Gran Turismo PSP: What You Need to Know


Since the big announcement at Sony’s E3 press conference, two things have happened: lots of journalists got their hands on the demo at the show, and Kazunori Yamauchi has released more tidbits of information in a flurry of interviews.  It’s difficult to keep up with everything, and all the excitement around the Gran Turismo 5 trailer hasn’t helped, but we should be able to clear up a lot of the confusion by aggregating the pieces of the puzzle right here.  Keep reading to find out what we know, what we don’t know, and what everyone else actually thinks about this long-anticipated title…

The Facts

Gran Turismo PSP will be released alongside the new “PSP Go” hardware on October 1, 2009.  The PSP Go, as you may be aware, does not contain the traditional UMD media slot that we’re familiar with from the original PSP.  Therefore, GT PSP will be available for download over the internet via the PSP’s online store, directly from Sony (something which we picked up on back in April).  According to Kazunori Yamauchi, Polyphony Digital expects the game to be around 1GB in size (the PSP Go will contain 16GB of internal memory).  For those who do not wish to upgrade to the PSP Go, the game will still be sold in UMD disc format.  GT PSP will, incredibly, run in a full 60 frames-per-second on the small screen.

Cars and Tracks

ferrari-enzo-gran-turismo-pspThe Gran Turismo PSP car list will contain over 800 different vehicles, as was mentioned in the press conference.  While the official list has not been released just yet, we got a pretty good glimpse of what’s available in the trailer – the most exciting of which is the Ferrari Enzo.  Naturally, since it’s appearing in a GT game that will pre-date Gran Turismo 5, it dramatically increases the chances that it will be appearing in the “big game”.

Kazunori Yamauchi has mentioned that all of the tracks in Gran Turismo 4 will be in the game, although the official number is set a bit lower than GT4‘s at 35.  Thus, the safest and most obvious interpretation is that all of the tracks in GT PSP will be a subset of those found in the larger game.  

However, we can confirm these 12 tracks were playable in the E3 demo – the most notable of which is the Nurburgring Nordschleife:

  • High Speed Ring
  • Laguna Seca
  • Trial Mountain
  • gran-turismo-psp-tracks2Nurburgring Nordschleife
  • Ice Arena
  • Cote d’Azur
  • Tsukuba
  • Grand Valley
  • Tokyo R246
  • Deep Forest
  • Grand Canyon
  • Swiss Alps
  • Seattle
  • Autumn Ring

Features and Gameplay

GT PSP will be the first game in the series to focus only on driving missions and tasks, instead of the “open” path to game completion which you may be used to.  Yamauchi expanded on this decision in an interview, citing the fact that players will be playing this portable game in many different environments, and a more obvious sense of direction is necessary.

gran-turismo-psp-2-2Of course, the mobile environment also creates new, social possibilities – you’ll be able to meet up with other players to swap and trade cars, wirelessly.  For players looking to acquire the rare cars in the game, this may in fact be the only way to attain them, according to statements by Yamauchi.  The social aspect isn’t just about trading cars, though – up to four players will be able to compete wirelessly via the PSP’s ad-hoc WiFi mode.

Many interviewers have inquired about the possibility of new content being made available for download after the games release (“DLC”), but Yamauchi has said that will not be an option.  Tuning options and settings which affect the handling of the car will also be very limited compared to what we’ve seen in Gran Turismo 4.

Hands-On Impressions and Opinions

From Destructoid:

“As far as game play goes, this is Gran Turismo as you’ve known it since its beginnings, and no major changes have to the control scheme in this version. I found myself missing the analog trigger as the gas pedal, and a second analog stick would have been nice for a gas/brake combo, but I had no problem racing with the good ol’ buttons either.”


gran-turismo-psp-2-3“It’s totally awesome — for fans of Gran Turismo. The team at Polyphony have done an amazing job replicating the Gran Turismo look and feel on the PSP — it’s the best looking handheld racing game out there, and it plays very well — but it’s also very much a “Gran Turismo” game. By that I mean it’s not only a sim, but it also favors attention to realism over playability. Fans of the series or sim racing games in general are going to love it, but others may find it, well, a tad slow. The controls feel tight, but will no doubt benefit from the PSP Go’s much improved analog nub.”


“I played Gran Turismo on a PSP Go, and the bright widescreen display showed off the game’s visual prowess. Running at a sleek 60 frames per second — the holy framerate for precision racers — Gran Turismo cruises along like a guided missile. Visually, I’d place Gran Turismo on the PSP very close to Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2. It looks crisp and colorful, with bold racetrack backdrops and a cinematic look.”


See our gallery for the only collection of shots released by Polyphony Digital.  If you want to see how the game really looks, though, check out these videos…


To keep up with new videos as they are released, subscribe to GTPlanet’s YouTube Channel.

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Comments (17)

  1. Terronium-12

    I’ve always told myself “I’ll get a PSP when GTM is released.” So, looks like I’ll be getting a PSP. Although the Go!, to me, looks incredibly uncomfortable.

    GT4 is a great game, be sure to pick it up sometime. :tup:

  2. d3br34k5

    GTM Looks absolutely fantastic. Having missed GT4, I’m really looking forward to this ‘Mission Based’ driving game.

  3. d3br34k5

    Not everyone is hurting for cash right now; There is a world outside of your immediate, and extremely limited perspective. If GBWH has the coin for all iterations of the game and that’s what he wants to buy, how is he being an idiot?

    I just bought a PSP-2001 just because I wanted one. However, when GTM releases, I’m also going to be picking up the GTM PSP GO! bundle. Just because I can.

    Go be annoyed at yourself, somewhere else. Try the street corner/empty coffee cup combo.

    PS: English, do you speak it?

  4. GTP_RainMan

    to GBWH…. in a time where everyone is loosing their jobs, loosing their homes, broke and so forth, all you can think about is buy all itteration of the same game, but who’s packaging is different ???

    I haite calling people idiots sometimes, because we all have a brain, but you comment sadly fit that description.

    PS: I’m not trolling….but just annoyed but some people’s kack of logic

  5. newnikita

    Good summary.

    By the way, I don’t find any video with the Settings screen. I’d like to know more about the potential of the car configuration on the portable version. Does anyone find a picture about it?

  6. GBWH1991

    I really want PD to release a demo for this game! I can’t wait for 4 months!!!

    It looks fantastic, I will litterally buy a copy from every region…

  7. MarcoM

    Nice overview. I didn’t see the Monaco vid yet. It shows that the steering can also be done with the D pad. I hate the analogue thing on the psp. Especially when devs enforce you to use it.

    Luckily Polyphony Dgital does not do that.

    It looks so damn good :P

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