As the world and its leather-gloved dog prepare to wrap their eyes round Gran Turismo 4 next week, Konami of Europe has announced Enthusia Professional Racing for PS2, which seemingly aims to compete with the Kazunori Yamauchi's renowned 'driving simulator'. Well, that's not expressly what it says, but you can't really put "the most realistic racing game to date" in your PR and hope to avoid comparison.
In development internally at Konami and due out next year, Enthusia Pro Racing is certainly ambitious. From what we've heard, its most interesting feature seems to be the Visual Gravity System, which aims to convey the sense of speed when zooming around racetracks by visualising the effect of the pressure exerted on the car during racing.
Enthusia's pursuit of realistic driving won't be limited to the VGS though - it also has hundreds of cars from 40 manufacturers on the books (driven and captured in real life by the dev team, apparently), stage-by-stage tuning, on-the-fly info about handling, tyre traction and the like, and it makes use of the pressure-sensitivity of the analogue buttons on the PS2 pad to allow for precise handling of acceleration and braking. And, like the GT series, Enthusia will support the GT Force steering wheel from Logitech.
We're also told to expect single and two-player racing, AI that varies up and down the scale (with a view to making the game approachable for novices and yet challenging for experts), multiple camera views (first, third-person, behind the wheel, etc) and variable weather conditions, as seen in the five screenshots released today.
We're expecting to hear more about Enthusia Pro Racing in the near future (guess when), but if it's already caught you eye then you might want to bookmark the game's official website, which ought to be alive with information very soon.