May 9, 2006

Sony showcases Gran Turismo HD for PlayStation 3

Posted in General at 4:39 am by corneliusw

The PlayStation 3 was at centre stage during the Sony press conference yesterday, and the first game showcased was Gran Turismo HD, an updated version of GT4 which ostensibly takes advantage of the PlayStation 3 hardware.

The demo looked pretty rough and ready, with four tracks on show including Tokyo and the Grand Canyon. New features included motorbikes and crowds cheering. However we couldn’t help but note that the sound has not been updated yet, and that damage to vehicles – a long promised extra – did not appear.

We also noted that the game demo we were shown was a pre-prepared one, rather than a live play through of the game itself, despite Sony’s best efforts to try and perhaps pass it off as such. Our inner cynics might ask why they didn’t show the game in action if they were confident in the hardware (and the whole purpose of GT HD is to show the previous game taking advantage of the new capabilities.)

We were told the demo ran in HD at a resolution of 1920x1080p at 60fps, with Sony boasting that it is, to their knowledge, the first time something from a videogame has been run through to a normal TV at this kind of spec. The loading times are also to be slashed, with Sony claiming that through the use of the standard hard drive on all PS3’s to be shipped, loading times will drop from an average of 10 to 15 seconds for previous iterations on the PS2, to just two or three seconds on the PS3.

Overall, the game did look to be far into development, and the prepared demo was, whilst impressive looking, less than inspiring for all the honesty which accompanied it, and it immediately cast doubts on the state of the PS3 hardware. The game will be out “Not long after” 17 November North American and European launch of the console, which again seems rather vague and specifically non-specific. However, the previous GT iteration to come after the PS2 took a year and a half, so the benchmark is not set too high.

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