One of the new features in Gran Turismo 5 I’ve personally been looking forward to is head-tracking. Unless you’ve got the luxury of playing racing games on three screens, the ability to look into and through the turns – just as you should do in real life – provides a considerably more immersive experience. GT5‘s head-tracking was first shown in limited action at E3 2010, but it was reportedly difficult to use because of surrounding conditions the PlayStation Eye had to deal with. According to a recent article from the Official PlayStation Magazine, however, the functionality isn’t perfect. Quoting the magazine from this article at CVG.com:
“Face-tracking using the PS Eye works on the 200 cars with cockpits and lets you look around by tilting your face away fro the screen, but the early demo we played left us underwhelmed. Head-tracking has been working well on PC for years using IR camera and reference makers but PS Eye is a simpler camera and Gran Turismo applies a digital interpretation to an analogue movement. A slight glance to the left or right is translated by the game after a considerable delay as a full 90-degree crane of your neck. Hopefully Polyphony can smooth things out before release.”
Let’s hope head-tracking functionality can be smoothed out in software, and that it’s functionality is not hindered by practical limitations in the PS Eye hardware.
Finally, in a bit of good news, the magazine editors got to see more of GT5‘s damage system, confirming that it “accurately models mechanic and cosmetic damage to an absurd degree” and “looks beautiful”.