Microsoft is quoting a September date for Project Gotham Racing 4, but it sounds like they'll have a fight on their hands if Bizarre Creations wants more time, with business director Brian Woodhouse telling Eurogamer: "This one, we're not letting go 'til it's done."
Woodhouse was responding to our comment, during an E3 PGR4 presentation, that the difficulty for some of the latter Platinum medal goals in PGR3 was all over the place. "I can't argue with that," he admitted. "We just ran out of time. We feel like we've got more time [on PGR4]. Last time round, we feel like we got the game ripped away from us."
"It looked great, but we struggled a little bit to commit time at the end to really balance the game properly. This one, we're not letting go 'til it's done. We were disappointed with that. With 2 we probably got it right. With 1 we rushed it out as well. 3, you know, it was a launch title so we were under enormous pressure.
"Following on from that, we've totally changed our development mentality. With a launch title, you've constantly got this issue with difficulty with the hardware and not getting the game up and running early enough. This time around, because we're building it on a modular tech base we're able to bring the game up really early and think about all of those things as we go through, instead of me saying to you as a game designer, 'okay here's the game, you've got two weeks [to balance it]'."
He also admitted that Bizarre had "spent a fortune building this game".
Their spent fortune appears to be our good fortune, however, judging by all the improvements witnessed at E3. The Kudos system has undergone some sensible tweaking, the (optional) bike stuff gives the game added depth, and the graphical accomplishments - particularly volumetric fog - add up to a game we're struggling not to be fawny and slaverish about in today's Project Gotham Racing 4 first impressions.
Anyway, you'll be able to see how it all turns out in September. Probably.