Games: Sony's forthcoming petrolhead pleaser Gran Turismo 7 previewed
Preview: Gran Turismo 7 (PS5)
IN AN age of milking successful franchises, it's amazing that we've had just six Gran Turismo games in 23 years – and only three during the 15-year lifetime of the rival Forza franchise.
Slithering out of Sony HQ with all the urgency of Tim Robbins escaping Shawshank, GT6 released on the PS3 back in 2013, while the PS4 didn't even get a 'proper' entry. But the wait for Gran Turismo 7 is nearly over: what would have been a killer PS5 launch title will instead hit the virtual tarmac this year, and I suspect it won't be long before we're donning our driving gloves for Sony's latest dose of gearstick porn.
A series which takes pride in its anal attention to driving detail, Gran Turismo wrote the rulebook on driving sims, with flawless recreations of every jalopy right down its lug-nuts.
And, being a numbered entry, GT7 won't skimp on road or rides. There's no confirmed garage just yet, though the number of returning GT Sport cars suggests a garage at least equalling its 336-vehicle count.
While no new metal has been revealed, eagle-eyed fans have pored over a brief trailer with the kind of forensic precision Sony invests in the games, spotting a Porsche 917K, the BAC Mono and Carrera GT, while its globe accounts for every real-world GT Sport circuit. The only track seen in action is fan-favourite Trial Mountain, returning after its absence on PS4.
GT7 also marks the return of the machinery-hoarding Simulation Mode alongside a traditional campaign, as players start off as gas-guzzling greenhorns, progressing through licenses and events to open up higher levels.
Polyphony Studio's CEO Kazunori Yamauchi has said the team are "applying an incredible amount of attention" to the finer details.
"We don't want to make concessions on anything – we want to deliver the best to everyone."
With PlayStation 5 pushing the polygons, the game itself has a supercar engine. Expect 4K resolution, 60fps gameplay and every hint of chrome burnished with ray-traced reflections. Lickety-split loading times are a given, while the controller's haptic feedback means your pinkies will literally feel the acceleration and ABS in action.
Of course, Gran Turismo will face stiff competition from Forza Motorsport, which is going back to its roots this year as Microsoft drops the eighth instalment of its flagship Xbox racer. But with nearly a quarter of a century in the business of 'brrrum', Gran Turismo 7 looks set to be a title so realistic you'll feel guilty for playing it drunk, and a triumphant, overdue return for the 80 million-selling petrolhead-pleaser.