Finally. It's the announcement PS4 players have been waiting patiently for: the confirmation of that most elusive of release dates. Yes, I'm talking of course about the long-delayed DriveClub, a game you were originally meant to be playing last November upon booting up your newly-purchased PS4.
After disappointing delays and recurring release rumours, it comes as a relief to report that we finally have DriveClub's official due date. Get ready to start those next-gen engines on…wait for it…October 7th 2014 in the US, and October 8th in Europe. That's almost a year before its original projected release, but better late than never, right?
The announcement came courtesy of an official blog post written by Sony's President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida: "We planned for the game to be ready for early 2014 and are committed to delivering on our ambitious promise of creating a truly innovative, socially connected racing game," he wrote. "The problem with being ambitious is you have to be prepared to accept there will be challenges along the way. What DRIVECLUB offers has not been previously achieved in this category and because of this, the team needed more time to give you the game you’re waiting for."
Coinciding with the comeback was a triumphant trailer, with some fresh footage, confirmed to be running in real-time from actual in-game footage, showcasing its glistening graphics. Watch it below and be reminded exactly why DriveClub gives Project CARS's graphical prowess a run for its money. Indeed, the long delay we've endured certainly seems to be paying off: DriveClub looks more graphcially-gorgeous than ever, if that was ever possible.
Eagle-eyed viewers will also notice that the release date wasn't the only thing revealed in the trailer: yes, that really is a Ferrari F12berlinetta parked proudly on display in the opening few seconds, as the camera lingers pervertedly on its rear end. At least that's one rumour that turned out to be true.
Elsewhere, Paul Rustchynsky, better known as Rushy, has been appointed as DriveClub's Game Director, following Col Rodgers' untimely departure. “With Rushy in the lead, we know that DriveClub will deliver on its initial promise to be a truly next-gen racing title for our PS4 portfolio,” Yoshida concluded. "We are really proud of the incredible work the team has produced – their tenacity and passionate pursuit of excellence is admirable and DRIVECLUB will be all the better for it."
As for DriveClub Plus Edition, i.e. the free-to-play version of DriveClub for PlayStation Plus subscribers, yes, it is still happening, as confirmed to Videogamer by Sony. It will launch alongside the game on the day of release, just as planned.
It's a shame DriveClub is arriving somewhat later than some may have hoped, particularly as the June release rumour was looking increasingly likely. Nevertheless, we're happy just to have confirmation the game still even exists at this point after months worrying of silence.
The only danger is that DriveClub will be facing some stiff competition in October, where it will go head-to-head with Project CARS in November and The Crew sometime in Q3. So after months of being starved of racing games, PS4 players will suddenly have three to choose from almost at the same time.
Still, we're confident that DriveClub can hold its own and stand out in the pack. After all, each game represents a different facet of the genre: Project CARS bills itself as a full-blown simulator, whereas The Crew lets you loose in an open map of the entire USA. DriveClub, on the other hand, parks itself between the two, with an accessable yet deep driving model and social team-based racing that is designed to be fun for everyone, whether you're a novice learner driver or experienced boyracer. So everyone's a winner. Your move, Gran Turismo 7.
More DriveClub news is expected in the coming weeks in the run-up to E3, including an update from Rustchynsky tomorrow, new car announcements and that direct gameplay footage we were promised several months back.
In the meantime, you can gawp at on these new stunning screenshots below, originally sized at a whopping 8000 x 4000 pixel resolution. Don't worry, they've been resized here just to be kind to your bandwidth.
Don't forget you can also read up on all the details you need to know about DriveClub in our extensive two part interview from last year.