Fans of the Gran Turismo series have been through a lot over the past 13 years or so, but none of those years have been as dramatic as 2010. Though I wasn’t able to get this out before the calendar flipped over, I wanted to take one last look at where we’ve been before moving forward (just as I did at the end of 2009)…
Photomode image by Spark_GTP.
- 2010 started on a very high note – GT Academy 2010 was in full swing, and we rang in the new year enjoying the free, though limited, GT5 Time Trial Challenge demo. Excitement was also building in anticipation of the full game’s March release date in Japan…
- With the expected release date less than three months away, the Gran Turismo 5 art was officially revealed. Excitement continued to build through what turned out to be a very revealing CES 2010.
- Just days after the conclusion of CES, the first bit of confusing and bad news hit hard: GT5 was quietly and mysteriously delayed in Japan, just four days after Yamauchi and his translator confidently confirmed the March date in a CES interview. Left with a newly open-ended release schedule, fans settled in for a long, cold, and confusing winter.
- GT5‘s new “Data Logger Visualization Technology” was first revealed to the public by Kazunori Yamauchi at the Tokyo Auto Salon. Curiously, there has been no mention of this interesting new technology since then…
- Sony executive James Armstrong accurately predicted GT5‘s eventual release date during a newspaper interview. While talking with him about the statement at the game’s launch party in Madrid last November, he laughed and said he just “got lucky that time!”
- GTPlanet was on hand for the GT Academy 2010 Silverstone Finals, eventually won by French competitor Jordan Tresson.
- A Sony rep reveals the company was targeting an October release for Gran Turismo 5. Getting closer, but still no cigar…
- YouTuber mimaximax gets regular access to a GT5 demo in Tokyo, generously sharing lots of game-play video clips with the hungry masses, clamoring for any and all scraps of information during what was originally supposed to be the game’s release month.
- U.S. GT producer Taku Imasaki confirms that Gran Turismo 5 will fully support 3DTV technology.
- The Nurburgring GP course is confirmed for GT5.
- Kazunori Yamauchi successfully competes in (and completes!) the Nurburgring 24 Hours.
- GTPlanet gets a completely new look and feel.
- Gran Turismo 5 gets an official November 2 release date at a very exciting E3 2010. A beautiful new trailer, awesome screenshots, and the first day/night transition game-play video are revealed.
- The game’s weather system, course maker, and go-karting features are accidentally revealed in an official Sony interview with company executive Shuhei Yoshida.
- More than 100 days before its expected release, GT5 was already hovering near the top of sales charts.
- Gran Turismo 5‘s Signature and Collector’s Editions are officially announced and detailed.
- GT5‘s new karting game-play, tire marks, and Monza circuit are all revealed thanks to GTPlanet’s team on the ground at Gamescom 2010.
- GTPlanet conducts our first one-on-one interview with Kazunori Yamauchi at Gamescom.
- The legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit is seen in Polyphony Digital’s collection of reference assets, revealing that developers have visited and studied the track.
- Sony and Polyphony Digital are faced with legal threats as the city of Siena, Italy protests the Piazza Del Campo karting track’s appearance in GT5 at Gamescom. The issue was eventually resolved (and actually boosted pre-orders), but the track is still nowhere to be seen in the final version of the game…
- The first Gran Turismo 5 kiosk demos begin showing up in Best Buy stores around the United States, revealing a considerably overhauled (though still highly criticized) damage model.
- GT5‘s weather system is officially revealed in a new trailer at the Tokyo Game Show 2010.
- Polyphony Digital’s collaborative project with Red Bull to develop the X1 Prototype is also announced at TGS.
- The new GT5 “We Love Cars” marketing campaign kicks off in Japan.
- Just a few short weeks before the worldwide launch of Gran Turismo 5, Sony announces the game is delayed once again until the “Holiday season” to bitterly disappointed fans and harsh criticism from the press.
- Still without any official release date, Yamauchi announces Gran Turismo 5 is complete and the game discs are already in production.
- Video game distributors in Europe mention the game is being shipped to retailers, and the first leaked copies of GT5 appear in the wild – but there’s still no sign of a release date.
- The first round of un-authorized game-play videos hit the Internet, as Sony responds with attempts to remove the material from YouTube.
- Sony finally announces November 24th as the release date for Gran Turismo 5 in North America and Europe, increasing sales of the game more than 1300% at online retailer Amazon.com. Other online stores dedicate all their employees to the game just to handle increased demand.
- GTPlanet is invited to the Gran Turismo 5 International Launch Party in Madrid, Spain, where it is announced that many frequent online updates will be published throughout the game’s lifetime. The Red Bull X1 model (now known as the X2010) is also officially revealed to the world.
- The first updates are issued for Gran Turismo 5, with v1.02 available just two days after the game’s release.
- The first-ever United States GT Academy is announced (!!!).
- Kazunori Yamauchi confirms that a new, officially licensed GT steering wheel – the T500 RS – will be released by Thrustmaster.
- The Gran Turismo 5 v1.03 update is issued, introducing mechanical damage to the game.
- GT5‘s online, web-based social network is officially released.
- Sony announces GT5 sales topped 5.5 million, blasting the GT series to a total of more than 60 million copies worldwide.
- Gran Turismo 5 v1.05 is released, introducing “Seasonal Events” and lots of other tweaks.
- GTPlanet hosts our annual philanthropic fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, proudly raising more than $1,000 to help fight this terrible disease. Thank you, everyone, for your help in reaching this milestone!
Looking forward, it is not yet entirely clear what 2011 holds for GT fans. With rumors of a new PSP2 floating around the web, could another mobile title be in the works? How much content will be added to GT5, and when when can we dare mention Gran Turismo 6? Regardless of what happens, I thank all of you for your interest and support throughout 2010, and I hope you’ll continue to rely on GTPlanet for all your GT series news in the future. Happy new year!