Gran Turismo 5’s Graphics: Too Good to be True?


When you’re looking through some of the latest screenshots, it’s easy to think to yourself, “You know, that looks a lot better than anything I’ve ever seen in real life.” It’s a phenomenon not lost on Kazunori Yamauchi, who acknowledges that the real world doesn’t quite live up to the visual standards set by Polyphony Digital in these comments to NowGamer:

“‘Better than reality’ – yeah, that’s one way of putting it. In a way, it’s kind of a given that it’s going to look better than reality. The thing about reality is that the criteria for looking “real” are actually a lot stricter and volatile than you’d expect. The way the sun shines, reflects off something, the way it lights scenery – we seldom have the opportunity to see what we consider “reality” under the best and most aesthetically pleasing conditions.”

“Every time we go out to the circuit and take photos of cars, we get that same impression again. When you see a race on television, compared to a race in a game, you realise that the reality isn’t as shiny or pleasant as the game. However, these “best conditions” do indeed exist. They happen every once in a while. Maybe, once a year, you’ll be watching a race on TV, or you’ll be outside, and a cloud will move in an ideal direction, and the sun will shine down at a perfect angle, and maybe just for a moment you’ll have this beautiful scene right in front of you.”

Of course, Yamauchi-san is correct, but you can’t help but smile at the irony of dynamic weather and time of day being two of the most-wanted features in GT5!

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Comments (40)

  1. Big Ron

    @mickle pickle

    The Bling Bling effect of Gran Turismo gets boring by and by.
    It is cooler to take photos of every condition we see in reality.

    Those clean and ideal conditions in racing games are out of date…no one want to see, that the sun is always shining ;)


    People aren’t taking Kaz’s words out of context. They’re just complete morons who actually don’t understand what Kaz is saying. All they understand is the header in big bold letters which they read “GT5 more realistic than reality.” OMFG NO WAI!!!

  3. tek9[r]

    How did this lead to a weather debate? If the game was conected to the Weather channel and reproduced the actual conditions all would not be happy, We gotta take what we can get, right now the ps3 is not strong enough to render random snow flakes for a whole racetrack. If it could, how would we tell?

  4. mickle pickle

    GT is aiming at a “perfect” reality… or should i say an “ideal” reality…

    as opposed to other games (FM, PGR, NFS, etc…) who aim for reality itself…

    I just find it unfortunate from all of you, fan of GT per say, that you dont realize that
    Kaz want to provide us with all the ideal conditionS for an almost real race experience or for admiring the cars and taking pictures…

    Backgrounds, worse weather, damage… those are just too real and takes away the beauty or distract us from the view of a clean new car…

    how would you be able to make the fastest time, if there’s rain..??

    maybe they could make those optional, all those things that you ask for, i seriously hope for, i dont want damage to be on all the time… i guess it’s just a different philosophy.

    Being in the US, but coming from France, I just blame you for being too influenced and used to all those destruction, violence and shock and those IN-YOUR-Face tricks shown on TV, Movies, and games (BurnOut etc..)

    You can no longer readjust yourself to appreciate the beauty of something fresh and new and virgin… for you it would be too boring, and God forbids it…

    I am sorry but i like GT and all the flaws it does not have, for which you accuse it as a flaw…
    When Kaz and his team will be able to simulate real destruction and damages, i will welcome it… for now, any damage, you’d have to go else where…

    GT is about the fastest time, i dont know why you look for damages beyond the reasonable… GT is not Burnout, it’s Kaz’s state of mind…

  5. Nicolas Grignon

    Graphics are ok, but what about GT flaws, Kaz??? stupid or god-like ridge racer AI, sleepy internal view, Rubber band effect during race, very basic damages (at the moment), lack dynamic weather and day/night cycle… Don’t improve perfection, improve FLAWS for Xsake!

  6. d3br34k5

    How some people can interpret Kaz as being boastful based on the above QA is unbelievable.

    The developers of NFS: S or FM3 could say the exact same thing. Their games look TOO beautiful. So much so that it’s unrealistic. That’s all Kaz is saying about GT5.

  7. Wolgib07

    If you see at PGR3 you’ll see quite same problem as in GT5 right now, so they improved a lot in PGR4 so it looks realistic like in real life (I am being serious) The only real difference are day/night cycles and weather changes. I mean, it will change GT graphics sooooo much and just will put it there. There into perfection.

  8. tinker

    On things looking too perfect within an artificially created space this is often referred to as the “Uncanny Valley”. In a stricter sense the expression is used in relation to creating humanoid robots thet might seem “almost” real. CGI examples of this uncanny effect are movies like FF:The Spirits Within and more recently Beowolf.

    Perhaps GT5 will represent a step in this direction for video games, I hope so, let’s cross some boundaries…

  9. Alan

    Dynamic weather and time of day being two of the most-wanted features in GT5!

    The two most wanted features that i want are the game to be released this year and the game to be released this year

  10. Autavia

    The look of GT have always been three or four steps ahead of the sound of GT.
    So the Enzo looks good? Physics real enough?
    It better sound the part too. That is more important than a 110 percent accurate reflection of what reality looks like.
    Prologue and movieclips indicate good sounds though, so … no worries. Just expectation.

  11. don-sf

    yeah there was an interesting article, maybe someone can dig it up. it basically said that this is the stage where graphics look very realistic. but as they get more and more realistic, it will look more and more fake. and maybe this is what it was talking about, that the its too ‘perfect’ to look real.

    but to model the game under that sort of realism will need something special. you would need some sort of life simulator lol. we are of course talking about the imperfections of the world. the un even trees, the marks, holes and un evenness of the road. if you ever do a real life lap of the nurburgring, you will see how much the car bobbles up and down because of the way the track is built. but like most, im pretty happy with whats been presented with gt5. its the best looking driving game full stop.

    the car models are fine, very detailed, look stunning. im sure people will be playing around the photo mode alot. if i show gran turismo 5 screenshots to people, they believe its real. they could improve the background a little, thats probably the weakest part in gran turismo, but from what ive seen, its pretty dam detailed. its a proper 1080p game (most games are scaled).

  12. Wolgib07

    Also they could improve backround a little but, because sometimes when you look at screenshots cars look way better than backround. So GT5 is perfect, bit it is far from perfect perfection.

  13. jul_1087

    Better than reality?
    well in reality i have to call “my car” a lancia Ypsilon
    in GT5 i’ll call “my car” a Lamborghini Murcielago LP-670 SV
    Hell yeah!its absolutely better than reality!

    On the serious side,yes GT5 “may” lack of the reality imperfections..
    That minor scretchs of the from bumper from the impact of small stone,the dust in the air volving at the passage of the car,the reflection and the rifraction of the air particles,the piece of rubber flying everywhere…

    I think its not time for this yet..maybe on the future console generations but for now,i’m totally and absolutely pleased of what i see!

  14. Michael

    It’s no better than reality, actualy pretty far. The cars on the photos look like plastic a bit and you still can see the lower detail overall. It’s said it is looking better than reality because this is still a game and everyone understands that, that only means this game has the best looking cars of them all.

  15. Berlino Bear

    So will cars not look dirty in replays, like they used to? So no car wash I guess. No big loss though.

  16. Webbo

    I think graphics are coming and In some cases ready reached a stage of reality that’s perfect. But this is an idolised state of perfection that real life will nevrer reach. The upcoming goal for many graphics designers now is to design and program those imperfections that make ‘real’ believeable. It,s going to be interesting.

    I have 2 opinions of realism in games and each depends on the surrounding circumstances. Talk about that at another time though XD

  17. Bank Alexander

    It definitely does look better than real life. But reality is still “reality” so nobody can beat that.

    How many times a day are cars this shiny and full of HD textures? ^_^

  18. mog

    The game looks really good but i wouldn’t say it is better than reallity. As for the screens, they always ramp up the anti aliasing so they are basically bullshots.

  19. tinker

    Ahhh… yet another quote om Matrixian propotions, this time from the final paragraph of the interview with KY by Xavi Ocampo:
    On my way back, in my head were echoing the words of sensei, “Expect perfection.” It sounds very brash and presumptuous. But coming from whom they come, those words can be taken as a promise. A promise that I trust will be fulfilled.

    Would dynamic weatherpatterns within GT be too perfect?

    As quite a fan of utopian/dystopian Sci-Fi, I generally can’t say that I’m averse to the “too clean” environment found in GT.

  20. ItsHim

    I really do like the artistic style of GT5 (as far as can be judged from pre-released PR material) and I like the fact that it isn’t PD’s fault if nature got it wrong ;-)

    To quote Douglas Adams: “Truth is beauty. Therefore beauty must be truth.”

  21. tinker

    Quote from IMDB on “The Matrix”:
    It was an actual utopia; however, as humans subconsciously experience misery and suffering as an inherent part of life, they rejected it as being too perfect, and as a result, it was a monumental failure.

    When The Architect created the first Matrix, it was an utopian society with heavenly figures. The human psyche rejected this environment, and it crashed.

    The Matrix was programmed to be a representation of 20th century Earth, at the peak of its civilisation.
    I for one enjoy the utopian “perfectness” of the matrix being created by Kazunori Sensei.

  22. j8mie

    This reminds me of a problem that Square Enix had when making Final Fantasy Spirit Within film. To try and make the skin textures look more realistic they had to add blemishes and flaws to the textures, like people would have in real life.

    PD need to now start thinking along the same lines. The cars look perfect, great, but they are now too perfect and need flaws to make them look more realistic. it won’t be easy, but if any firm can do it, PD can :)

  23. Big Ron

    Why do you need new models? You just need to overwork the lightning system. Every car is build with same structures and principles. Of course, not all cars would look perfect like they do now.

    But that is the reality and THAT´S the beauty of reality. You have a cloudy day and everything looks grey and sad. And then the moment appears, where the sun is breaking through the clouds and the world get a fully new appearence and you got the perfect moment like in real life.

    That is, what´s missing in GT5. You always have the perfect moment and this isnt perfect

  24. Gar

    Wow, people here take Kaz’s statement out of context. For some reason they then start to construe it into making everyone else think damage will be perfect and better than reality. fanboy mentality?

  25. The Masfer

    If gt were to have rain clouds and other weather they would have to do all new models. Because if you have it raining the sun isn’t going to be coming through so the cars will look different hence new car models needed and more time for gt to come out

    Gt doesn’t need weather it’s perfect as it is

  26. Big Ron

    I admire GT since the beginning.

    GT5 has a superior graphic. But nevertheless, I am slowly done to see everything in perfect colors and lighting conditions how it always aimed at GT.
    Sure, the graphic is beautiful, but straight by its perfectness, the alternation is missing.
    The Wow effect is missing evenly sometimes, if you see everything in perfect condition, instead of the vehicles get dirty correctly with dust and dirt splashes, it would be cloudy or rainy (which possibly will be a feature) or everything appears more cloudier.

    That would be the perfect optics, which would offer more alternation

  27. The Masfer

    What he’s trying to say is the weather is never perfect in the real world but there is always sun in gt so the cars reflect the light.

  28. Jordan

    You’re taking Yamauchi’s out of context, Hernan. He is not being boastful or making any sort of claim. He’s basically admitting that GT5 doesn’t look like the real world the overwhelming majority of the time. Only when the weather and lighting is perfect could you ever hope to simulate the conditions in the game. Why does he deserve a sock in his mouth for saying that?

  29. khan

    So, the graphics are actually going to be this great? Hummm…I don’t know, screen-shot are sometimes rendered before hand, but I would hope that this is not the case. If the graphics will indeed be this great-looking during game play, I’m going to be speechless…

  30. meatbag_

    ahhh…. well in context hes correct, but being technically right doesnt always mean you should state it to the internet media. the very notion of “perfect damage” is paradoxical in nature, so at the very least thats a subjective point of view.

    also i try to look at this from his point of view, as a developer. this is an art for him. were you to ask Rembrandt, hed probably say his art was better than reality, i can see Escher stating that something of his was perfect.

    what i cant stand is when one artist tries to say his art is better than somebody elses. weather its paintings or video games its all just doodles with crayolas in the end.

  31. RADracing

    I think he meant that it looks too picture perfect just like a supermodel in a cover of a magazine they photoshop the flaws from the face looks too perfect. Same with GT the lighting is always perfect like it’s being shot in a studio. Even the tracks are too perfect no debris or trash flying around and no hase the grass are too well manicured.

  32. larsjuh33

    @hernan, you got a point there, but turn 10 sucks, and K.Y. is a professional, and he’s doing everything to make it perfect, so we’ll see

  33. Hernan

    “Better than reality” , wow and people were complaining about “the definitive blabla” .

    So GT5 will have “perfect” damage and “better than reality” graphics. I hope you all react to this like you did with Turn10 E3 presentation.

    Its going to be a great game but please someone put a gag on Kazunori´s mouth please.

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