A key area of much discussion in the Gran Turismo series is the quality of audio. Compared to other games in the genre this is an area that GT hasn’t quite met the benchmark for in the past. However, Kazunori Yamauchi has confirmed to GTPlanet that there will be an entirely new system of reworked audio in place for the launch of GT Sport.
Audio is important to a racing simulator for many reasons, with the most obvious reason being immersion. When a car feels like the real thing, looks like the real thing, but doesn’t sound like the real thing it can be pretty jarring. The old system in GT was often coined as being ‘vacuum’-like in that it prioritized wind noise and captured the whirring of an engine over the actual ‘grunt’ many of the world’s supercars are known for. Audio also contributes heavily to the feedback sim racers get back from the car, hearing the intricacies of the engine allows drivers to make important gear changes and understand when the car may be struggling in certain ways. The static engine sounds in previous GT titles didn’t really give any proper feedback and players’ could struggle to read their car as a result.
The prospect of having a new system would allow GT to start again, looking to improve on these sounds and what they bring to the overall experience. With Kazunori himself being a racing driver, he of all people should be able to understand why the fanbase are generally concerned about the current condition of the sound design in the series. Work has already begun to bring the overall sound quality of Gran Turismo Sport to a level alongside competition in the genre. Speaking of the build shown off to fans in the Copper Box Arena Kazunori stated:
“So the system is completely new. But the sound material is not completely changed to the new material. So I think when you listen to some of the cars now, there are some cars that sound really good, and some cars that don’t.”
GTPlanet’s own Jordan Greer felt that the Ferrari 458 Italia in particular sounded very nice with Yamauchi agreeing. He also pointed out that the Lotus Evora was another example of a car which sounded better under the new sound system being implemented on the road to release.
As footage for the newest GT continues to pop up around the web, it would be wise to keep in mind Kazunori’s comments about the new system not being fully completed yet and reserving judgement as such. Through the interview with Polyphony’s president we can see that at least 2 of the cars are currently being put through the new system and we can tell that the team are not sugar-coating how they feel about the current system making note that cars simply don’t sound good. This level of honesty gives hope that moving forward the new system can have the potential to fix an area which has been requiring more attention in recent versions of the series.