Here it is. The announcement we've been waiting for, and undoubtedly one of the biggest racing game news stories of the year: Gran Turismo 6 has been officially announced. It's coming to PS3 this year. And we've got all the details. Are you sitting comfortably?
Series founder Kaz formally announced Gran Turismo 6 at a special press event held at SIlverstone to celebrate the series' 15 year anniversary, which has now sold over 70 million units to date. A trailer from the event has been released, showcasing the very first footage of GT6 in action:
Here's a summary of everything we know so far:
New game engine
GT6 looks graphically-stunning. But then, that's not exactly earth shattering considering this is Gran Turismo.
However, Polyphony have gone to great lengths to ensure that GT6 will not look outdated on the decrepid current generation hardware. GT6 will boast a new rendering engine that will further push the PS3's capabilities. Polyphony have refactored the code to make it "very flexible and expandable, with a view to making many future developments."
New physics engine
Realism will once again be heightened in GT6, with a brand new physics engine developed in tandom with tyre manufacturer Yokohama Rubber and suspension company KW Automotive, both of which have helped to significantly improve the suspension and tyre modelling for GT6. A new aerodynamics model will also feature, and the long-running GT Academy competition has also helped Polyphony to gain instrumental new data for the development of GT6's physics.
Indeed, the physics engine is said to be significantly improved in-game – compared to GT5, cars move much more naturally around corners.
Every car found in GT5 will be retained in GT6 from historic cars to the latest racing cars along with a slew of extras bringing the total roster up to 1200, with new cars set to be added continually online. Unfortunately, it hasn't yet been confirmed if every car will be a 'Premium' model with full interiors.
Customisation will also be expanded. Players will be able to create their own personalised car in the game and several thousand aerodynamic parts and custom wheels will be available for almost all cars.
Cars seen in the trailer include (* denotes new to Gran Turismo):
Acura NSX ’91
*Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale ’11
*Alpine A110 1600S ’68
*Audi Sport quattro S1 Rally Car ’86
Ferrari 458 Italia ’09
*Ferrari Dino 246 GT ’71
Ford GT ’06
*KTM X-BOW R ’12
Lamborghini Countach LP400 ’74
*Light Car Company Rocket ’07
McLaren MP4-12C ’10
*Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 ’11
Nissan 370Z (Z34) (GT Academy Version) ’08
Nissan 370Z Tuned Car (GT Academy Version) ’08
Nissan GT-R Black edition (GT Academy Version) ’12
*Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 N24 Schulze Motorsport
Nissan Leaf G (GT Academy Version)
*Tesla Motors Model S Signature Performance ’12
Toyota 86 GT ‘12
32 track locations, 71 layouts
33 track locations with 71 layouts will feature in GT6 – including GT5's existing tracks, this will add seven new locations, including SIlverstone. Additional tracks will also be regularly distributed online.
New course maker
As I suspected in my GT6 expectations post, GT6's course maker will be more advanced than GT5's, with scenery spanning tens of square kilometers and a new course generation alcorithm.
At long last, GT6 will enhance the series' online functionality, allowing players to make their own car community clubs and create and manage their own race events, series and championships with much more control than before.
New user interface
Thankfully, GT5's overly cluttered interface will be long forgotten in GT6, with a new quick, responsive menu, balancing directional key operation and touch operation. Loading times are also said to have been greatly improved.
Multiple device support
GT6 will seemingly be joining the social networking bandwagon with multiple device compatibility for smart phones, Tablets and PCs. A mobile version and web application version of GT6 will be launched to accomodate new community features.
More GT6 announcements will be made at this years Gamescom and E3 shows, so sit tight!