Gran Turismo 7 Could Get a Big AI Upgrade “Before the End of the Year”

GT7 image by Arkseven

“Gran Turismo Sophy”, the next-generation artificial intelligence system developed by a collaboration between Sony AI and Polyphony Digital, could arrive in Gran Turismo 7 before the end of the year.

The tip comes via GTPlanet user Nebuc72, who spotted an interesting remark from the official Gran Turismo YouTube channel in the Italian-language stream of the World Series Showdown Nations Cup over the weekend.

A user asked in the live chat when Sophy would actually be implemented, to which the official channel responded “la metteremo in-game prima della fine dell’anno se tutto va bene”. In English, this translates to “we will put it in-game before the end of the year if all goes well”.

You can view the comment shortly after the 1:21:54 mark in the Italian live stream.

This is the most specific time-frame we’ve heard for Sophy’s release since it was first revealed back in February. Kazunori Yamauchi confirmed it would be added in a future update to Gran Turismo 7, but didn’t offer any more clues as to exactly when that would be.

The World Series Showdown in Austria also brought our first look at Gran Turismo Sophy actually running in GT7. Until now, it has only been shown running within GT Sport, during the first two “Race Together” events in 2021. It was also recently shown beating a record time in GT Sport’s Lewis Hamilton Time Trial Challenge.

Salzburg’s live event hosted the third “Race Together” competition, which again pit Sophy against elite Gran Turismo players like Igor Fraga and Valerio Gallo. Unfortunately, the full races were not broadcast, but the Nations Cup stream did include brief snippets and reactions from the participating (human) drivers, which you can see in the time-stamped video below:

Although Sophy-controlled cars finished first and second in the opening race at the Sardegna Windmills rally circuit, reigning Gran Turismo World Champion Valerio Gallo was able to defeat Sophy in the second event at Lago Maggiore.

Of course, we still don’t know exactly what form Sophy will take in Gran Turismo 7, or if it will completely replace the game’s existing AI system.

In GTPlanet’s interview with Kazunori Yamauchi after Sophy’s reveal, he described it as appearing in three forms: “As a teacher that will teach driving to players, a student that will learn sportsmanship from players, and as a friend to race with. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a B-Spec mode, where the player is the race director and Sophy is the driver.”

Assuming Sophy really does arrive later this year, the most obvious dates to keep an eye on would be November 25-27. That’s when the World Finals return to Monaco, and Polyphony Digital will likely be looking to make a big splash with Gran Turismo 7 ahead of the busy holiday buying season.

As always, stay tuned…

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