Turns out yesterday's rumours were indeed true. Microsoft took to the stage at the Detroit Motorshow today to announce a new partnership with Ford, before officially revealing Forza Motorsport 6 coming to Xbox One this year. As has been widely speculated, the new generation Ford GT will be the game's cover car star. Boasting 600HP, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine and a full carbon-fiber body, the new generation Ford GT has caused something of a stir in the motoring world.
As part of Microsoft's partnership with Ford, the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang and the F-150 Raptor will also make their game debut in Forza Motorsport 6 after making their real life debut at today's motorshow.
Along with the obligatory announcement video, we also get a first look at some game modelling renders of the Ford GT as it appears in Forza Motorsport 6, showcasing the level of detail we can. At a glance, they could easily be mistaken as promotional shots of the real thing – a fact that's flaunted in the announcement video by merging the renders with its real life unveil as it drives onto stage.
“Just as Ford has pushed the boundaries of car technology in GT, Forza Motorsport 6 will embrace that spirit of innovation as our most technically advanced racing simulation to date, offering a fun and realistic automotive experience for both car lovers and gamers,” said Dan Greenawalt, creative director at Turn 10 Studios. “We’re excited to unveil gameplay at E3 in June.”
Unsurprisingly, no further game details were revealed for Forza Motorsport 6. In all honesty, we didn't even expect to see an announcement come this early, but you'll have to wait until this year's E3 to find out more and gawp at the first gameplay footage. Still, it's safe to say there should be significantly more cars and tracks to make up for Forza Motorsport 5's shortfalls, at the very least. Given that this year marks the tenth anniversary of Forza, we should be in for something very special indeed.
Your move, Gran Turismo. Indeed, the console sim racing market is about to get interesting, with the added competition of Project CARS just a couple of months away.
Ford's partnership with Turn10 and the simultaneous announcement of the Ford GT signifies the increasing prevalence and influence of video games in the motoring industry. As racing games have evolved to deliver astonishingly accurate digital replica car models, manufacturers are clearly seeing the promotional benefits of having their cars represented in games played by millions of petrolheads.
Having the Ford GT slapped on the cover also feels like a subtle spit in the face to Gran Turismo. Remember when Gran Turismo 4 featured the last-gen Ford GT as its cover car back in 2004? Kazunori has previously declared it as his “favorite car design”, and owns two in real life, so I can imagine him weeping inside right now. Whether it will make an appearance in Gran Turismo 7 in light of Turn10's partnership remains to be seen.