THE LONG WAIT FOR Gran Turismo to arrive on PSP has left some racing enthusiasts truly exhaust-ed.
But now, finally, after five years of silence, Sony has lifted the bonnet on Gran Turismo PSP. The title is released this October, alongside the latest iteration of Sony’s handheld console, PSPgo. And the platform holder is keen to make up for lost time.
“As one of the most well loved PlayStation franchises ever, GT on PSP is gearing up to be a big hit,” commented Claire Backhouse, SCEE UK product manager.
The decade-old and massively successful racing franchise helped Sony conquer the home console market with the original PlayStation release of Gran Turismo in 1998. Since then the series has had three major releases and will soon be making its long awaited debut on the PS3 with Gran Turismo 5. A portable version of Gran Turismo 4 was originally announced for the PSP in 2004.
With this being a handheld release, many might expect the portable version of Gran Turimso to be sparse on cars and features when compared to its home console cousins, but that’s not the case.
The game boasts over 800 cars, 30 tracks, mission and arcade modes and player-to-player car trading via Wi-Fi.
The visuals are something to savour, with cars and tracks modelled to series’ creator Kazunori Yamauchi’s usual perfectionist standards.
“The player-to-player car trading is something that is really going to interest the PSP owner,” adds Backhouse. “The physics and gameplay are just superb – it’s a beautiful looking game.”
The last six months has seen a resurgence for Sony’s PSP with many major publishers announcing new titles for the device. With such a huge release on its hands, Sony is planning a heavy print marketing campaign that Backhouse says will also be bolstered with other above-the-line activity, such as digital outdoor, an online press campaign and extensive PR.
“Demand for this game is going to be huge, and awareness will be high due to our hefty marketing campaign,” she explains.
“For the first time you can play GT anywhere. I think that’s really exciting for fans of both the game from the previous formats, and new and existing PSP owners.”
The game will be available on both UMD for the PSP-3000 and via digital download for the PSPgo (also launching on October 1st).
As an added incentive, consumers who purchase and register a PSPgo within the first ten days on sale will be given a free download voucher for the full version of Gran Turismo.
Packed with hundreds of exotic cars from manufacturers such as Ferrari and Bugatti and countless attractive features, this automotive delight is sure to please fans and retailers.
Backhouse says: “We expect this portable Gran Turismo iteration to be a real hardware shifter – on both the new console and the original PSP-3000.”