Amongst all the positive impressions coming from the GT Sport demo, there has been an unfortunate revelation. If you want to save progress during a GT Sport play session, you must be connected to PlayStation Network.
This caveat will apply to all areas of the game, regardless if you’re playing online or not. Confirmation comes from the newly published online manual for GT Sport. A section explains that saves will be hosted centrally on the game server:
Gran Turismo Sport only supports online saving. Your game progress data will be stored on the online server. Please be aware, therefore, that any progress you make while offline cannot be saved (certain contents are saved onto the PlayStation®4 console’s hard disk drive.) If you are playing offline, you will be able to use previously saved game progress data.
Many players would have spotted this aspect of the game during this week’s demo. As a preview for the game with limited content, it wasn’t clear if online saving was absolute for the sake of the demo or an indicator for the full title. With this new information, we have our answer.
If you can’t connect online whilst playing however, all is not lost. In the event of the servers going down or a lack of internet access, GT Sport will include the option to load previously saved progress.
The decision to make progress saving online-only is certainly controversial. Although the major focus of GT Sport is competitive online racing, there is still quite a chunk of offline gameplay in there too. Since saving is reliant on online connectivity, it practically locks all this content away in the event of an extended outage. If you can’t connect, don’t expect to make any steps forward in Campaign mode.
Ultimately, server-side saves will live (or die) by how reliant the online infrastructure of GT Sport is. Experience in the demo has been mostly smooth but there has been some outages. We won’t have to wait long to see how this pans out when the full game releases October 17.