[UPDATE] For Sony's part, the pre-Christmas release appears to still be on. "We are still aiming for this holiday for launch," a Sony representative told GameSpot. "As far as the Amazon date goes, retailers have arbitrary dates that get listed to coincide with any given title's launch window if we haven't provided a specific date. So it's completely driven from their side as a placeholder."
What's more, Yamauchi indicated today in an interview with Jalopnik that, far from a delay, Gran Turismo 5 has actually gone gold. "The discs are being stamped as we speak," Yamauchi told the blog.
Original story can be found below.
Considering that Sony and Polyphony Digital first announced Gran Turismo 5 for the PlayStation 3 in 2005, it would be almost a masochistic kind of comical for the publisher to disappoint eager fans with another delay. However, following on from reports in Japan over the weekend, if recent updates to a number of US retailers' online databases are to be believed, just such a scenario may have happened.
As first spotted by Joystiq, retailers including GameStop, Amazon, and Target are now listing either a January 1, 2011, or December 31, 2010, release date for Polyphony Digital's oft-delayed racing sim. The update came after a tipster sent Joystiq an automated message from Amazon stating that the game's release date had been "changed by the publisher," with the post-Christmas date subsequently attached.
The update isn't without a touch of irony, as today is the exact day on which Polyphony had planned on releasing the game, a date that it acquired during the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo. However, in October, Sony bumped the game to "this holiday season" in the US and Japan, with its UK and Europe date schedule for "before Christmas."
Following last month's delay, Sony producer Taku Imasaki told the New York Times, "We're really close, but this was an executive decision that was made yesterday. Realistically, we thought we had a good date. We're not happy over here." He reiterated that Sony "is shooting for it to be out by the holidays. You won't see too much more delay." In Japan, Polyphony Digital head Kazunori Yamauchi commented said, "I believe we won't keep you waiting until then."
When it does finally ship, Gran Turismo 5 will feature close to 1,000 vehicles on more than 70 tracks in 20-plus locations. With a massive budget of $60 million, it is also an official licensee of several major racing circuits, such as NASCAR and the World Rally Championship. A sample of the PlayStation 3 exclusive, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, was released in April 2008, garnering decent reviews.
For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Gran Turismo 5.