Gran Turismo Sport Features

What an exquisitely busy weekend of racing it's just been. The impossible spectacle of Macau's street races, the intermittent spells of racing that broke out in-between the showers in China for the last 2018 round of the WEC Super Season and the 24 Hours of Cota. My own Sunday started with a 3am wake-up call for the 6 Hours of Shanghai, and ended up watching an ex-BTCC Toyota Avensis slowly lunch itself over the course of Brands Hatch's two hour Race Into The Night.

Gran Turismo Sport's big new update is the best and the worst of the series rolled into one

Oh Gran Turismo, forever a series that comes up with ways to delight just as often as it comes up with new ways to disappoint. So it's been for coming up to 20 years, and so it is with Gran Turismo Sport's big July update - all of which amounts to the most profound change that's been made to Polyphony Digital's PlayStation 4 exclusive since it came out last October, a patch that alters the fundamentals while adding a suite of new features on top, with some decidedly more welcome than others.

There's good stuff in there - plenty of it, in fact. For the nerds and the tinkerers - and I'm very much talking about myself here - there's the ability to design your own overalls and helmet. It's an absolute blessing if all you've ever wanted to do is get your own Derek Bell replica helmet design in-game, all while serving up some Toyota and Denso realness with a new set of overalls that look just lovely when sitting in a Supra and hotlapping the Nordschleife. And thanks to Gran Turismo's active, talented community there's no shortage of designs to choose from online - so if there's a particular era of Alonso lid that you're after you've pretty much covered.

Under the hood there's been some significant alterations too, and indeed the biggest change made by the July update is the one that's hardest to quantify. The handling model has undergone a fairly big overhaul, and it's a noticeable improvement. This isn't the first time there have been tweaks in this department, though the changes made post-launch never quite sat right with me - cars became too pointy and too planted, but now after the July update they're much more analogue beasts, and the importance of staying on the racing line seems to have been underlined with the new tyre model.

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Gran Turismo Sport's update brings back the game you thought you wanted

On 22nd December, as a Christmas present to Gran Turismo players - and 20 years to the day since the first game in the series launched in Japan - developer Polyphony Digital released a major update for Gran Turismo Sport. Alongside some Christmas menu music done in the series' trademark lounge-jazz style, the update added a colourful selection of a dozen new cars, including legendary street-legal racecar the Ferrari F40, iconic surfer transport the Volkswagen Samba Bus, and two models of Nissan Skyline GT-R - the 90s/00s turbo hero whose success and reputation owe a great deal, like several other Japanese sports cars of its generation, to its appearances in Gran Turismo games.

The headline addition, though, was the GT League. This new campaign mode more closely resembles the classic Gran Turismo single-player experience than anything else in GT Sport. Indeed, with the names of humble race series like the Sunday Cup and Clubman Cup, it directly references the classic "CarPG" grind that dominated players' time in every previous Gran Turismo. GT League is a place to race the cars you've collected in your garage against AI opponents; it's focused on production road cars rather than race cars; and it allows generous levels of modification, meaning it is often possible to brute-force your way to victory by buying more horsepower.

That sounds like Gran Turismo to me - and it will be music to the ears of many casual fans who (as I initially did) assumed that the online-focused GT Sport wasn't for them, or who had raised their eyebrows, with not unreasonable scepticism, at its slim offering of cars, tracks and solo activities. The Gran Turismo you know and love is back!

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Black Friday 2017: This is the cheapest PS4 Pro deal since launch

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Update 3:50 pm: There's a new contender in the best value PS4 Pro bundles. Currys PC World is currently a PS4 Pro 1Tb console with Call of Duty WW2, Gran Turismo Sport and Fallout 4, all for £299.99 put together.

PS4 Pro 1TB with Call of Duty WW2, Gran Turismo Sport and Fallout 4 for £299.99 from Currys PC World

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Gran Turismo Sport's first big update introduces a more traditional single player campaign

Gran Turismo Sport is getting its first major update since its release last month, with a sizeable and more traditional single player campaign coming alongside a suite of new cars in December.

GT League is reminiscent of older Gran Turismo games, featuring a series of cup competitions and endurance races - and addressing one of the criticisms of Gran Tursimo Sport, which instead offered an in-depth and extensive tutorial alongside a series of missions.

There will also be new cars inbound, with Audi's final R18 that saw it bow out of the WEC being joined by a new Vision GT car as well as a Shelby Cobra. Alongside those headline additions, 12 new cars are also coming in the free December update, and see the return of some of the exotica and more eccentric vehicles of Gran Turismo alongside Sport's more race-tuned selection. Here's those cars in full:

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One of the more irritating facets of game consoles' generational cycle is the scorched-earth approach to peripheral compatibility. Since the business began, platform holders and their partners in the peripheral business have used new console generations as an excuse to get gamers to shell out again for new controllers and other accessories they've already bought by ensuring older models won't work with the new console hardware. It is, and has always been, a bit of a racket.

Gran Turismo has rightfully earned a reputation across the years in pushing the limits of console technology, and after some unconvincing early betas, GT Sport looks like delivering another phenomenal technological masterclass. Earlier this week, Sony unleashed a massive demo version, allowing players to sample a wide variety of events and features. It's opportunity for an early glimpse at near-final code and it's especially impressive for users with high dynamic range displays. Many games benefit from HDR, but with GT Sport, the upgrade is so pronounced and so beautiful, you're clearly not getting the full experience without it.

'The real driving simulator', runs Gran Turismo's long-serving tagline, a point of pride as well as something of a distinction - whether made consciously or not - between itself and its competitors. Gran Turismo has has always done a great job of the driving. It has not, historically, really delivered when it comes to the racing side of things, though.

FeatureGran Turismo Sport's full car list revealed

And there are some fairly big absentees.

With just over a week to go until Gran Turismo Sport's final release, the PlayStation 4 game's full car list has been revealed - and it's a much slimmer offering than we've come to know from the series in the past.

FeatureGran Turismo Sport acquits itself well in VR

Hands-on with the latest build of Polyphony's PlayStation racer.

Is there a better fit for virtual reality than the humble racing game? Ever since sampling iRacing with an Oculus Rift I've sworn by the pairing, and now have a dedicated set-up at home. There's something sublime about how the technology fits the genre - how a fixed cockpit works so well within the limitations of contemporary VR, and how a decent steering wheel solves in an instant the sometimes fuzzy control problem that people are still trying to solve elsewhere.

Just over 12 months ago, Gran Turismo Sport broke cover for the first time, and it didn't look too great. The series' long-awaited debut on PlayStation 4 was undercooked and underwhelming upon its reveal, offering what felt like only the most incremental of steps forward from the PlayStation 3's Gran Turismo 6. Now, as the beta that was promised early in 2016 has finally rolled out, things are looking much more promising for Polyphony Digital's racer. So what exactly has changed?

Gran Turismo Sport's debut, you might have heard, was far from spectacular. Polyphony's debut on the PlayStation 4 didn't just lack the spectacle you'd hope for from one of Sony's most famous developers; the demo fell flat, the messaging was mixed and the problems that have plagued Gran Turismo for generations had seemingly been left to fester. Series creator Kazunori Yamauchi has always danced to his own tune - probably the eccentric assault of a BRM V16 as it thunders up the hill of his beloved Goodwood - but the disappointing droning engine sounds found in Gran Turismo Sport back then suggested that maybe he'd fallen desperately out of touch.

FeatureThe madness of Gran Turismo Sport

Yamauchi's plan to revive motorsport comes to life - but can it save his series from itself?

This coming weekend, Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi will once again be taking to the Nürburgring in what's become an anomaly on the motor racing calendar in the modern era; a 24 hour race around one of the sport's most challenging tracks, where over 160 cars compete through the turns and trails carved through the Eifel mountains in an event that simply shouldn't be possible in the restrained, risk averse atmosphere of the 21st century.

FeatureDon't expect to be blown away by the new Gran Turismo on PS4

GT Sport gets livery editor and smart online, but old problems remain.

After a fairly long wait, we've finally got a chance to play Gran Turismo on PlayStation 4 - and it's more than a little underwhelming. Kazunori Yamauchi has said GT Sport offers a level of innovation not seen since the first Gran Turismo. Having played it for 30 minutes before today's big reveal conference, I'm not entirely sold.

FeatureUncharted, VR and what was absent from Sony's show: The Jim Ryan interview

Dissecting PlayStation's Paris Games Week conference.

Sony mixed things up a little this year, electing to skip a Gamescom that have moved uncomfortably close to E3 and choosing to have its own show at Paris Games Week in the dying embers of October. Its conference on Tuesday evening brought everything you'd expect from a big show: new announcements about existing upcoming games, and big reveals such as Gran Turismo Sport and Quantic Dream's new game Detroit.