Though the actual game is not due for release until February 22, Sony has activated a Gran Turismo 4 website.
The site offers a detailed look at the much-hyped PlayStation 2 game and just a quick look around is enough to understand that Sony has really upped the ante with their 4th generation of the GT series. GT3 has sold more than 38 million copies worldwide, so there’s no doubt there’s some very massive anticipation regarding the release of GT4.
Topping the list of improvements is the inclusion of over 700 cars (vs. only 150 for GT3) to the options menu. As of now, Volkswagen fans have a total of seven vehicle choices:
- 1968 Karmann Ghia Coupe
- 2003 Golf IV R32
- 2001 W12
- 1949 Beetle 1100 Standard (Type 11)
- 2001 Bora V6 4MOTION
- 2003 Lupo GTi Cup Car (J)
- 2002 Lupo 1.4
In addition to many more cars from which to choose, GT4 offers a variety of improvements across the board.
The actual driving experience has improved greatly, with the focus on improved life-like simulation of actual driving characteristics. Each car was realistically designed and calculated so that it handles to the “real life” physics of that particular vehicle, taking into account weight, speed, friction, wind, and more.
Players can choose convertible models that offer a realistic view of a driver, spectators that animated and interact with competitors, active pit crews, and the ability to let 6 different players compete at the same time (LAN Play).
Graphics improve by incredible amounts and the various street courses and racing circuits offer amazing details and breathtaking views. Improved graphics include light and competitor car reflections on player’s automobiles and even as well as tree leaves that shake in the wind – all designed to contribute to an even more realistic driving experience.
From the GT4 Fact Sheet:
• New physics engine adding a higher level of realism in cars, which allows for cars to be handled easier.
• More than 5,000 polygons per vehicle capture exceptional detail, right down to the disc brakes behind the wheel.
• Up to 100,000 credits from a player’s game save in Gran Turismo 3 A-spec can be redeemable in Gran Turismo 4, by use of the Memory Card (8mb) (for PlayStation 2).
• With an all-new AI engine, race opponents posses advanced artificial intelligence, which allows for behavior that captures human-like emotion.
• Refined replay mode with broadcast-quality graphics. Supports High-Definition mode (1080i).
• Supports Dolby Pro Logic II.
• Compatible with the Logitech Driving Force™ Pro Wheel – To further enhance the automotive racing experience, in lieu of the DUALSHOCK®2 analog controller, the Logitech Driving Force Pro can be used for the entire game. Available in black with brushed aluminum accents, the Gran Turismo branded GT Force Wheel provides a shifter for manual transmissions, 900 degrees of steering rotation and force-feedback. For more information, please visit www.logitech.com.
• GT Career ‘Simulation’ Mode – Via the GT World, players start from the bottom and race to earn money, unlock cars and courses, buy and sell cars and upgrade parts while competing in more than 200 various championship races. Upon entering the GT World, players have the option to visit the following Gran Turismo resort facilities:
• My Home – the player’s home and garage
• Dealership Town – divided by continent, players can visit dealerships representing over 80 manufacturers from around the world.
• Tuner’s Village – players can visit famous tuning shops to upgrade their car(s).
• Race Event Pavilions – players can visit and join various races.
• License Center – players will have the opportunity to participate in various driving tests to earn licenses for access to various race formats.
• Music Theater – players can enjoy various music from around the world.
• Circuit Racing – players can visit the “suburbs” and enter races at various circuit tracks.
Mission Races – To experience the drama of racing at a new level, a new race style is structured as a mission-clearing based race event offering numerous variables for the player to capture the checkered flag.
New “High Score” System – The player who wins a race is not necessarily the one who captures the checkered flag, but graded on how well they drive and challenge themselves among the competition based on their car type, horsepower and modifications related to the race field.
• GT Director Mode / B-spec: Players take the role of a race team manager and provide direction to their driver (A.I.) to compete in races while viewed and directed through the classic “broadcast-style” replay screen, on-board camera and race monitor screen. In B-spec mode, the player will have the opportunity to adjust various car settings for proper race setup, choose the difficulty level, which is also known as the “Pace Command,” followed with direction on when to overtake competition and take pit stops where a variety of car settings can be adjusted to further progress in the race – from tires to the volume of fuel for refueling.
• GT Photo Mode – Divided in two formats: 1) “Photo Drive” – players have the opportunity to photograph their car during the race where they can take advantage of zoom, depth of field and motion blur. 2) “Photo Travel” – Players can take their favorite car and travel around the globe to conduct photo sessions in exotic locations through a variety of angles. Once the photo is taken in the game, the player can save it to their memory card (8MB) (for PlayStation 2) and have the option to share with friends or print out a color copy via a USB printer. Up to 50 photos can be taken at one time. Camera details include:
• Lens: x 100 zoom (35mm camera equivalent : approx 16mm – 1600mm)
• F value: equivalent of f1.0 at all zoom ranges
• Resolution: 1.2 mega pixels (1280 x 960)
• Focus Control: Intelligent AF/Spot AF (AF Lock is possible)
• Exposure Control: Diaphragm Priority AE equivalent
• Exposure Correction: ±0.5 levels
• Aspect Ratio: 3:4, 2:3, 16:9, 1:1.4 are available to choose from
• Image Format when saved: JPEG
• Filter: Black and white, Sepia, Vivid, Mature
Photo Travel – 15 locations in total that include:
• Gion District – Kyoto, Japan
• Nanzenji Temple – Kyoto, Japan
• Sagano – Kyoto, Japan
• Tsumago – Nagano, Japan
• Piazza San Marco – Venice, Italy
• Shibuya – Tokyo, Japan
• Tokyo International Forum – Tokyo, Japan
• Shiga Kogen – Nagano, Japan
• Brooklyn, New York
• Times Square, New York City
• Asian Fish Market
• Fremont Street, Las Vegas
• Beacon Hill, Boston
• Grand Canyon, Arizona
• GT Arcade Mode – Players compete against each other or the artificial intelligence with select cars on select courses. Various gameplay modes are available that include “Single Race,” “Time Attack,” and multi-player for up to two players(single console) or six players via Lan-based gameplay. More cars and course are available in the GT Arcade Mode when they are unlocked in the GT Career Simulation Mode.
Automobiles (separate car list available)
• More than 700 automobiles representing more than 80 manufacturers from around the world representing historically significant vehicles to popular cars of today and tomorrow.
• All vehicles are fully customizable from racing tires to gear ratio.
• New driver assist functions: In addition to anti-lock brakes, traction control systems and active stability control, Gran Turismo 4 will include active steering as well, further enhancing the safety features.
• Reflecting the latest car tuning trends, superchargers and NOS will be available.
Race Courses (separate track list available)
• More than 50 courses that encompass rally courses, closed-circuit courses and city courses covering both real-life and fantasy-based locales. Some courses can be played in reverse mode. Some courses include:
Closed Circuit Courses
• Fuji Speedway ’80 (Japan) – The original Fuji Speedway, which was known as one of the fastest tracks in the world.
• Fuji Speedway ’90 (Japan) – The current Fuji Speedway.
• Tsukuba Circuit 2000 (Japan) – Known as a sacred ground for testing various production and sports cars in Japan.
• Twin Ring Motegi – Full Course and Oval Track (Japan) – Both and International road course and the only 1.5 mile oval course in Japan built for Indy Car racing.
• Suzuka Circuit – Full Course (Japan) – This track is also host to the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix.
• Laguna Seca Raceway (USA) – Located near Monterey, California, this track returns from Gran Turismo 3 A-spec, this track returns with a higher level of realism. The time setting has changed from sunset to mid-day clear skies.
• Infineon Raceway (USA) – Located in Sonoma County near San Francisco, Infineon Raceway is a unique road course that plays host to NASCAR, NHRA, LeMans and various other auto racing competition.
• Nurburgring Nordschleife (Germany) – The world’s most challenging and difficult course is approximately 13 miles long and contains 176 turns. This track is known for a proving ground for many sports cars from around the world.
• Tokyo R246 – Returning from Gran Turismo 3 A-spec, this track returns with a higher level of realism.
• Seattle – Returning from Gran Turismo 3 A-spec, this track returns with a higher level of realism. The time setting has changed from sunset to mid-day clear skies.
• New York City – This track is in the center of Manhattan and includes Broadway, Times Square, Fifth Avenue and Central Park.
• Hong Kong – Developed and created with full support from the Hong Kong Government Tourism Department.
• Las Vegas Drag Strip – A quarter-mile drag race down the Las Vegas strip.
• George V Paris – Race course through the streets of Paris including popular sites such as the Arc de Triomphe and Les Champs-Elysees.
• Opera Paris – Additional course through the streets of Paris.
• Cote D’Azur – Race course through the streets of Monaco.
• Special Stage Route 5
• Citta di Aria – Race course through Italian city.
Nature and Fantasy-based Courses
High Speed Ring
Costa di Amalfi – Race on the island of Capri in Italy.
Soundtrack (separate soundtrack list available)
• The soundtrack in Gran Turismo 4 will feature more than 65 tracks encompassing various music artists covering funk, rock, hip-hop, classical, techno and more. Popular artists include James Brown, Jet, The Donnas, Papa Roach, Joe Satriani, Mozart and much more.
• In addition to expressing cars and the surrounding environments, Gran Turismo 4 will express people to a new level never seen before in racing videogames – from the driver, to the pit crew in action, to the movement of the spectators.
Though it’s debatable if there is anyone not already chomping at the bit to purchase GT4, by offering rabid fans a sneak peek on their website, Sony is looking to try to keep the fervor going until later this month, when hopefully we’ll all be able to get our hands on the real deal.
Gran Turismo 4 Website
|For more discussion on this story, click on the link to our discussion forums to the left.|