It's perhaps a little ironic that the creators of some of the most beautiful console games ever made so very rarely promote their games using actual in-game footage or screenshots. For Polyphony Digital, the trend continues with Gran Turismo 6, where its beautiful concept trailer - in common with the majority of its previous videos - looks for all the world like an offline render, downscaled to 1080p from an unimaginably high resolution, based no doubt on the most high-detail versions of its in-game assets.
Think of the trailer then as an animated version of the Gran Turismo photo mode, a stylised CG expression of the phenomenally intense modelling work that goes into the creation of the "Real Driving Simulator" - but not really representative of the final PS3 game you'll be playing later this year. That said, when we acquired 1080p60 video assets based on the trailer, we knew we had to share them with you. Gran Turismo is defined as much by its 60FPS gameplay, its precision feedback and response as it is by its lush visuals - and in sharing the full temporal resolution experience with you, you're not just seeing Polyphony's GT work at its best, we're also perhaps getting a little preview of what a next-gen port of Gran Turismo 6 may offer.
The sheer detail level, the lighting, the post-processing - if a PS4 conversion of Gran Turismo 6 is indeed in the offing, a great many of the offline rendering techniques seen in these clips may well be translated into real-time effects, and we'd hope to see these full-detail models make their way across to the next console in their entirety. We have some precedent of assets migrating from one generation to the next of course, with Polyphony's PS2-level full-LOD cars migrating across to PS3 in the form of the "standard" cars. If the video demonstrates anything, it's perhaps that the laws of diminishing returns would be kicking in big-time should Polyphony look to increase base detail level still further - its initial experiments with adaptive tessellation may suggest that the studio has come to the same conclusion.
"Gran Turismo is defined as much by its 60FPS gameplay, its precision feedback and response as it is by its lush visuals."
Alternative 720p60 version: Capable hardware required for smooth playback
We've prepared several versions of our edit for you to choose between - beginning with standard def and 720p60 versions embedded above. As long as you're running Google Chrome as your browser, you should get something close to full frame-rate playback on the smaller version, while a decent computer - or iOS device - should run the 720p version smoothly.
We've also prepared a couple of offline downloads for you to check out. The 720p60 asset should playback on any device with a fairly decent h.264 decoder, while the much larger 1080p60 version has been encoded with PlayStation 3 playback specifically in mind - download the edit and it should play back with a beautiful fluidity from a USB flash drive, or your PS3 hard disk. It should also run just fine on a moderately powerful PC. Freed from the frame-rate and compression constraints, the CG experience at the full 1080p60 is a world away from the streaming versions here, as nice as they are.