It's unusual for a game to launch on a Wednesday in Europe. Then again Gran Turismo 4 is a pretty unusual game. Enormously popular almost by default, it's the most detailed and extraordinarily vast racing simulation available on the PlayStation 2, and the gains made by developer Polyphony Digital since GT3 have made for a more accessible, rewarding and varied experience than ever before. Team leader and series creator Kazunori Yamauchi was in London last week to celebrate the launch, and we took the opportunity to ask him about the proposed online version, the competition, next-generation games development and PSP title GT4 Mobile.
That's an area we're still thinking about.
Yes, that's still undecided. Maybe this year.
There were lots of reasons. The game itself is huge in volume, and we felt that the online services were not ready to support the online game, and so the decision was taken to first allow people to play and experience the volume of GT by instead providing it offline.
First of all, my feeling aside, the users feel that Gran Turismo is different, and that their aims are different also. GT has kept to its simplicity and has aimed to improve its quality and try to bring it to the highest possible standards, and based on these high quality standards there are possibilities for the future where we will be implementing lifestyle aspects such as street racing and modifications. Currently GT allows for lots of freedom for players, for GT to have many faces, many characteristics maybe, there are possibilities where that will grow in the future.
Areas such as modifications to cars are areas that I'm always interested in, and I've always wanted to include them, but to include them in GT4, I felt that the overall quality would have been reduced. I'd just like to remind you that there are 700 cars in GT4. To maintain the quality we have achieved in the game would not have been possible if we had allowed users to modify the cars.
Exactly. Games must not rely on hardware specifications, but on the creativity of the developers.
That thought has not changed at all. I would still like to do something.
Yes. Within Polyphony Digital. There is a plan which is proceeding. But I'm also thinking that it will take at least three years to show something, and then another additional period to allow it to be readied for release.
Firstly, the answer is no. The PSP game will not be the same experience. Secondly, whether you will be able to play against each other wirelessly, the answer is yes. I've changed the focus of the PSP version of the game. The focus is on playing together.
Thanks to Kazunori Yamauchi for answering our questions. Gran Turismo 4 is out now on PS2 and reviewed elsewhere on the site.
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