Latest hot game guaranteed to win hands down Gran stand finish
Gran Turismo 5 is driving console sales, writes Craig Duff
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.