Gran Turismo 7 was revealed during Sony’s recent live PS5 event. The next installment in Polyphony Digital’s racing series, Gran Turismo 7’s trailer played a scene from a car’s cockpit, presenting a new UI and decent graphics. This is the first Gran Turismo since 2017’s Gran Turismo Sport on PS4 PS4. No release date was announced, but it’s likely it will launch holiday 2020 if not early 2021, according to the usual time gap between GT games.
A Campaign mode, a feature GT Sport fans have requested since its launch, is confirmed for GT7. Gran Turismo founder Kazunori Yamauchi appeared on-screen before the GT7 showcase, saying, “Today I would like to share with everyone some information about the new Gran Turismo that we are very excited about. I think this new Gran Turismo should make fans very happy, especially with the campaign mode. It should be something fun to look forward to.” The home screen shown in the trailer displays missions, a school, special events, and championships.
GT Auto is a paint and body shop whereby players can wash cars or change oil. It’s seen on the in-game map menu. Whether GT7’s version works the same is unknown, but the Youtube description mentions a livery editor. The used car dealer is also returning, though it’s uncertain what function it’ll provide. Maybe it’ll include older vehicle models.
Vehicle tuning, a long standing feature missing from Sport, is returning for GT7 as well. The system seems to work as before, allowing players to spend credits on parts and upgrade any vehicle until performance standards are met. Tuning parts shown in the video include tires, brakes, suspension, flywheel, exhaust, ECU, intake filter, sports catalyzer, and close-ratio transmission. These are under the “Entry” level tab, though, while other tabs such as “Extreme” suggest more powerful upgrades, such as turbochargers, may be unlocked.
Another feature missing from Sport, Trial Mountain, returns with the entire video clip taking place on this circuit. Trial Mountain’s return could mean the same for other fictional tracks like Deep Forest and Grand Valley. A longer clip provides an indirect preview of other circuits. The GT World menu shows Northern Isle Speedway, Blue Moon Bay Speedway, and Willow springs, all GT Sport tracks. Daytona from GT6 makes a return as well. Red dots on the map signifying circuits reveal more are returning from Sport.
A list of brand new cars will be available, including the BAC Mono, a single-seat British car shown in the gameplay footage, and the Porsche 917k. Cars from previous games are coming, such as the Mazda RX-Vision. GT fans will be happy to know the Porsche Carrera GT is making an appearance in addition to a growing list of Porsche models available in Gran Turismo.
Performance points are back to fix GT Sport’s car balancing issues. Road cars in Sport were slotted into power-based classes, which led to odd results in which vehicles dominated races for their class. GT7 brings back the Performance Point (PP) rating from GT5 and GT6, giving cars an on-track performance rating based on factors including power and weight. Newer vehicles will have a higher PP value by default than older alternatives. The PP system wasn’t perfect,but seems to play well with Sport’s N-class.
Gran Turismo 7 PSVR support is likely. Yamauchi has stated VR is one of the areas that benefits most from the new console hardware. It sounds as though he may have first-hand knowledge. Yamauchi states, “The first thing that’s going to be affected by more power is VR. I don’t think that there’s anything else that requires that much processing power. I really like VR; I’m one to believe in the possibilities of it, and it’s very suited for a driving game.”
As a PlayStation exclusive series, Gran Turismo’s future surely involves PlayStation VR or the unannounced PlayStation VR 2. While the press release didn’t show VR footage, Yamauichi’s statement implies Polyphony Digital is dedicating time to working with VR on the new hardware. A racing sim is the best staging ground for a virtual reality game as playing in a cockpit and spectating through a windshield is more comfortable than blindly moving around with cables.
The future of Gran Turismo looks bright as Polyphony Digital works on all the negative aspects of their last iteration. Gran Turismo 7 is taking the best from all the games in the series and wrapping it into a well oiled machine. Fans should keep an eye out for further news, especially regarding VR. It’s possible GT7 could launch alongside PS5 and PSVR 2.0 as a debut title for both technologies.