On the day that Gran Turismo 5 was supposed to be on store shelves, Polyphony Digital head Kazunori Yamauchi indicated that it had just gone gold. In a November 2 interview, the notoriously perfectionist developer said that "the discs are being stamped as we speak."
Yamauchi did not, however, give a release date for the long-delayed racer, which was first teased at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo. In another interview from the SEMA auto show in Las Vegas, he told Autoweek magazine that, contrary to online retailers' listings, he expects Gran Turismo 5 to arrive before Christmas.
"There should be an announcement soon," he said.
More interestingly, Yamauchi said that work has already begun on Gran Turismo 6. While he was short on details, he did drop a hint at the scale of the project. "It's not something that we can talk that lightly on," he said. "It took 2,000 days to get all the ideas that went into GT5. It's just too early to be talking about GT6."
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.