Gran Turismo 5 hits Japan March 2010

TGS 2009: Long-awaited PS3 racing sim gets a release window across Pacific, ruling out 2009 release; PSP saves to unlock cars on PS3; special Gran Turismo-themed PSP bundle revealed.

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TOKYO---It was almost two years ago that Sony and Polyphony Digital gave consumers a quick feel of Gran Turismo 5 with their Prologue teaser disc. Finally, the full product will be making its way to stores. At the Tokyo Game Show's Sony Computer Entertainment conference, Polyphony Digital president Kazunori Yamauchi revealed that Gran Turismo 5 has been set for a March 2010 release in Japan. The date rules out a 2009 release in North America and Europe for the racer, which was first teased at Sony's Electronic Entertainment Expo press briefing way back in 2005.

Beware the Ides of March…in Japan.
Beware the Ides of March…in Japan.

But before the PS3, Sony's PSP handheld will be getting its own bit of the racing action. In Japan, Gran Turismo PSP will be released on October 1 in both UMD (5,480 yen, $60) and download (¥4,400, $49) form. The release coincides with Sony's just-announced PSP-3000 price cut, and as expected, there will also be a bundle slightly more tricked out than the one announced in the US at the beginning of the month.

The special "Racing Pack" bundle, priced at ¥22,800 ($251), will include the Gran Turismo PSP UMD game disc, a special color PSP-3000, a Gran Turismo pouch and strap, and a 2GB memory stick pro. The special color PSP is based on the Piano Black PSP-3000, but with color changes made on the L/R buttons and the handheld's back ring to make it look like a car muffler. There's also a Gran Turismo logo in the front.

It seems that gamers who pick up Gran Turismo PSP will be able to get a head start on the PS3 game. Yamauchi revealed during the conference that players will be able to take the data of their unlocked cars from their Gran Turismo PSP game and use it in Gran Turismo 5.

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