It’s been both the best of times and worst of times for Gran Turismo fans in 2009. It started out in what many believed would be the year of Gran Turismo 5, but actually turned out to be the year of another title almost nobody was expecting: Gran Turismo PSP! Regardless, we’ve learned a lot about GT5 – from WRC, to NASCAR, to our first look at damage and rumors of a track editor, it’s been a pretty good year. Now, as we look forward to GT5‘s Japanese release in March, here’s a look back at 2009, along with all the links in case you missed something along the way…
- Word hits the web that Gran Turismo 5 will be playable only in “B-Spec Mode”. (Just kidding!)
- The Internet heats up after our long-respected insider, Amar212, reveals many exciting tidbits about the future of the Gran Turismo series. Discussing everything from the then un-announced Gran Turismo PSP to a mysterious track-editor in GT5, Amar’s words are still referenced today as we try to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together…
- Gran Turismo PSP is officially announced and dated, and its first video trailer is released.
- Gran Turismo 5 is officially announced during Sony’s press conference at E3 2009, and we finally get our first look at the game in a new trailer. In addition to the updated visuals, the video also confirmed the WRC and NASCAR licenses, along with our very first look at the game’s new damage rendering.
- In three different interviews (here, here, and here), Kazunori Yamauchi reiterates that Polyphony Digital can “release [Gran Turismo 5] whenever we want”, leading many to suspect a 2009 release date.
- GTPlanet expands to Facebook and Twitter, which have become two very popular extensions of the site with several thousand followers and fans. (Thanks again, guys!)
- Yamauchi emphasizes that the GT5 trailer shown off at E3 in June showed a “very small portion” of the game.
- 5 years after it was first announced, Gran Turismo PSP is released worldwide.
- A secret and still-unpublished GT5 video is shown to a select group of journalists, showing off what was described as very impressive and improved damage model.
- A new GT5 video showing the Toyota FT-86 Concept is released, giving a peek at what appears to be yet another new mountainous road in the game.
- Yamauchi comments that they’re working on a “brand new” damage model for GT5 – a curious remark after some people criticized the game-play damage modeling shown off at GamesCom earlier in the year.
- In a clip that’s supposed to be showing off the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, we catch a glimpse of GT5‘s box art on what appears to be a boxed-set large enough to contain three separate discs. Speculation abounds…
- Yamauchi casts doubt on night racing and weather will eventually make it into GT5.
- The month starts out with a bang, as a Sony marketing manager casually mentions that “you can create tracks” in Gran Turismo 5, confirming what our own insider had told us about months earlier.
- Kazunori Yamauchi hints at what may be a “rewind” feature in GT5.
- Yamauchi comments that Gran Turismo 5‘s “weather system” is “done”, but emphasizes that he’s still not sure if it will make it into the final game or not, citing issues of “quality”.
- The Gran Turismo 5 Time Trial Challenge and the second GT Academy are officially announced, to be played out in a new demo showcasing GT5‘s new physics engine at the new Indianpolis Motor Speedway circuit.
- An SCEA producer for the Gran Turismo franchise mentions a “Summer 2010” North American release date for GT5.
- On Christmas day, new GT5 city tracks located in Rome and Madrid are revealed in a new video.
It’s been a pleasure (most of the time…) keeping up with GT and Kazunori Yamauchi over the past year. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride, and I hope you’ll continue to count on GTPlanet as we get ever closer to GT5 and beyond. See you in 2010!