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Gran Turismo 5 Prologue First Impressions
Posted 09/23/2007 2:43 PM Post a reply Quote this post View GT2000's info
Quote:
The last Gran Turismo mini-release, HD Concept, ended up being very good. Removed from the typically dismal AI competition and focused on one very good track, Eiger Nordwand, getting the most out of every car proved very enjoyable - especially when you factored in the Drift Trial element, which took GT's exacting race model on a tour of Project Gotham-style power-sliding demands. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, which is set to debut on the Japanese PlayStation 3 Store and at retail in the region on 13th December, appears to be a lot more traditional.

Armed with a choice of a couple of dozen cars, including fancy Evo IX rally cars, TVRs and Ferraris, the Tokyo Game Show demo lets you race round Suzuka, Fuji Speedway and Daytona courses in a field of 16. Fancy pods are set up with GT Racing Wheels, while elsewhere on the stand it's possible to play with the DualShock 3. Although set to a 10-lap race, the demo is time-limited to three minutes, so it was necessary to keep coming back to form any kind of conclusion about the content.

First things first, GT5 Prologue continues Polyphony's fine tradition of terrific graphical fidelity. Although race courses rather than city or off-road tracks, and necessarily a bit sterile as a result, it's hard not to be impressed by the attention to detail in composition throughout. Cars bounce on their suspension as they glance off rumble strips, glinting in the sunlight as reflections dance across their shiny exteriors, and, even with the best part of the 16-car grid on-screen, the PS3 has no difficulty realising the entire affair at a steady 60fps, and in 1080p, as was Sony's pledge.

That said, it's as hard as ever to get worked up about the game's art design. We have seen this level of fidelity in other racing games - most notably Forza Motorsport 2 and the forthcoming Project Gotham Racing 4 - and for that reason there's a definite creeping languor about any attempt to sound excited or enthusiastic about the visuals. You know what to expect: as much realism as Polyphony can squeeze out of the hardware, but not an ounce of personality.

Making up for that somewhat is the increased personality of your racing adversaries. Over the course of a few sequential attempts at Suzuka, it became apparent that they no longer take lightly to basic overtaking manoeuvres and happily move to block. That said, they seem as susceptible as ever to the old ruse of braking late into a corner and banging off their inside to gain position and remain on-track at their expense.

Gran Turismo 5 itself is expected sometime in 2008.
The choice of tracks, too, is a little underwhelming. After the fantastic challenge of Eidur Nordwand, a return to the wide tarmac of Suzuka, Fuji and particularly Daytona undoes a lot of Concept's hard work in building anticipation - certainly in this writer, anyway.

Putting that aside, your handling, in general, sticks to the unforgiving standard set by past GTs; you either brake early and position yourself on the track correctly or you struggle to make up places, or even remain on the course. It's hard to put it into any greater context based on the relatively basic opportunity available at TGS, partly because of its brevity, although that also reflects the fact the full suite of GT5 Prologue's options has yet to be made fully apparent (we do know, of course, that there are five tracks overall, and 50 cars). Really it is the online racing element, with support for 16 players, that is likely to have the greatest impact on its value.

That it will probably have to do, too, because while Sony recently moved to reject claims that the game would launch at a seemingly prohibitive EUR 45 cost, the TGS demo was flanked by boards proclaiming the 13th December date flanked by a 4980 yen price tag. That's GBP 20 or EUR 30, which is what you might expect for a Prologue title, but still a fair whack by our reckoning, particularly given the depth to which Concept extends for free. Expect Sony to bombard us with more reasons to be interested - as well as a European date - as we build toward the game's Japanese release just before Christmas.


Source: http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=84024

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Posted 09/25/2007 3:11 PM Post a reply Quote this post View -rob-'s info
This journalist, to me, doesn't sound like someone who should be reviewing racing games. Especially when he/she compared GT5's visuals to Forza 2. I'm sorry, but that's just plain delusional.

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GT5 Prologue
Updated 09/26/2007 9:57 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
This is an excerpt from an official press release. You will notice a discrepancy about the number of cars and tracks. The tracks are listed as 5, but what they really mean is 5 locations and there will be some variations of some of the courses. For example, we've known for a long time that Eiger Nordwand has at least another variation and it seems Daytona will have two versions. Nearly every quote from PD, to date, about the number of cars has mentioned "over 40". Here they say both 30 and over 40, so how can this be? I had a TGS video transcribed and one new idea from it is that Prologue will have 16 bonus cars, so with "30 cars", plus the "16 bonus cars", we end up with "over 40 cars".

Along with the 5,000 yen price tag for a demo, the GT money-grab is about to start. The "GT TV" feature comes with its own high price. For example, every episode of "Top Gear" you watch will cost the equivalent of $1.75. In other words, if you watched just one episode of TG each week, you'd pay $91US per year. Ouch!

===================

Gran Tursimo 5 Prologue

FACT SHEET


OVERVIEW

With more than 47 million units shipped worldwide, the award-winning Gran Turismo franchise has raced far beyond a driving simulator experience; it is a global lifestyle. Setting the bar to unprecedented heights of realism, quality of design and physics technology with every product release, famed developer Polyphony Digital, Inc. continues to obscure the line between simulation and reality with the newest iteration of its blockbuster franchise, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, exclusively for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3).

Available on Blu-ray Disc (BD) and as a download via PLAYSTATION®Network, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue showcases the automotive experience that is imminent with Gran Turismo 5. Featuring over 40 meticulously detailed cars -- including vehicles by Ferrari, Lotus and Nissan -- for users to race on five beautifully rendered tracks from around the globe, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue runs in stunning Full High Definition at 1080p. Additionally, in conjunction with a robust offline experience, for the first time in the history of the franchise Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will support up to 16 players racing head-to-head online, complete with global leaderboards, to quell any question of who is the best driver in the World of GT. Furthermore, a feature called My Garage allows users to develop a personal profile page within the game and interact with other car enthusiasts from around the globe.

Dedicated to expanding the user’s immersion in automotive culture, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will feature access to Gran Turismo TV, a dedicated online channel available exclusively from PLAYSTATION Network that delivers some of the greatest motorsport and manufacturer content that television has to offer.


KEY FEATURES

    A first for the franchise, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue supports online racing with up to 16 drivers racing simultaneously on a beautifully rendered race track.

    Race 30 high-performance and exhaustively detailed cars, including vehicles from Ferrari, Lotus, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

    Race on five stunningly realistic tracks, including the Eiger Nordwand, the London City Track and Suzuka then race them in reverse and with alternative routes.

    A new physics engine delivers next-generation vehicle handling. True to the heritage of the Gran Turismo franshise, this new physics engine provides unprecedented realism and authentic handling specific to each car.

    A new in-cockpit view provides a unique perspective for racers and features a customized dashboard for each of the cars in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue

    All-new and improved opponent AI for a nail-biting race experience

    Access to Gran Turismo TV: a world of great motoring TV programming online through PLAYSTATION Network.

    My Garage is a personalized homepage feature with a friends list, chat functionality and personal game records to expand the interaction between car enthusiasts in the world of GT.

    Quick Tune facility allows you to adjust power, tires, suspension and much more.

    All in stunning High Definition at 1080p (race: 1080p-60fps, replay: 1080p-30fps)

    Photo Mode gives players the opportunity to photograph their car during the race where they can take advantage of zoom, depth of field and motion blur.


===================
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Posted 09/26/2007 10:12 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
This week, I was finally able to get an answer out of SCEA about whether they will bother trying to sell us GT5 Prologue this time. They certainly weren't interested in us with GT4 Prologue and they certainly didn't make it clear we were included in the release with any subsequent communications with us since E3 this year. Trying to get a confirmation from them was impossible: their customer service people could not give me assurance when I called on the phone; CS people gave out canned responses to letters asking about a product for which they had no information - in other words, they didn't know anything about GT5P. (Some of their staff didn't even know the name of SONY's biggest in-house game - Gran Turismo!) Not very reassuring, are they?

So, I finally found someone inside and he assured me that SCEA will release GT5P to North Americans. They have not set a date or price yet and they will release that info as soon as they can.

Finally! With the demo of the demo about to be released on-line within less than one month, SCEA needs to quickly get their act together, if this is the case. I am holding them at their word on this, until I see it on the store shelves.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Updated 09/27/2007 9:47 AM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
MasterGT wrote:
Finally! With the demo of the demo about to be released on-line within less than one month, SCEA needs to quickly get their act together, if this is the case. I am holding them at their word on this, until I see it on the store shelves.

Thanks for running them down, MasterGT. This is certainly good news! Now, I will believe the "quickly" part when I see it! Wink
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Posted 09/28/2007 1:22 AM Post a reply Quote this post View PipSqueek's info
Well, I setup my Japanese accout a few weeks ago, but, I appreciate your efforts MasterGT. Thanks for the info.
Maybe my PS3 can finally stop acting like a dust collector!

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Posted 09/28/2007 12:49 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
PipSqueek wrote:
Well, I setup my Japanese accout a few weeks ago, but, I appreciate your efforts MasterGT. Thanks for the info.
Maybe my PS3 can finally stop acting like a dust collector!
And it does that job quite well due to its piano black finish. The new Samsung TVs have the same finish and I hate cleaning it because it scratches up sooo easily.
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Posted 09/30/2007 10:48 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
There are some special microfiber cleaning cloths made specifically for plastics and there are polishes which will remove the scratches, too.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Posted 09/30/2007 11:51 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
Here is GT's release history for the major regions.
We should anticipate a staggered release again.

GRAN TURISMO

1997/12/23 (Japan) (a Tuesday)
1998/05/08 (Europe) (a Friday) nearly +11 weeks
1998/05/12 (North America) (a Tuesday) +12 weeks

GRAN TURISMO 2

1999/12/11 (Japan) (a Saturday)
1999/12/23 (North America) (a Thursday) +12 days
2000/01/28 (Europe) (a Friday) +48 days

GRAN TURISMO 3 A-spec

2001/04/28 (Japan) (a Saturday)
2001/07/10 (North America) (a Tuesday) more than +10 weeks
2001/07/20 (Europe) (a Friday) almost +12 weeks

GRAN TURISMO Concept 2001 TOKYO

2002/01/01 (Japan) (a Tuesday)

GRAN TURISMO Concept 2002 TOKYO-GENEVA

2002/07/17 (Europe) (a Wednesday) about +6.5 months

GRAN TURISMO 4 Prologue

2003/12/04 (Japan) (a Thursday)
2004/05/26 (Europe) (a Wednesday) +26 weeks

GRAN TURISMO 4

2004/12/28 (Japan) (a Tuesday)
2005/02/22 (North America) (a Tuesday) +9 weeks
2005/03/09 (Europe) (a Wednesday) about +11 weeks
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Posted 10/05/2007 9:37 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
MasterGT wrote:
There are some special microfiber cleaning cloths made specifically for plastics and there are polishes which will remove the scratches, too.


I have all manner of good quality MF clothes, from the terry type good for car detailing and general use to the smooth eyeglass cleaning type. The bottom line with that finish is that it mars way too easily. I am low maintenance on my gear, and I've seen nothing like this before. What polishes, such as brands/lines, do you speak of?

Re: staggered releases - I agree that history will most likely repeat itself... again.
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Posted 10/07/2007 11:33 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
Kerr wrote:
What polishes, such as brands/lines, do you speak of?

I have not used any of these personally, but I have seen them recommended for the PS3.

The problem is finding something that gets rid of the scratches and not add any, in the process of getting rid of the original. Whichever products you use, test them out on a small area where it can't be noticed.

TAP Plastics for cloth and polishes. Apparently the Novus polish is really good.

============

Some alternatives, such as car wax, will probably work, too.
The wax would fill in the scratches.

Clear Plastic Cleaner for all acrylic or polycarbonate plastics

Protective Sheet to stop more scratches and make it easy to dust it later. (I like this idea...)

Apparently, guitar or iPod cleaning/polishing kits also work.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Posted 10/10/2007 12:06 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
Thanks, MasterGT. I will check those items out.
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Posted 10/11/2007 11:32 AM Post a reply Quote this post View PipSqueek's info
New Kaz interview link.
"Yamauchi: Straight off the bat, I think that in terms of feature sets, Forza is ahead of us. They have more options, you can do basically anything." Wink


http://games.kikizo.com/features/gt5_kazyamauchi_iv_oct07_p1.asp

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Posted 10/11/2007 1:01 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
Kerr wrote:
Thanks, MasterGT. I will check those items out.

After reading even more comments about "polishing" products, I would be very skeptical about them. Be very, very careful applying anything to the shiny top surface.

I still like the idea of the protective sticky sheet best. Apply it once and forget about it.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Posted 10/11/2007 1:06 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
PipSqueek wrote:
New Kaz interview link.

Summary:

To start off, the interviewer is clearly an XBox and FORZA fan and composes his questions within his limited experience and knowledge of GT.

Kaz: "Nissan will unveil their production vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show later this October, so between the window of now until the end of the year, we will be featuring lots of new and upcoming performance vehicles."

In a recent interview, Kazunori stated he had never played Forza, but he clearly has seen the game and all of its parts. I can't imagine him never having picked up a controller and playing it with the game right in front of him.

He is still talking about only 16 cars on track. There is no mention of more. PD clearly needs to use a proper news release system! Kaz gives out far too much "noise" in interviews like these.

He again confirmed damage and real-time weather are on the wishlist only.

More details about Prologue's MyPage are included and refined here.

Album will let you make images and replays available, for friends to view.

GT @ Home: PD is trying to "seemlessly" link the two aspects of the PS3: the console's environment and the game's environment, but they are still working on it, so details are thin.

GT Mobile: it will come after GT5, which is planned for "next year, maybe later next year."

Controller Rumble: PD is working on it.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Posted 10/22/2007 10:54 AM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
For anyone with the Japanese GT5P demo and use it with an NTSC TV, you can use any normal TV connection (composite and up), but the screen image will be too dark because of the slight differences between the Japanese NTSC standard and ours. To compensate, adjust the TV's brightness level.

Before you adjust your TV for this, though, you should make sure the TV is adjusted properly in the first place. Use the THX Optimizer test to do this. If you are not aware of how to use the free Optimizer, use the extra instructions about half way down this page.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Updated 10/23/2007 7:29 AM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
40GB PS3 Coming Nov. 2, Price Reduced For 80GB Model
Originally Posted by Jack Tretton // President & CEO

With all the speculation and buzz out there regarding the 40GB PS3 announcements in Japan and Europe, I am very excited to confirm that the new $399 PS3 model will be coming to North America on November 2nd, making that particular configuration available worldwide. In North America, the 40GB PS3 comes bundled with the block-buster movie Spider-Man 3 on Blu-ray. Also, effective today, we’ve lowered the purchase price of our 80GB model by $100 to $499.

This move has been part of our longer term business strategy for PS3 since early on and we believe this lower priced model, combined with our broad line-up of content will appeal to a great many of you who want a lower entry price without sacrificing any of the core components of PS3. With today’s news, we’re strengthening our position approaching this holiday season and beyond with the intent to provide you with a choice and an excellent entry point into HD games and movies.

Adding to the appeal of the new retail pricing is the great PS3 lineup that will help further drive our momentum this holiday, including Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, THE EYE OF JUDGMENT, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Heavenly Sword, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Assassin’s Creed, Haze and Rock Band. And that’s just the beginning: This holiday lineup will be followed in 2008 by highly-anticipated Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Grand Theft Auto IV, Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet and, of course, PlayStation Home.

Our goal this holiday season is to make PS3 even more affordable and to offer you greater choice to suit your gaming and entertainment needs. Again, I want to thank all of you for your continued support throughout this past year and I look forward to the months and years ahead.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Updated 10/23/2007 12:21 PM Post a reply Quote this post View MasterGT's info
Kerr wrote:
Jack Tretton // President & CEO

This move has been part of our longer term business strategy for PS3 since early on


I loved this bit. So it was it their plan to have four different PS3 models available in less than one year, its first year?

1: a limited 20Gb, with B/C
2: the full 60Gb with B/C
3: the full 80Gb pack-in, with no B/C
3: a limited 40Gb pack-in, with no B/C

It took much longer for them to make just one revised PS or PS2.
At least computer design and automation made it possible.
Cheers,

MasterGT

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Posted 10/23/2007 7:44 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
MasterGT - Sorry, I didn't mean to repurpose your news post on this thread as mine, which was why I made a new post on the home page. Technical glitch that is now fixed.
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Posted 10/23/2007 7:46 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
MasterGT wrote:
Kerr wrote:
Thanks, MasterGT. I will check those items out.

After reading even more comments about "polishing" products, I would be very skeptical about them. Be very, very careful applying anything to the shiny top surface.

I still like the idea of the protective sticky sheet best. Apply it once and forget about it.


The sheet idea is probably best, I agree.

My experience with polishing shiny plastics in the past has generally been a negative one, so I think I will just be as careful as possible and dedicate one MF cloth to the purpose of wiping down the piano black surfaces I have.
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Posted 12/07/2007 4:40 AM Post a reply Quote this post View FinanceRanger's info
I had the pleasure of playing GT5P at the Frankfurt IAA and it was visually stunning, somewhat familiar (I have beat all four GT versions), but I want more. The cars were not modified so their suspension was a bit "cushy".

I cannot wait till this is released and look forward to enjoying my PS3 and GT despite all the Forza fans recommendations. I mean this reviewer as testing a demo, not full version.

**I still remember the demo of GT that came with my PS back in the late 90s, that was the game that started it all **
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