According to a post today on the PlayStation Blog, there’s a chance that Gran Turismo 7 might be a cross-generational PlayStation game, running on both PS4 and PS5 consoles.
The blog post isn’t about Gran Turismo specifically, but consists of an interview with Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios. PlayStation Studios is the arm of Sony which manages the various development teams that create the “first-party” games, including Polyphony Digital and Gran Turismo.
In the post, Hulst talks about the challenges of recent months, and some of the titles in development across both current console generations. However there’s a specific question about PlayStation 4 which very much catches the eye:
PlayStation Blog: How does PS4 factor into PlayStation Studios’ development vision? Is it still a focus internally for future game development?
Hermen: It very much is. You can’t build a community of over 110 million PS4 owners and then just walk away from it, right? I think that’d be bad news for fans of PS4, and frankly not very good business.
Where it makes sense to develop a title for both PS4 and PS5 — for Horizon Forbidden West, the next God of War, GT7 — we’ll continue looking at that. And if PS4 owners want to play that game, then they can. If they want to go on and play the PS5 version, that game will be there for them.
That being said, it’s also very important to have showpieces for PS5, hence the development of Returnal and Ratchet that are exclusive to PS5.
The messaging behind Gran Turismo 7’s development has been a little mixed over the past year, variously described as being developed for PlayStation and for PlayStation 5 specifically at different points. This comment from Hulst certainly seems to hint back towards the former situation.
However it’s still difficult to draw a definitive conclusion from the rather carefully chosen words. Hulst only remarks that PlayStation Studios will “continue looking at” developing individual titles for both console generations “where it makes sense to” do so, rather than outright confirming Gran Turismo 7 as a PS4 and PS5 title. Horizon Forbidden West is already confirmed as a cross-gen game, while the God of War sequel’s situation is very similar to GT7 — having also been pushed back to 2022.
In some respects, the idea of GT7 as a cross-gen game has plenty of merit. With PS5 sales still limited by availability, an established playerbase of 110 million consoles looks pretty attractive when it comes to selling games.
Fans will nonetheless be concerned that the game will need to be effectively the same on both consoles, with only PlayStation 5 “enhancements” to make it look nicer and load faster on the new console. That could limit how Polyphony Digital could leverage the PS5’s capabilities.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this as it develops.