By on April 25, 2008


According to Reuters UK, Sony's senior producer for Gran Turismo has revealed that Japanese consumer electronics giant has changed the videogame's, uh, emphasis. Taku Imasaki says "Our goal is to become another medium for car companies [to run ads], like magazines and TVs." The admission comes hot on the heels of a "teaser installment" of "Gran Turismo 5 Prologue," for PS3 (the full version of the driving simulator is due next year). Embedding automakers' ads into the game is just the beginning. Imasaki-san says "Ideally we could become the MySpace or Facebook for auto enthusiasts." As Sony's PS3 is fully net compatible, the commercial opportunities are endless (e.g. "click here for a real world test drive."). There's no word [yet] on more "subtle" if fast becoming "traditional" in-game advertising– background billboards, sponsor decals, architectural features (gas stations?). It appears that some of the world's best cars are already powering down that slippery slope. 

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11 Comments on “Gran Turismo 5 to Become “Facebook for Enthusiasts”...”

  • avatar

    Gran Turismo 5 is brilliant! I bought a copy and love it!

    The only way I can drive such wonderful cars without having to buy them!

    Mind you, I don’t know about GT5 being a Facebook for Auto enthusiasts…..isn’t that what TTAC is for….?

  • avatar

    Had I the disposable income, I would buy a PS3 just for Gran Turismo 5. I am still readily addicted to GT4 for my PS2… After years of playing, I am only 46% done.

    Also, the “Facebook and Myspace for car enthusiasts” thing is because of a certain amount of interconnection between your “Garage” (home) and any other person’s “garage”.

    I wonder if the game offers a “friend finder” or anything of the like to find local car fanatics as well?

  • avatar

    As an Xbox 360 owner, I guess I’ll stick with Forza, which isn’t bad at all. Still have fond memories of Gt, GT2, and GT3, though.

    As katie said, the only way to come anywhere close to experiencing those amazing cars.

  • avatar

    GT5 Prologue is well worth the money if the real game is still a year away. The graphics are almost as big a step up as GT3 was from GT2 in 2001.

    There is a documentary included on the disc quoting the creator of the game as saying that the current version is “10-15% of his overall vision” for the future of the game.

    Even without the facebook style interaction….it’s damn addicting!

  • avatar

    Forza already lets you network through xBox Live

    you can design, trade, and auction your cars

    you can also post scores and view other’s scores for specific tracks and in specific car classifications – the world over.

  • avatar

    I don’t want to turn this into ‘Forza vs. GT’ debate, but I’ll stick with my Forza franchise. Gran Turismo is truly a great game, but it loses its realism when you bounce of other cars instead of crashing.

    That being said, I much prefer GT5s inclusion of the actual cockpit graphics.

    I’m looking forward to Forza 3 now that Gran Turismo 5 has raised the bar.

    Like anything else, compitition has improved the breed as a whole.

  • avatar

    I love Prologue. Even with the awful, awful drivers in online mode (you can’t follow a clean line or you’ll be knocked into the weeds), it’s still a blast. It is also a brilliant marketing platform.

    BMW must have paid for product placement — you are forced to drive the fat new M3 to get the A license, and you get a free 1-series Tii for winning the B license. I would rather have that be the profit model than Sony’s original idea of nickel and diming you to death with “Download the Lamborghini Gallardo for $5.” Kinda like Rock Band.

  • avatar

    Lol…in an article about GT5, 3 out of 6 talk about Forza.

    Forza is a great game, and in some ways, GT5-Prologue isn’t even as fun. But GT5 doesn’t disappoint in it’s stated goal as “the real driving simulator”.

    It’s obvious that the GT5 creators are complete car fanatics. They spent weeks recording the engine and tail exhaust sounds of each car at different RPM and load. They designed the center console for the GT-R, for heaven’s sake. The attention to detail is obsessive.

    I’ll leave it to the American-bashing-but-otherwise-awesome Jeremy Clarkson to say the rest (found in the wiki entry for gt4):

    “So Sony is on to a winner. It can make all sorts of bold claims about how its Gran Turismo cars are the same as the real thing because no one will ever be able to prove it wrong. […] I am in a position to test out its claims because, unlike most people, I really have driven almost all of them in real life.

    There are mistakes. The BMW M3 CSL, for instance, brakes much better on the road than it does on the screen. And there’s no way a Peugeot 106 could outdrag a Fiat Punto off the line. But other than this, I’m struggling: they’ve even managed to accurately reflect the differences between a Mercedes SL 600 and the Mercedes SL 55, which is hard enough to do in real life.

    There’s more, too. If you take a banked curve in the Bentley Le Mans car flat out, you’ll be fine. If you back off, even a little bit, you lose the aerodynamic grip and end up spinning.

    That’s how it is. This game would only be more real if a big spike shot out of the screen and skewered your head every time you crashed.”

    Any car enthusiast who doesn’t buy GT5 is cheating himself/herself, and I think GT-TV, and GT-Facebook will be a big hit.

  • avatar

    Forza is a fun, difficult game, but it’s never given me the sense of actually being there like my ancient copy of GT2 did, even with its crummy graphics.

    When I drove an unmodified Honda Civic sedan in GT2, it drove like my actual Honda Civic sedan. When I drove the Mercury Cougar in GT2, it felt amazingly like driving it’s real-life sedan sister ship, the Ford Mondeo/Mercury Mystique V6. Exhaust note, torque steer, good grip, numb steering, everything was eerily similar to real life.

    In fact, it was even better, because the GT2 Mercury Cougar didn’t run through $1,000 alternators twice a year, like my ‘Mystaque’ did.

    GT also has a better stable of cars, and it has much more background and history about the cars, manufacturers, and performance shops.

    I’d almost get a PS3, if I had the bucks, just for GT5.

  • avatar

    Too many things have annoyed me in previous GT games, not nearly as much in Forza. I hope GT5 is even better than Forza2, i don’t care what game it is as long as the games keep getting better.

    Though for sense of speed, Colin McRae Dirt is still the game to beat IMO. And i like the fact that the car is totaled with one crash pretty easily. Knowing that, it’s pretty damn fun to race a 131 Abarth or an Escort on a tight gravel road with ups and downs and blind corners and high grass and trees on the side. With the occasional bump or rock to throw you on your roof if you cut the wrong corner, and then driving looking thru a broken windscreen.. Or missing the apex and plowing straight into a tree instantly wrecking your car. Or driving the full Pikes Peak online with some good players.

    Or give me Test Drive Unlimited with Forza physics.

  • avatar

    Here’s more fuel to the fire

    The sony playstation control doesn’t allow fine brake and throttle modulation like the x-box triggers

    I guess its moot if you have one of those fancy sim setups with pedals and a wheel, but Forza allows more fine control beyond “FULLY MASH THROTTLE” or “FULLY MASH BRAKES” – it allows you to ease back onto the throttle coming out of a turn.

    Also, realisitic crash physics FTW

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