Gran Turismo 3 Hands-On

Gran Turismo 3 looks to take racing games to the next level. Check out what you can expect to see in the game when it is released.

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During the E3, Sony held a press conference with Kazunori Yamauchi to discuss what gamers can expect to find in Gran Turismo 3 when it is released later this year.

Kazunori's mission in developing Gran Turismo 3 is to make it the "real racing simulator," instead of the "real driving simulator." This is something he wanted to do with the Gran Turismo series on the original PlayStation, but the system lacked the power to do the calculations necessary for render the exact AI that he wanted in the games. But with the power of the PlayStation2 he finally has the opportunity. The cars in the final version will have AI that you see in real life racing. AI behavior is being implemented where your opponents will react to moves that you do. If you put a lot of pressure on your opponent, his reaction will be to apply pressure back - easy passing will be difficult. Another example is if you cut your opponent off early in a race, he will come back at you some time later in the race and return the favor.

One of the nicest implementations in Gran Turismo are air-conditions. Gamers got the first peak of these air conditions when Polyphony made it so you can see the heat rising off the ground in the distance. Another air-condition that is being shown off at the E3 is mist. Developers have attempted to create a good mist in games before, but Kazunori's biggest problem with the attempts is that they are not very realistic. He stated that the implementation of air-conditions in Gran Turismo 3 will be very realistic and will effect the handling on the cars realistically. He believes effects such as these will be vital in the next-generation of gaming.

The game engine in Gran Turismo 3 is capable of rendering about 20 million polygons per second. Each car in the game is made up of 2000 to 4000 polygons. GT2000 has ten times the number of total polygons that GT2 has. Final texturing has been implemented. Kazunori believes that through the course of developing GT1, GT2, and GT3, his team has perfected the physics. Thanks to the calculation power of the PS2, they can have cars drive more realistically and react more realistically. Enhancements in collision detection are also being greatly improved.

Rally mode will once again be making an appearance. Kazunori strongly emphasized that the biggest enhancements in the Rally racing will be the physics. Like in other areas, the power of the PlayStation kept his team from being able to provide gamers with realistic rally driving. With the PlayStation2, areas of the physics such as the suspension are being greatly enhanced. Drag racing may make an appearance in GT3, depending on how much time the team has to implement it.

Kazunori stated several things that could possibly find their way into the game, but only if time constraints don't prevent them from doing so. The first feature he stated that he would like to put in GT3 is enhancing the multi-player mode. Instead of just split screen, he would like to make it so that gamers can race each others on two different TVs using the iLink or USB port.

To wrap things up, two new courses that will be found in GT3 were announced including a Monte Carlo city course and a Tokyo course. Kazunori's goal is to get as many cars into GT3 that were in GT2, but it is unlikely. The game looks to be coming along great with a lot of realistic features never seen before. There is no exact release date for the title yet, but Kazunori did state that development of the title was to be done before the end of the year.

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