Last September, Sony Computer Entertainment announced that Gran Turismo 5 would finally go on sale in March…in Japan. Though the long-awaited game was dated only for Japan, subsequent comments from its developer, Polyphony Digital, indicated that it would also arrive in Europe and North America soon after. At a 2009 Tokyo Game Show press conference, Polyphony head Kazunori Yamauchi said the main thing holding back its Western release was Sony's marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, Yamauchi's optimism was premature. Today in a short statement on its Web site, SCE announced that Gran Turismo 5 has been postponed. "We apologize for any inconvenience," the company said, without giving a reason for the delay. Fan sites, such as Gran-Turismo.com, pegged the delay as three months, indicating a Western release might not come until late 2010.
Today's news is the latest detour on Gran Turismo 5's road to release. First teased at the PlayStation 3's unveiling at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the ultrarealistic racer will feature nearly 1,000 vehicles on over 70 tracks in 20-plus locations. Budgeted at a whopping $60 million, it is also an official licensee of several prominent racing organizations, such as NASCAR and the World Rally Championship. An early sample of the PlayStation 3 exclusive, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, was released in April 2008, garnering decent reviews.