We've started Gran Turismo 6 - Yamauchi

Will probably take five and a half years.

Gran Turismo 5 has been plagued by delays, and whether the game will launch this year still remains to be seen. But that hasn't stopped creator Kazunori Yamauchi revealing that work on the next instalment, Gran Turismo 6, has already begun.

"Yeah," Yamuchi told Autoweek - development is underway.

"It's not something that we can talk that lightly on," he added. "It took 2000 days to get all the ideas that went into GT5.

"It's just too early to be talking about GT6"

Yes, and it was even earlier in August when he last let slip details about Gran Turismo 6.

But 2000 days! That's five-and-a-half years. Not to mention the probable Concept and Gran Turismo 6 Prologue releases we'd have to endure first.

What about Gran Turismo 5, anyway? Kazunori Yamauchi offered a flimsy "I think so" on the likelihood of playing it before Christmas. An announcement should arrive "sometime soon".

Gran Turismo 5 has been a long time coming. Once upon a time, Kazunori Yamauchi promoted a summer 2008 Japan launch, and shortly before we got there Sony America told the world GT5 was "about a year away". Sony Europe said the racing game would be out for Christmas 2009.

Fast-forward to 2009. In June, Yamauchi said Gran Turismo 5 was "at a point [where] we can release it any time we want", and a few months later he confirmed a March 2010 release date for Japan. A European launch, he added, European launch would likely be in the same timeframe. Yamauchi added to the smiles by saying, in October 2009, that Gran Turismo 5 was "basically complete".

For a while, everything was on track: a GT5 Time Trial demo came out in December 2009 and had been downloaded 1 million times by January 2010. But celebrations were short-lived, as Sony soon announced that Gran Turismo 5 had been delayed in Japan - and only Japan, Europe was reassured (presumably because Europe never had a date). A few weeks later, Europe was given an autumn 2010 release date for GT5.

That date became "November" in June 2010, and then "3rd November" in August. Cue plenty of babble about 3D stereoscopic vision and we arrive in October 2010 and the most recent Gran Turismo 5 delay.

Right now, all Sony will say about a new date is that the game is coming out "before Christmas".

Earlier this week, industry sources told Eurogamer there was "not much hope" for Gran Turismo 5 in 2010. Yamauchi popped up a day later claiming discs were being stamped "as we speak". December, remember, is typically a barren month for releases past the first week.

Mind you, it strikes us as strange that Yamauchi would be so talkative if his game had been pushed back to 2011.

And why has Gran Turismo 5 taken so long? Because of Motor Toon Grand Prix on PSone, that's why. Autoweek heard how Yamauchi and his team had been crunching hard trying to "adjust it so it would be perfect". Sony thought the game was fit for release, though, and twisted Yamauchi's arm. It's a decision he's regretted for his entire career.

"At the time, I probably wasn't thinking very clearly, being as exhausted as I was, and I talked myself into thinking this was good enough and it went to release," he recalled. "But all the things I thought were not enough yet, the users said the exact same thing when the game came out.

"That was something I regretted very much when that happened because I knew it was coming. And that happened at the beginning of my career, and it was something I vowed would never happen again."

It does look nice, to be fair.

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