Comments made by Polyphony Digital president Kazunori Yamauchi during a Tokyo press conference about Gran Turismo 4 are being put under great scrutiny this morning, as fans of the series try to work out what Yamauchi-san's ambiguous outburst really means.
The Polyphony president is credited with saying that he wants to "fully explore the simulation aspects of the series," implying that GT4 plans to make significant gains on the road to outright emulation of motorsport. Hardly surprising, that.
Equally unhelpful is news that "a wholly redesigned gameplay system has been proposed, including new modes of play," with online gaming something the team is looking at.
Furthermore, "we're still interested in vehicle damage modelling, but that issue has caused some arguments with auto manufacturers." No previous GT game has featured a proper damage model, and a change here seems unlikely.
So overall, we know that GT4 will be a deeper simulation, that it will probably have a stab at online play and that Polyphony would like to include a damage model but may be prevented from doing so. As IGN points out, that's not much of a story. Ah well, 'tis Friday.