dam­age the ma­chin­ery.

Gran Turismo 5 has a pro­gres­sive dam­age set-up.

The first level is the barely cred­i­ble ‘‘pin­ball ef­fect’’ where bounc­ing off cars or scenery slows the ve­hi­cle down with­out any ap­pre­cia­ble me­chan­i­cal prob­lems.

The next lev­els will hurt your abil­ity to keep rac­ing at the front of the pack.

It’s only af­ter work­ing your way up to level 20 that the dam- age be­comes se­ri­ously ev­i­dent as the physics en­gine al­ters the me­chan­i­cal mod­el­ling.

Level 40 re­port­edly un­locks near-re­al­is­tic dam­age mod­el­ling.

A sec­ond patch was re­leased last week­end (there was one at launch on Novem­ber 25) to ad­dress the on­line gam­ing is­sues, many of which re­sulted from the huge num­ber of peo­ple try­ing to join mul­ti­player races.

Polyphony al­lowed for 500,000 gamers to be on­line at once, but was swamped in the first week.

Com­plaints about gamers min­imis­ing weight and max­imis­ing power to lu­di­crous lev­els also forced Ya­mauchi to limit those is­sues in the lat­est patch — and he has hinted more is in store for both sin­gle-player and on­line modes as

GT5 ‘‘evolves like a liv­ing crea­ture’’.

Fast and fu­ri­ous, vir­tu­ally: a Fer­rari Enzo races on the Monza track in Italy in

Gran Turismo 5.

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