Rumours are circulating that Microsoft are gearing up to announce Forza Motorsport 6 this month, as part of the Detroit Motorshow which commenced today.
It's been known for some time that Microsoft will be working with a car maker at the show, which has now been confirmed to be Ford. Supporting this is a report from Jalopnik, who received an invite to Ford's conference scheduled tomorrow which promises "news from Xbox," followed by a roundtable discussion on the "Art of Performance in gaming."
Today also marked the unveiling of the brand new Ford GT, the 600 HP, twin-turbo, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 Goliath due to go into production in 2016. Indeed, it promises to be one of the most anticipated auto launches in the next few years: Ford promises it it will "exhibit one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car."
Couple this with Microsoft's involvement, and it seems likely that the Ford GT will be heavily involved with the Forza franchise in some way. At the very least, it could perhaps be released as a free download in Forza Horizon 2 allowing you to drive the virtual machine way before its public launch – a common tactic that's been deployed before by other developers. But wouldn't it be more impactful if Microsoft announced the new Ford GT as the cover car for Forza Motorsport 6 for release later this year on Xbox One? Oh yes.
This idea isn't too far fetched, either. Forza has a history for featuring topical cars of the time as cover cars – Forza Motorsport 5 was graced with the then-hotly-anticipated McLaren P1 supercar hybrid, while Forza Horizon 2 introduced us to the Lamborghini Huracan. Indeed, car manufacturers love using Forza as a promotional tool – even Rolls Royce succumbed to the digital age by making their game debut in Forza Motorsport 5 last year. It would therefore come as no surprise to see the Ford GT become the next cover car star. It would almost be ironic, since Polyphony used the last generation Ford GT on the cover of Gran Turismo 4 to coincide with its launch in 2004.
Could we really about to see the announcement of Forza Motorsport 6? It's an exciting prospect, even if it seems a tad early. The bi-yearly development cycles between Turn10 and Playground Games does indicate that it's Forza Motorsport's turn this year. There's a lot riding on it too – fans will no doubt expect Forza Motorsport 6 to be the game Forza Motorsport 5 should have been, with significantly increased content. While Forza Motorsport 5 looked swish (or at least the car models did – let's not talk about the compromised track texture quality), it fell short on content, featuring less cars and tracks compared to Forza Motorsport 4. Expectations didn't help matters, however: the fact is all those extra polygons take a lot longer to model, but Microsoft needed a Forza game to launch with the Xbox One on time. Think of it like Gran Turismo 3 and Gran Turismo 4: GT3 set the foundation, paving the way for GT4 build on with hundreds of extra cars and more tracks.
If Forza Motorsport 6 it is announced tomorrow, it seems likely that most of the juicy details will be kept under wraps until E3. After-all, the focus is going to be primarily on the Ford GT, it being a car show and all. All will be revealed tomorrow…