With the life changing GT Academy currently hogging all the limelight, it's easy to overlook what the future holds for the Gran Turismo series.
Speaking at the China Joy games event, Gran Turismo's father figure Kazunori Yamauchi was on hand to talk about topics at the forefront in the minds of GT fans: namely GT6 and the possibility of a GT Vita game.
As reported by a translation of the interview by AndriaSang, Yamauchi reaffirms that GT6 has been in development since GT5 was released in 2010. Which platform we will eventually be playing GT6 on is open to speculation, however: "We’re always aiming for the latest technology and the latest expression," said Yamauchi.
This sounds as if Yamauchi is hinting at a possible next-gen release, which would be surprising given that, traditionally, each console generation has seen two main iterations of Gran Turismo. We were hoping that GT5's agonisingly long development time would mean that GT6 would not be as long in coming if it is being built on the same engine in the same vein as GT2 and GT4.
It's also no secret that GT5 didn't match its predecessors both critically and commercially, and Turn 10's Forza Motorsport series hasn't exactly helped matters in the race for the current console generation. Polyphony therefore need to get the GT series back on track, but whether or not next generation hardware is the answer remains to be seen.
Encouragingly, Polyphony also seem to be considering deeper car customisation for GT5: “If we can find a good balance, we’d like to increase the areas where users can make modifications.”
It's no surprise that Yamauchi strive for perfection means that we may see new features added to GT5 in the near future, but there's still a multitude of aspects that need to be fixed first – the proportion of Standard and Premium cars is still woefully unbalanced, for example. Honestly, I personally think that Polyphony should concentrate their efforts into making GT6 the game that GT5 should have been.
Since the show was held in China, many started to speculate whether the Shanghai Circuit could be a future track in Gran Turismo. Yamauchi responded by saying he had visited the track to gather ideas, so we can now mark the Shanghai Circuit as another potential new track in GT6 along with the Bathurst Circuit which has already been scanned by the team.
As for the possible Vita version of Gran Turismo, it doesn't sound as if it will see the light of day any time soon. “If we were to make it, we’d like to make use of the ability to play anywhere and the ability to use 3G at any time,” Yamauchi responded. Not exactly an outright denial, but not sounding all that optimistic, either. Not surprising when you consider that Gran Turismo was meant to be a launch title for the PSP only to be released 4 years later.