Gran Turismo 5 Gets Delayed Again
As its name suggests, Gran Turismo 5 is the fifth edition of the racing simulator series developed by Polyphony Digital. I remember the first time I got to see a Gran Turismo title, over four years ago, I found it to be the best looking game I’d ever looked at. Since then the game has evolved a lot and we’re expecting it to be released in the fourth quarter of this year.
Unfortunately for the people who were eagerly expecting the game to show up on the market, Sony, the game’s publisher, has recently announced that Gran Turismo 5 was delayed yet again. The scheduled release date prior to this announcement was November 2 for the US and releases in Japan and the UK the following day. This delay comes after multiple others. The game was initially planned for a March 2010 Japanese launch. As you can see, judging by the month we’re now in, the March unveiling didn’t happen.
Sony announced this delay on its Playstation blog but didn’t give a real reason for it. Sony’s Taku Imasaki only mentioned that: “We can confirm that Gran Turismo 5 will now be available this November 2nd, but the game’s release will be coming this holiday season”. He also took the time to apologize to GT fans for the delay but added that the game’s creator, Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make sure they are creating the “perfect racing experience”. Apparently, they’re all confident that the game will exceed expectations when it launches, but what I don’t understand, personally, is why they rushed to make an announcement and set a certain launch date in the first place, if they were planning to just go with the flow and keep working on it for months after.
This is obviously exceptionally bad news for people who were expecting Grand Turismo 5 to show up at the beginning of next month. You can only wait so long for a game before you decide that it’s taking too long to show up on the market. As a commenter noted on Sony’s blog, this whole situation can be described with only one word: “Delaystaion 3”.
GT5 was initially announced at the E3 games event in 2006. It was in development for two years before that and just last year, Yamauchi revealed that the game had cost about $60 million to develop. So six years to finally dish out a game on the market? It sounds like an insanely long time to me. I don’t know a ton of things about game development but I’m assuming that technology has changed a lot throughout those six years. Whatever pieces of the game they were left off from six years ago, they should probably be gone by now because they wouldn’t be up to date with what gamers expect from titles nowadays.
Since its initial launch in 1997, the Gran Tourismo series sold more than 56 million copies. It’s now quite important for Sony to finally release GT5, which is the biggest exclusive game for the company this holiday season. Sony will obviously need to come up with some pretty impressive titles to keep its user base and convince gamers that they are better off with the Playstation and Move peripheral rather than Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Kinect system.
According to Businessweek, most console makers usually record losses during the first few years of the development and sales of the machines, because the cost of materials takes time to drop. This is why the companies rely on software to boost their revenue. Games analyst Jay Defiaugh believes that Gran Turismo is one of the most important products coming from Sony this year. “The product highlights the graphic strength of the PS3” he said. Hopefully this will be the last time we get to see Gran Turismo 5 get delayed. Otherwise, we’re heading for a March 2011 launch, which would be over a year from the initially set release date.11