Don't Miss

Sony delays Gran Turismo 5 game

By on January 13, 2010

Gran Turismo 5 PS3

Sony has announced an indefinite delay to the Japanese launch of Gran Turismo 5 (GT5), the latest instalment of a massively complex and popular driving simulation game thought to have cost more than $60 million (£37 million) to develop and for which fans have been waiting in vain for years.

The delay will probably derail Sony’s plans to “bundle” the PlayStation 3 console together with the new game to boost sales during the critical spring sales period in Japan.

The new timetable may see the game launched in Japan this summer, at the same time as the game is scheduled to be released in Europe and America.

However, Sony did not include a revised launch date with today’s announcement, suggesting that there could be further delays to a title that is already nearly three years overdue.

From the moment the PlayStation 3 console was launched in Japan in late 2006, demonstrations of Gran Turismo 5 have left hardcore gamers around the world drooling with anticipation.

The previous instalments of the game created particularly strong fan-bases in Japan and Europe, where it overlapped with mainstream motorsport interest.

The new game will include Nascar stock cars in an attempt to draw more American gamers to the title.

Successive trade shows and internet trailers have whetted those already ravenous appetites with promises of more than 1,000 different cars and 20 different tracks, all rendered in glorious definition and with unprecedented realism.

The recent online release of one of the GT5 tracks taken from the new game, and a worldwide online racing tournament on it, drew more than 1 million downloads in less than a week: further evidence of pent-up demand.

But GT5 has repeatedly dashed hopes and today’s announcement has already sparked outbursts of frustration and rage on Japanese gamer forums.

Speculation now centres on the reasons for the game’s delay. Many believe that the sheer complexity of the game may be its downfall: the process of eradicating thousands of bugs may be taking longer than expected.

Others believe that the developers’ decision to include a realistic car damage simulator may have created months’ more work than was budgeted for.

But analysts believe there may be strategy behind the delay and that Sony is now working to spread the effect of a strong games pipeline over a longer period.

The recent Japanese launch of Final Fantasy XIII shifted many more PS3 consoles than expected and performed beyond expectations outside Japan.

If Sony believes that it has already met its console sales targets for fiscal 2009, said analysts, it may want to push the GT5 launch back a little so that the frenzy surrounding its eventual launch boosts sales in fiscal 2010.

The company may be confident that big titles, such God of War 3, Dark Rain and Bayonetta, will keep console sales relatively buoyant through the spring period.

The Japanese games market shrank in 2009 for the second year in succession, according to data gathered by Enterbrain.

Hardware sales fell by 13.6 per cent, despite price cuts to the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii.

Against that, though, global PS3 sales were strong in the run-up to Christmas, soaring 76 per cent when compared with the November-to-December period in the previous year.

Total PS3 unit sales since launch are believed to have passed the 30 million mark, driven in large part by a strong line-up of games.

About admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>