December 30th, 2012 by Famine
With GT5 hitting its second anniversary in 2012, Gran Turismo fans could justifiably feel like 2012 was a Wednesday for their favourite game – too long since the previous weekend and too long to wait to the next. But it’s been another good year in the life of the series and of GTPlanet itself and, for the fourth year, we’re looking back at the highlights of the last 12 months.
GT5 Photomode image by ShaolinMasta.
- A teaser trailer featuring the new Honda NSX concept in a Gran Turismo landscape revealed a never-before-seen circuit. This was later revealed as Special Stage Route X, featured as part of the Speed Test pack.
- Alongside the Speed Test pack, six new cars were announced for Car Pack 3 – including the Lamborghini Aventador and the first standard-to-premium conversion car, the Jaguar XJR9.
- The four man GT Academy team – Lucas Ordoñez, Jordan Tresson and newcomers Bryan Heitkotter and Jann Mardenborough – get a podium in the 2012 24 Hours of Dubai.
- In less felicitous news, GTPlanet uncovers and investigates a GT5 bug that dramatically affected online play.
- GT Academy‘s return hits the rumour mills, with speculation that Germany will have a standalone event in 2012. The existing drivers also have their racing schedules for the year announced.
- Ford produces an industry article that recognises games like Gran Turismo as brand ambassadors, driving sales in new markets.
- A new v2.04 patch for GT5, in-part addressing the online bug issue, is released. This is quickly followed by the v2.05 minor bug fix two weeks later.
- With an initial launch in Japan, GT5′s new Photo Stream function is announced.
- GTPlanet’s Weekly Race Series celebrates its ninth anniversary.
- While on holiday in Austria and Italy, GTPlanet member Abraxas takes some photos of GT5 Photomode locations – can you spot the differences?
- Rumours surface of a Polyphony Digital crew spotted at Bathurst. Later photos and videos from the circuit seem to confirm that scanning is underway for the circuit’s inclusion in Gran Turismo 6.
- A second GT5 Asia Online tournament begins.
- The 2012 GT Academy is confirmed to start on May 1st, as a standalone game. Along with the German and European competitions, there will be individual events for Russia and the USA too.
- GTPlanet launches a Google Chrome browser extension.
- After a single day of competition, 63,000 GT Academy players drive over 2 million miles!
- GTPlanet interviews 2011 GT Academy Europe winner Jann Mardenborough – who reveals he’d like a BMW E30 3 series in Gran Turismo!
- Images surface of a reworked Twin Ring Motegi for GT Academy, sparking rumours it may appear in GT5.
- A spate of corner cutting forces a Gran Turismo seasonal event to be cancelled – only the second time PD have cancelled an event.
- Kazunori Yamauchi and 2009 GT Academy winner Lucas Ordoñez race together in the 2012 Nürburgring 24 Hours, managing a class win. In the British GT support race, 2011 winner Jann Mardenborough sets pole position time and comes close to winning – on his first ever visit to the track!
- A huge v2.06 update is released, bringing bug fixes and speculation, given its size, that it contains future DLC.
- The new “Performance Difference Bonus” for seasonal events – where players who compete in poorer cars are rewarded more – is introduced.
- For the first time, GTPlanet is given pit-lane access during a GT Academy winner’s race weekend.
- Twin Ring Motegi is confirmed as the final event location for GT Academy 2012.
- An official Sony survey mentions a putative GT title for the PS Vita.
- The 2009 and 2010 GT Academy winners find themselves racing against each other at the 24 Heures du Mans. Both manage top 10 class finishes.
- After releasing distance statistics for GT Academy, Kazunori notes that in GT5′s online mode alone, players have accumulated 36.4 billion miles of racing.
- Jann Mardenborough and Alex Buncombe win the Brands Hatch round of the British GT, in the closest finish in the history of the championship – at 0.022s.
- The Twin Ring Motegi DLC is announced for GT5.
- GT Academy prizes are distributed to GT5 as those who completed each round are given Academy-themed bonuses.
- The GT Academy USA national finals are held, with a live broadcast hosted by GTPlanet founder Jordan Greer.
- GTPlanet is again invited to the GT Academy UK and Republic of Ireland finals at Silverstone.
- European gamers finally get their own post-Spec-2.0 release in the form of the GT Academy Edition – joining the Japanese Spec II and US market XL editions.
- With a number of GT6 rumours surfacing, GTPlanet opens a Gran Turismo 6 forum.
- As the GT Academy race camps get under way, some eastern European gamers are given a surprise GT Academy competition of their own.
- The German GT Academy selects a winner – but, due to an RTL reality TV show following the event, his name is not announced.
- Polyphony Digital crews are spotted for a second time this year, this time sampling some Hyundai cars in California.
- Europe’s GT Academy winner is picked – Belgium’s Wolfgang Reip.
- Local sources again spot Polyphony, with truck-mounted scanning equipment at Silverstone.
- A bonus competition is announced for GT Academy Edition buyers in Europe.
- GTPlanet is again given behind the scenes access to Jann Mardenborough‘s RJN team during a race at Silverstone.
- Another new GT Academy region is announced, this time in the Middle East.
- RJN Motorsport and GT Academy lend training and cars to the Mission Motorsport charity, for a 24hr race at Silverstone.
- More DLC is announced to come to GT5 in the v2.08 update.
- With GTPlanet in attendance, the GT Awards are held at SEMA 2012, with Kazunori and “Snoop Lion” picking a Mustang/GT40 hybrid as the ultimate winner.
- Gran Turismo sales figures are updated, with GT5 selling nine million of the 67.8 million Gran Turismo titles sold.
- Screenshots surface of what appears to be a camouflaged Chevrolet C7 Corvette in GT5′s demo screens, following the v2.09 update.
- The German GT Academy champion is finally announced as Peter Pyzera.
- GT5 turns 2 – happy birthday!
- GTPlanet releases its own book – GTPEDIA: GTPlanet’s Guide to the World of Gran Turismo.
- The mysterious Corvette C7 is confirmed as free DLC.
With plentiful support for the game and teasers on its successor, 2012 really has been a great year for GT5. Adding in unprecedented behind the scenes access for GTPlanet and the launch of our book, it’s been a year like no other for GTPlanet. Let’s hope 2013 can live up to it!
Thank you to everyone who has supported GTPlanet this year – including our friends at SCEA and HPS Jardine. Happy New Year!