Gran Turismo 4, the fourth installment of one of the most celebrated video game racing franchises ever, will make an appearance at E3 2004. Developed by Polyphony Digital, the game will boast an advanced physics engine that takes weight, speed, friction, and air resistance into account. The graphics engine has also evolved, so you'll be able to see the reflections of other cars and static objects on the track mirrored in the glossy finish of your own car. Each vehicle will be rendered with more than 5,000 polygons, allowing for fine details down to the disc brakes behind the rims. More than 500 vehicles will be represented in the game, ranging from classic American cars like the '69 Chevrolet Corvette, to European touring sedans like the BMW M5, to the Japanese pocket rockets like the '92 Acura Integra GS-R, which have typified the series. All cars, of course, will be fully customizable with real-life aftermarket parts that range from tires to headers and exhaust systems for added power.
The game will offer 100 courses from around the world, such as Nurburgring, New York City, the Grand Canyon, Hong Kong, Tsukuba Circuit, and more. Hardcore race fans will be able to use special controllers that offer realistic shifters and a steering wheel with a full 900 degrees of rotation. Even more noteworthy is that Gran Turismo 4 will take the series online, with support for up to six players who can race head-to-head, in addition to voice chat and other community features.
Aside from online play, career and arcade modes will be included in GT4. Career mode will allow you to start with a low-end car so that you can enter races and tournaments to earn money, buy better cars, and then customize them for entry into higher- and higher-level tournaments. More than 200 different championship races will be available in career mode, and achievements there will unlock additional cars and courses for use in the arcade mode. A special GT Photo mode will also ship with Gran Turismo 4, which will allow you to travel the globe with your favorite cars so that you can set them up in photo sessions at locations like the Piazza San Marco, Shibuya, and more. These "photos" can be saved to your memory card or even printed out in full color via a USB printer.
Currently, Gran Turismo 4 is slated to ship this November for the PlayStation 2 platform. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more coverage of GT4 from the E3 show floor.