The Gran Turismo series almost seems like an afterthought these days, with an onslaught of new and improved Forza titles hitting the Xbox on a regular basis.
AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Hollywood and the automobile industry share a rich history. Since the first motion pictures debuted cars have played a starring role, something that’s still true today, especially on the small screen.
Virtual racing fans looking for the most realistic experience outside of a race car should start saving up their dollars. Fanatec, creator of the Porsche branded steering wheel and pedal set for gamers, has evolved one of its best products with its new ClubSport Pedals V2.
Having experienced Fanatec’s products firsthand, we undoubtedly believe that its products are as close as it gets in the virtual racing world. The first generation of ClubSport pedals featured all-metal construction, high-end technology in an industrial design package with a fairly reasonable price. Now a new version is out, priced at $250 (includes ClubSport Wheel) and offers even more for the ultimate race fanatic.
The ClubSport Pedals V2 now come in either anodized black or polished aluminum and when combined with its color kits, gamers can sport gray, orange, red, or blue colored combinations. One of the biggest improvements however is a hydraulic brake complete with an oil damper to give it a very realistic and dampened feeling. Gamers can adjust the stiffness of the pedal by replacing the silicone oil with different viscosity types and can also change the spring tension on the damper.
Another enhancement to the pedal set is a degressive clutch mechanism that now gives the clutch pedal a much more realistic feature. Again, the spring strength can be adjusted to the gamer’s liking.
Unfortunately an upgrade kit won’t be made available for current ClubSport Pedals owners, but we’re sure you can fetch a good price used on craigslist or eBay if you’re looking to upgrade. Pre orders will be up on Fanatec’s website starting in May and the company hopes to have its first shipments in America by June.
GALLERY: Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V2
Check out an intro video of Fanatec’s ClubSport Pedals V2 after the break.
While this move may come under scrutiny as Ford promoting the usage of tablets while driving, the American automaker is just hoping to take a preventive approach believing that consumers are bringing those devices into their vehicles with them regardless. ”Drivers are bringing these devices into the car already,” said Ford spokesman Alan Hall. “We’re allowing them to access the content in a safer way.”
The tablet compatibility will allow drivers to control devices such as an Apple iPad, Kindle Fire, HP Touchpad, Nook Color, and Sony Tablet S – a variety of different tablet devices – through their voice. Ford hopes that this will allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road when they inevitably have the urge to do something on their tablet.
Now we totally get the people that sit there and try to text on their cellphones while driving, but who seriously tries to access their 7-inch or 10-inch tablet while driving? Either way, at least Ford is taking a proactive approach in trying to develop technology that will make the roads safer, but maybe we just need to expedite the whole autonomous car thing if people really can’t wait to access their tablets.
[Source: Huffington Post]
There is probably no better way to attract the attention of a different demographic than by offering something for free. And gamers love free things, especially when it’s an actual game.
Sony’s newest portable handheld, the PS Vita, has only been in America for less than a month and Japanese automaker Scion has cleverly teamed up with Sony to sponsor the MotorStorm RC game for the PS Vita, and making it free for a limited time. And this isn’t just some cheesy demo with a limited playtime or courses to race through, this is the full game for free.
But of course Scion has to get something out of this, and that would be the inclusion of the custom RC version of a Scion iQ in the game. We’re not even going to complain about that, since it’s just additional content that’s free.
MotorStorm RC packs 16 unique tracks with four different racing environments as players race with radio-controlled vehicles with hundreds of customization options. Sony didn’t announce how long the promotion will be running for, so if you’ve got yourself a PS Vita, you better head off to the PlayStation Store as quickly as possible to snag yourself a free game.
It’s also 646 MB, for those wondering how much space it’ll take up on your precious, overly priced, and proprietary memory card.
Watch a video about MotorStorm RC after the break.
The team of racers assembled from the Nissan Playstation GT Academy earned themselves a remarkable honor at the Dubai 24 Hour race this weekend, finishing third in their class and 26th overall. All four drivers, Lucas Ordoñez, Jordan Tresson, Bryan Heitkotter and Jann Mardenborough, are GT Academy grads, having started out behind the wheel of virtual race cars to win the opportunity to attend the GT Academy racing program.
The team qualified the #100 car fourth in their class and despite some mechanical issues the four drivers endured all 24 hours of the race without any damage to the Nissan 370Z while earning a podium finish.
This is truly an unprecedented achievement in the world of motorsports. As we all know, it’s tough enough to earn a podium finish as a professional racer with a complete team backing you up. So to take four virtual gamers from Gran Turismo, train them – with Heikotter and Mardenborough having less than a year to go from gamer to racer – and to finish third in the class, the GT Academy should be extremely proud.
Who said video games are a waste of time?
If it’s impossible, implausible or just plain awesome and you can’t have it in real life, there’s always going to be video games to let you live out the fantasy.
Amid the buzz building around the new Acura NSX, we can’t help but think to ourselves that it would be nice to just jump in and drive the thing. No waiting around, just instant gratification like a kid in Toys-R-Us. The good news is, as you get older the toys tend to get way cooler and in this case more accessible.
Polyphony Digital, the creators behind the wildly successful Gran Turismo racing game series, have released a video featuring both the old and new versions of the Acura NSX ripping around a track. In addition to teasing the distinct possibility that Playstation 3 owners may soon get to “drive” the NSX, it features some of the key details released at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, including the fact that the car is a mid-mounted V6 hybrid using three electric motors. Gamers, power up your consoles.
Watch the video on the after the jump.
Apparently the regular-sized edition of Gran Turismo 5 wasn’t good enough for public consumption anymore. Polyphony Digital and Sony have decided to super-size the popular racing simulator, releasing a new XL Edition that’s set to hit store shelves on January 17th.
Naturally the XL Edition will include all of the original GT5‘s contents but now includes all of the updates up to and including Spec 2.0 on the game disc. In addition, those that shell out $39.99 for the game will also get a voucher that’s good for $20 of DLC content. That means you can grab yourself Racing Car Pack, Car Pack 2, Course Pack, Racing Gear Pack and/or Paint Pack.
Those that just want to impress visitors to their homes though will also be able to show off a new reversible inside cover sheet that features the Red Bull X2011 supercar.
It’s a great buy for those that haven’t taken the plunge to purchase the original Gran Turismo 5 yet.
Gran Turismo 5 will be getting an update (version 2.02) on December 20th and with it will come the addition of Toyota‘s GT 86 to the game for free. A new downloadable content (DLC) Car Pack 2 will also be available for just $3.99 adding four new cars to your collection.
The second Car Pack DLC will add the 2012 Nissan GT-R Black R35, 2010 Volkswagen Scirocco R, 2010 Volkswagen Gold VI R and the 2011 MINI Cooper S to your garage. In addition, those that purchased the first DLC will receive the Gran Turismo Racing Kart 125 SP in the 2.02 patch.
The update will also come with some interface tweaks and will award virtual racers with 10 oil change and car wash coupons.
Go ahead and start the jokes now on how long it’ll be until Gran Turismo 6 sees daylight, but the creator of the famous racing simulator franchise has confirmed GT6 is currently under development. Kazunori Yamauchi made the comments during an interview at the SEMA Show’s Gran Turismo awards, where he also spoke about the new downloadable content (DLC) for GT5.
“Of course we’re working on GT6 already and I think what really will be the separating factor is something that we can’t update through a DLC is something that obviously has to be saved for GT6. Things that we can provide through DLC we will, so that’s really the market difference.”
So how far along are they in developing GT6? We’re not sure. The bigger question now is whether or not it’ll make it to Sony’s Playstation3 or its successor, the Playstation4. And will we have to endure delays if Polyphony decides that development should take place on the next-generation console once it’s officially announced? Guess we shouldn’t hold our breath, something tells us the next generation of drivers will be the ones lining up to get their hands on this one.
If you like tuner cars, you probably love the SEMA Show. At the 2011 installment of this custom car show, you could enter your personal ride to be forever immortalized in the digital world of the Gran Turismo game. Interested? Read on!
This year, as in some previous years, Sony/Polyphony will be holding a contest to see which show car should win the prize of being included in the next game. Five categories are open for the contest, which are Truck/SUV, Asian Import, European Import, Domestic Auto or Hot Rod.
The winner from each category will then be judged by Gran Turismo creator Kazumori Yamauchi, who is a bit of a car nut himself. He will pick just one car from the five categories to be sent to the digital lab for it to be reborn in the game. This vehicle will be included in the next installation of the Gran Turismo game.
Seeing how the last game took forever to hit the market, the winner of this contest is advised to not hold his/her breath waiting to see their ride appear in the game. Find out how to enter here.
The 2011 SEMA Show runs from November 1 – 4. Check out AutoGuide’s complete preview and coverage here.
Happening right now out in Cologne, Germany is Gamescom, the world’s largest trade fair and event for video games and entertainment. And with all the passionate automotive enthusiasts in Germany, it’s no surprise that Sony wanted to make a statement in their booth by teaming up with Audi to show off a whole new way to play Gran Turismo 5. Custom built by quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm, the PlayStation Racing Simulator that’s currently setup at the booth is a full-on carbon-black Audi R8 LMS imitation race car.
The cockpit features the same bucket seat that one would find in the GT3 car, while they’ve added an additional one for a passenger to spectate. The roll cage has been simplified to make it easier to get in and out of the simulator, but players get to hold onto an authentic race steering wheel that’s been hooked up to the PlayStation 3 and enjoys full Dolby Surround Sound as they power their way through twists and turns.
What puts it altogether though are the pneumatic cylinders located where the race car’s suspension would be. This allows the virtual racer to really feel the physics of driving while in the cockpit of the simulator. That means they feel every bit of the centrifugal forces while cornering, braking and accelerating. According to reports, it took Audi and Sony six weeks to assemble the entire unit, far longer than it takes to build a real car.
Game developers never get much time off, and it looks like the development team for Gran Turismo is already hard at work on the successor to Gran Turismo 5, a game we still have yet to even touch. But now that GT5 has probably gone gold and game discs are being produced, Kazunori Yamauchi, the creative force behind the video game franchise, recently commented in an interview with Autoweek that GT6 is already in the early development stages.
In the rather lengthy interview, Yamauchi reveals Polyphony’s relationship with SEMA and discusses the process of perfecting Gran Turismo 5 and the reasons behind its constant delays. He did reveal that a new release date will be announced soon and that we could possibly be playing it by Christmas time, but we’re not overly optimistic.
But the biggest reveal came from a one-word answer to the question, “I know you’re trying to push GT5 out the door. Is development underway on GT6?” With the answer of “Yeah,” it’s no surprise that there are plans for a 6th rendition of Gran Turismo, but we are shocked that the development process is already underway.
And what we can possibly expect? Well, considering Yamauchi claims it took around 2,000 days to get GT5 the way he wanted it to be, he says it’s way too early to even speak about GT6. So let’s start the five years of speculating.
Back in September, we were teased with Gran Turismo 5′s ultimate car – Red Bull’s X1 Prototype. Then we found out that Sony was just teasing us on Gran Turismo 5′s release date. In a bid to keep up interest and try and make us believe GT5 will ever arrive, they’ve released the official photos – and a whole lot of them – of Red Bull’s X1 Prototype. If we weren’t already anxious to play the game, we most certainly are now.
The X1 Prototype features a 3.0L V6 powerplant that gets a pair of turbochargers. The result is a mind-boggling 1,483-hp with 526 ft-lbs of torque. All this will be in a 1,355 lb chassis (gross weight) with a top speed of 249 mph.
From the screenshots it also seems like Red Bull will have a bigger role in the game besides just the awesome car. It looks like a Red Bull museum will also be recreated in the virtual GT5 universe, including their famous airplane.
Needless to say, we still can’t forgive all the delays that they keep pushing out on Gran Turismo 5, but we’re glad they’re at least adding some content that will hopefully be worth the wait.
GALLERY: Red Bull X1 Prototype
Let’s go ahead and add Gran Turismo 5 delays alongside death and taxes as life’s certainties. Taku Imasaki, Producer over at SCEA has posted the following information up on Sony’s official Playstation blog:
“We can confirm that Gran Turismo 5 will not be available this November 2nd, but the game’s release will be coming this holiday season.”
“We sincerely apologize to GT fans for the delay, however, creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make certain they are creating the perfect racing experience, and we are confident that this ambitious game will exceed expectations when it launches.”
“We’ll have more information for you in the near future.”
Let’s hope by holiday season they mean Christmas this year, and not Easter or some other estranged holiday season in Japan that is unknown to us. With Google already inventing self-driving cars, we’re thinking by the time Gran Turismo 5 officially releases, we won’t even care about driving anymore.
[Source: Playstation Blog]
Everyone loves some tunes while they are driving, and now Sony’s new release of affordable car stereos ensures you always get the best audio experience while stuck in traffic.
Available for purchase in the next few weeks, the new CDX-GT650UI, CDX-GT550UI, CDX-GT350MP, and CDX-GT250MP will range in price from $80 to $160.
At the top of the price spectrum, the CDX-GT650UI ($160) and CDX-GT550UI ($130) come with a host of cool features. They both boast USB ports on their faceplates so you can connect with iPods, iPhones, Sony’s Walkman, and other USB mass storage devices, as well as analog auxiliary inputs. Also included are Sony’s ZAPPIN, Quick-BrowZer, and Jump Mode search technologies so you can quickly navigating large media libraries. To make music sound awesome, they both come with Advanced Sound Engine and Digital Sound Processor technologies.
What the CDX-GT650 over the CDX-GT550UI is SenseMe, an application that automatically organizes connected music libraries into custom mood-based playlists, as well as a Dynamic Color Illuminator that lets you illumination the keys to more than 35,000 choices and a two-line LCD screen. The GT550UI only comes with green or blue illumination color choices and a single-line display.
Following these two in price is the $100 CDX-GT350MP. It comes with the faceplate mounted auxiliary input, CD playback, and AM/FM radio with RDS display that shows artist and track information. For a bit extra, you can buy the add-ons that support satellite radio, HD radio, and iPod integration. The $80 CDX-GT250MP offers the same features as the CDX-GT350MP, but you don’t have the capability to upgrade.
Some of us real passionate gamers don’t think Gran Turismo 5 will make it to our grubby little hands anytime soon. But there’s always reason to hope that the company’s continuous delay in releasing the game is well worth the wait. This is probably not one of those highlights that makes us thankful that they delayed the release of the game, but it shows just how thorough GT5 will be.
The second generation Prius was available in Gran Turismo 4, so this isn’t exactly huge on the ‘wow’ factor, but it’s nice to know that they’re shoving in every new vehicle they possibly can to keep the game up-to-date when it’s finally released. And given just how successful the third-gen Toyota Prius is in Japan, it’s no surprise that Gran Turismo 5 will be featuring it.
It probably won’t be one of those awesomely popular cars to race, but for 3rd generation Prius owners, it’s pretty cool. We do find it thoroughly entertaining that it looks like a Nissan Versa is dusting it on the very scenic track.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius Gran Turismo 5
Has anyone ever told you that playing video games would get you nowhere? What do they known. Gran Turismo 5 is by far the most heavily anticipated driving simulator in the history of video games. So anticipated in fact that many passionate enthusiasts have lost interest with the constant changing of release dates. But nonetheless, the release is on the horizon and after $60 million or so dollars spent on R&D, we all hope it lives up to its expectations.
Mercedes-Benz UK clearly believes in Gran Turismo 5′s potential and are using it as part of their SLS AMG Rare Experiences campaign. They are setting up a Gran Turismo 5 Racing Experience at Mercedes-Benz World in the UK, where 100 lucky virtual racers will win their way into real life seat time in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. How are those 100 lucky virtual racers chosen? By their skill in Gran Turismo 5. The top 100 fastest lap times will get a spot behind the real steering wheel to drive, drift and slide around the Mercedes-Benz World track in the SLS AMG. Professional training with a driver is included.
If only Mercedes would bring this contest to North America.
Make sure to check out the promo video after the break:
It’s hard to believe that the Gran Turismo series has been around for nearly 13 years. The original Gran Turismo for Playstation was a watershed moment in video games, combining import car modifications (before they were cool) with the most advanced racing simulator at the time.
Looking back on the original is a bit like driving a car you idolized in childhood; it seems crude and a bit disappointing now, but the charm is still there; luckily, every successive game has gotten better and better, with the physics and graphics becoming more advanced and the car list ballooning to include even the most obscure vehicles.
Despite being delayed for nearly half a decade, racing game fans are still awaiting the launch of Gran Turismo 5, and Sony is throwing them yet another bone with this so-called “trailer” that features footage from all 5 games. Hardcore fans will recognize tracks like Trial Mountain and Special Stage Route 5, while seeing some neat features from GT5, like the in-car camera and NASCAR racing.
Hit the jump to see the video
[Source: Top Speed]
Even though we don’t have high hopes of Gran Turismo 5 hitting the shelves anytime soon, we’re a tad bit thrilled to see that Fanatec has upgraded their Porsche 911 GT3 RS steering wheel to accompany Gran Turismo 5 and other future-gen games.
We actually have our own Porsche 911 GT3 RS unit sitting here at the office that keeps us entertained from time to time. It’s probably the highest quality steering wheel/shifter/pedal combination out in the market. For those not in the know, Fanatec’s products are also cross-platform allowing you to use it on the Sony Playstation3 and PC. Oddly enough, the original GT3 RS we have works on the Xbox360 as well, but this release is confined to the PS3 and PC. We might have to do some digging to see if the V2 works for Microsoft’s console as well.
But regardless of compatibility, Fanatec’s products boast legitimate Porsche licensing with even a Porsche-styled USB key in the package. The aluminum ClubSport pedals feature a pressure-sensitive brake sensor and ABS-simulated vibration under braking. And since we’ve had a chance to experience it first hand, we’ll be more than glad to tell you all how realistic the experience is.
So if you’re looking for the best substitute to racing out on the track, Fanatec offers the wheel alone for $179.95, while the package including the aluminum ClubSport pedals is $319.95. We highly recommend upgrading to the aluminum pedal option, it’s definitely worth every penny. And for those with the V1 of the 911 GT3 RS wheel, like us, Fanatec is offering an upgrade kit for $40. But there’s a lot of DIY involved with the $40 kit, and since we just want to play, we’ll pay the extra $30 to have it done by Fanatec themselves. Grand total of $70 and we’re set for GT5 and the future!
The official press release is available after the break.
GALLERY: Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS V2
With a March release date for Sony’s ultra-highly-anticipated Gran Turismo 5 video game recently delayed, one Sony exec has said that the company is now working towards a Fall deadline. The idea is to have the game on sale before Chirstmas, which sounds good… if we believed anything Sony says any more.
With more hype than Avatar, the release of GT5 has been delayed more times than the closing of Gitmo and the whole situation has only been made worse by the electronics company. Since GT4 debuted in 2005, the GT5 game has been promised with numerous teasers and demos. And at this point living up to the hype is essentially impossible, unless of course they decide to release it in 3D.
Still, the Fall release date has now been promised by James Armstrong of Sony Entertainment Portugal. We won’t hold our breath. In fact, at this point we might not even hold on to hope.
Sony has just released the first screen shots from the highly anticipated Gran Turismo 5 racing simulator for the company’s Playstation 3 system and they’re, well… just ok.
Sure the widebody Nissan NISMO GT-R from Japan’s Super GT series looks incredibly mean, but we wouldn’t mind seeing a few action shots. Although to be truthful, looking at pictures and playing the game are two completely different things, so we’ll wait to get our hands on the latest GT game before passing judgment.
We do have high hopes as Sony has announced a lineup of over 1,000 cars that actually get damaged! Another unique feature is the ability for users to automatically upload their favorite replay footage directly to YouTube – something we’re certain to loathe in the not-too-distant future. As though YouTube isn’t already overstocked with personal montages, replies or covers of what you’re actually looking for, now we have this. We’ll be cursing Sony when our search for “Nissan GT-R Nürburgring” turns up a few thousand CGI videos made by virtual Stigs. But I digress…
An official date for the release of Gran Turismo 5 has not been set.