Gran Turismo 4 has slipped from Q1 to summer 2004 according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. "It's looking like June or July now," a spokesperson was quoted as saying yesterday.
Sony has offered no reason for the delay, but followers of the game's fortunes will know that the first PS2 Online compatible game in Polyphony Digital's revered driving series has already caused problems for the developer.
Back at E3 2003, GT4 kingpin Kazunori Yamauchi confessed that the online aspect was causing problems for them, particularly in synching all the data up correctly. Since then of course, Project Gotham Racing 2 on Xbox has truly laid down a challenge for GT4 in terms of online racing, and Yamauchi-san's comment that Polyphony may never completely eliminate lag issues still rings clear in our heads.
Meanwhile, other PS2 Online developers have commented at how difficult it is to bring games online in Europe due to the differing network infrastructures for the broadband gaming service. Capcom in particular has shown how troublesome the situation can be, telling us at ECTS last year that Resident Evil Outbreak may not even make it online in Europe.
Whether or not GT4's delay is to do with tuning the online aspect though is, at this stage at least, complete speculation. All we do know is that apart from the Japan-only Prologue edition, which itself seems to be suffering problems given reports of a recall, GT4 will not be seen until "June or July" on this continent.