Gran Turismo Sport for PS4 launch date and details announced

Ladies and gentlemen, start your digital engines

THE NEW Gran Turismo game for the Sony PS4 console will be launched in November, with 137 remodelled cars, 19 tracks and 27 layouts.

Gran Turismo Sport will feature, Sony says, the most detailed and authentic models in the history of the racing game series. All vehicles will have interior views, and racing is split into four classes: fantasy/concept cars, pure-bred racers, hot sports cars and standard vehicles.

Tracks returning in revamped form in the new game include Brands Hatch, Willow Springs and the Nürburgring Nordschleife, but it will have new tracks too, such as one based on the Tokyo Expressway. Dirt tracks make a return to the series, after being left out of Gran Turismo 6.

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At the launch event in London, Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the GT series, introduced two virtual racing series, both approved by the FIA (motor sport’s governing body). Gamers will compete at local and international levels before final heats are broadcast live on the internet. In the Nations Cup players will compete for their country to find the best digital racing nation and region — the Americas; EU and Middle East; or Asia and Oceania. Fans can also compete in the Manufacturer Fans Cup, racing for the glory of their favourite car maker.

Yamauchi said competitors in both series would be split into classes based on age and region, so that young and old have a chance of winning digital silverware.

He has also worked with the FIA to create a digital racing licence, which can only be achieved after drivers have been through tests in race technique and, more particularly, driving etiquette and sporting behaviour. The idea is to educate racers to avoid accidents and behave appropriately on-track.

Local racing clubs in the real world will have access to the FIA Digital Racing Licence database and can then decide whether they allow licence holders to participate in club activities. Yamauchi suggested that further tests may be required with real cars but that it is up to local clubs to decide on the validity and usefulness of the digital licence.

The usual arcade game mode returns, as well as Campaign (formerly GT mode), which includes a Beginner School, to help newcomers learn the basics of car control, and a Circuit Experience, where racers can learn specific parts of courses in detail.

Gran Turismo Sport will also focus heavily on the brand experience off track, with Brand Central (formerly Car Dealership) containing a new space for manufacturers’ product videos and a Museum area that contains detailed histories of car makers.

The game also contains a livery editor and Scapes mode, an evolution of the Photo mode introduced in GT6. Scapes contains 1,000 background images, or “photo spots”, into which players can add vehicles. They can then move the images around in the frame and move the camera, as well as adjust exposure, background blur and even motion blur, to make static cars look as though they are moving through the frame. These photorealistic images can be exported in 4K resolution and shared on social media.

Gran Turimso Sport has the obligatory social media facilities that allow players to share images, achievements and messages in real time.