Sony has confirmed that the next entry in its Gran Turismo series of racing simulators, Gran Turismo 6, will launch on PlayStation 3 sometime this holiday season. The announcement was anticipated after Sony teased the reveal last week, but yesterday Kazunori Yamauchi made the game official during an event held at the Silverstone Circuit race track in England.
Gran Turismo has become popular amongst fans and critics alike for the accuracy of its simulation – Sony markets the series as “the Real Driving Simulator\” — and a new physics engine is said to increase the realism further, but in general developer Polyphony Digital doesn’t sound like it will shake up the franchise’s winning formula at first blush.
Instead, GT6 looks to be about addition. More than 1200 cars, “several thousand” customizable car parts, and 33 tracks (with 71 separate layouts) are promised, including every car and course from 2010’s Gran Turismo 5. The course maker from GT5 is said to be improved this time out, as is the general user interface, which was a frequent source of complaint in the last installment.
Yamauchi says GT6 “will continue to develop throughout its life,” and to that end his studio plans to regularly make more cars and tracks available after the game’s launch through downloadable content. Sony says that the game\’s “new compact game engine” will better allow this sort of DLC expansion.
Sony also claims that GT6 will sport more social features and “expanded connectivity” with smartphones and tablets, though it wouldn’t get into any specifics on that front.
The big question coming out of the announcement was whether or not GT6 would arrive on the PlayStation 4, and so far a version for that next-gen console is possible but not quite confirmed. Yamauchi says that the studio has a PS4 version “in mind for the future,” but that it may not arrive until well after the PS3 edition launches.
“Once the players have thoroughly played out the game, if the PlayStation 4 version just came out naturally in the process, we think that would be the best scenario for the game,\” Yamauchi relayed to GameSpot.
It’s worth noting that Sony is already preparing another racing sim for the PS4 in DriveClub, so the company may not want to pit two of its own franchises against each other during the new console’s launch window. The PS3 and PS4 run on different internal architectures as well, so porting the game from one console to the other may not be a speedy process.
Either way, GT6 looks to continue the series’ tradition, which should satisfy plenty of virtual gearheads. While no specific launch date was given, Sony announced that a demo for Gran Turismo 6 will arrive in July.