Gran Turismo PSP Updated Hands-On

Gran Turismo for the PSP looks and plays like a GT game, but it has some significant differences too. We investigate in our latest look at the game.

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You could have knocked us over with a PSP Go when, at E3 2009, Sony announced that Gran Turismo for the PSP would be coming out after all. The long-delayed project--first announced in 2004--seemed to be relegated for vaporware status until this year's bombshell. At E3 we got a chance to play the game for the first time, and at last night's PSP even in San Francisco, we got some more time behind the wheel of this handheld driving game, which will be released on UMD and for download on October 1.

Tons of tracks and cars makes GT for PSP the most content-rich GT game yet.

What surprised us right away was the game's handling. Whether using the D pad or the analog stick to steer your car, we found the handling to be surprisingly nimble, without being overly sensitive. This makes the tightest corners on some tracks a bit more difficult to handle than you might expect--you have to slow down more than you'd think to whip the car around the turn--but for the most part the cars handle beautifully, and as you'd expect from a GT game, the game does a fine job of making each car feel different. This despite the obvious lack of rumble support, which we'll admit detracts from the overall driving experience somewhat, especially when driving over rumble strips on a race track.

The approach of the PSP version of Gran Turismo is different than that of the traditional console games. Unlike in previous GT games, which required you to slog through license tests to gain access to races and tracks, the PSP version unlocks everything (except for the car collection) from the get-go. All tracks (which run the gamut from the fictional Gran Turismo classic tracks to real-world circuits like Laguna Seca, Fuji Speedway, and the Nurburgring) are opened from the get-go, and in place of running through a series of specific events, you can choose to run a race or time trial at any location. As you complete races, you'll unlock more difficult versions of the track--"difficulty" here doesn't mean different layouts for a particular track; instead, it refers to the level of AI competition you'll run against when racing on that circuit.

Winning events in single-player will earn you so-called "intelligence points" for an AI driver you can use to enter multiplayer races on your behalf. The more races you win, the more skilled your AI driver will be behind the wheel. Why you would want to enter an AI driver in a multiplayer race is beyond us, but as Sony producers told us, the basic idea is so that you can watch the race as it happens, watching the AI driver's line in the hopes of improving your time around the track. The real fun in multiplayer, of course, is in actually playing against a friend, and the game gives you a few race types. There are Professional races, which are for serious GT fans who want to race cars as realistically as possible; Buddy races, where you have control over specific settings and handicaps you can set for either driver; and finally Shuffle races, which put both players in random cars of the same class and let them hit any of the tracks in the game. Before each race, the player who came in first in the previous event will be handicapped in order to encourage tighter racing.

You'll earn cash in both single- and multiplayer events that you can use to buy cars from the massive 800-car-plus roster, which include everything from humble commuter cars to top-of-the-line production models from Ferrari and purpose-built racecars as well. As your car collection grows, you can tag certain cars to your "favorites," which you can quickly access before a race begins. While GT for the PSP won't have the extensive customization and tinkering options you'll find in console versions of Gran Turismo, you will be able to change basic car settings--things like ride height, camber, and so on--before a race begins. Elsewhere, the game will have a series of specific challenges you can play to earn gold, silver, and bronze trophies--these are essentially the same as the license tests in the GT console games and will test the entire gamut of your driving skills, from basic cornering and braking techniques, to full-course sprints that will require the most of your technique.

With Gran Turismo for the PSP, Sony and developer Polyphony Digital look to bring a sense of approachability to a racing series that has traditionally been all about the grind. The new direction might irk GT purists, but the open-ended nature of GT for the PSP might be better suited for the handheld fans, many of whom will only be playing the game in bite-size chunks anyway. Besides, there's always Gran Turismo 5 for the purists. We hope to see more on GT for the PSP and GT5 next week during the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, so stay tuned to GameSpot for more.

Discussion

61 comments
koji109
koji109

Hmm, i can see this getting a 7.5 to 8, it's a fair score IMO. To be honest I don't really care much for career mode, but A lot of others do. I still will pick this game up no doubt about it. It still looks awesome to play. But this still could have made it so you could download other people's ghosts and multiplayer. Maybe they'll give an update later on the future? =S

profileap600
profileap600

No career mode! boooo! Whoever decided to change the way GT is played is out of their mind. What a sack of garbage. The review for NFS Prostreet on other websites mislead me into thinking it was a good game. It is a $60 frisbee. Maybe gamespot will review GT and change my mind. The other websites fail.

businessfox
businessfox

aight I guess I will and see what else they have to say about these two games later on next week.

CoolKid006
CoolKid006

this game will probably get a 7.5 - 8 on gamespot if IGN gave it a 6.8. but i could be wrong.

FsLeonhart
FsLeonhart

Looks is sucks!! Waiting a long time for this? blah!!

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

I will buy the psp go, like the psp 1000, 2000 I had already, they are great, got the extra cash to buy the PSP go too, yes!

octotoke
octotoke

psp go looks sick man but I personally won't buy it because I already own a perfectly good 2000

wii_sean_wii
wii_sean_wii

for me this is a must buy for my psp.. im just debating either buying it for my psp 2000 or just get it in a psp go bundle... hmmmmmmm

octotoke
octotoke

As I understood from the E3 presentation the game is meant to be played with and against friends in order to collect and trade cars as well as race against more realistic opponents, also another main idea behind the production was its compatibility with the upcoming gran turismo for ps3 in which you'd be able to transfer your riders over from the psp which IMO is a pretty big feature and one of the aspects that will make this game. While I wait for GT5 I think I am gonna go for a stroll around nurburgring...ohh yeah maybe while I drop a dookie or something

idiom3
idiom3

While I'm sure I'll end up purchasing this because I've been a long time fan of the Gran Turismo series, I'm REALLY disappointed about the lack of infrastructure multiplayer capabilities. I know Gran Turismo hasn't been known for its multiplayer (as in, none) but in this day and age, online multiplayer should be standard, especially in racing games. Also, the fact that you'll be racing with only three other cars on the track is a big disappointment. Five years in development should have produced a better package for Gran Turismo PSP.

soulofbass2
soulofbass2

i am a fan of GT. Yes GT has great racing but not only that it has an awesome career mode and allows you to not only race but get into the shoes of a racer in a semi-realistic way. Tuning up your car with earned cash lent a sort of RPGish quality to the game. If the PSP is going to withdraw some of the features I love about GT (tuning, career,licences that coungt) I won't buy it plain and simple. Why are psp games coming out with little to no unlockables?

mamafesta
mamafesta

with the long delay this game should be great

juberline
juberline

so they are ditching the licenses? Bad move if they do. I mean yeah they were hard to the point where controllers went across rooms but it was a nice touch that made GT different.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

@ seankane gt isnt about upgrades.....u get a car and u have to tune it to get the most out of it, and thats what makes a win even more satisfying and races more challenging.

specta1989
specta1989

There is no better racer out there for a handheld. This game is gonna keep me entertained for a long time and for people saying this is just a port of gt4, is that really a bad thing?!

fleshimp91
fleshimp91

That would Awesome! GT5 at TGS would be awesome!

shinspikes
shinspikes

Wait a minute? GT5? At tokyo game show? Really?

octotoke
octotoke

This game looks sick anyone that says otherwise is probably wrong

zunit88
zunit88

no career doesnt mean no GT.....GT is way more than a career mode and if you are a GT fan you would understand me....am 100% buying this game

Ryguy4738
Ryguy4738

I dunno. I have a love-hate relationship with racers.

seankane
seankane

I think the 'no upgrades' thing is worse than not having a career mode.

angrySanches
angrySanches

"looks and plays like a GT" It is all I need to know to get this game

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Lots of people complain about career mode, seriously if you play this game 24/7, you sure got a decent career going. find me another game on PSP that is even close to this before making any sort of judgement.

giedrius1001
giedrius1001

5 years of waiting and you get just spit on a face, no career mode equal to disaster, im very disappointed

purpleyoee
purpleyoee

this game might be alright ill get it probably

lilmp89
lilmp89

As excited as I am for the game, I was looking forward to a career mode. But, what irks me more is the odd 4 dealers a day system. It'll begin to get on my nerves more than providing more gameplay time. I really hope either the system for dealers chose is well thought out so I'm not going to get suck with repeats of dealers while the one I'm looking for never comes. At least from what I've read around, the races are well done, so I'll enjoy it nonetheless.

HeIIgun
HeIIgun

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mastodonfatguy
mastodonfatguy

O.O 4 times a day? meaning like REAL LIFE? .........this game is lame?....gran turismo and lame? ....no....way.... cant be!

JustMe2004
JustMe2004

Im quite dissapointed by this game, with no career mode, no upgrades, the 4 car dealer a day sounds stupid, 4 cars on track only (it killed TT IMO). It seems like a quick rushed port of GT4 core racing and not much else than about 70 new cars. Also sadly it seems like there will be 2 Ferraris (enzo and f1) and 2 lamborghinis (both countachs), which is absolutly lame. I dont feel there any feature that make the game be more than a quick striped port of GT4.

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

Nurburgring and 800 cars???? i'm sold. I will buy this baby on day one. Will the game have the GT-R????

OB-47
OB-47

Looks great, 800 cars on PSP! thats crazy and they also got the cool Forza motorsport arrow things. BTW why the hell did people give minuses to the brian_13un for saying 'great'?

aDhAmMe13
aDhAmMe13

Looks interesting but the whole "intelligence points" thing is really cheap.

Ang3lofD00m
Ang3lofD00m

Can't Wait for this one to come out. It had better be available for download on the ps Store.

kindredmachine
kindredmachine

The fsct that there is no career mode makes this GT Prologue for PSP... so dissapointing.

koji109
koji109

You cant rely on someone's opinion..Bad opinion at that. IGN's review was poor, plane and simple. We just have to wait till it's actually released and play it for ourselves and see how it is. And i thought this was just a pick up and play for like 30 minutes and put way. I still think it's amazing how you have the full nurbugring, Le mans track in the pom of your hand and.

Sirotis
Sirotis

I can't wait for this game

lordliubei
lordliubei

IGN's review did make this sound pretty lame. I don't care though. GT is the reason I bought a PSP. I have to try it for myself. I still think I'm going to like it.

ne0man
ne0man

why why why no carrer mode?? 5 years and still no carrer which means that this is another "prologue" with lots of cars and tracks...

ali-009
ali-009

this just something to play until GT5 comes out,this type of games is the reason i don't think about buying PSP,i have a choice to do that every year since every year is packed with great games for PS3 (even games like ultimate Alliance 2 looks like a must own),so i if i get 3 games this year,with the same money i can get PSP,and even this year,sony made me more disapointed with PSP because GT for PSP is like a mini-game for what will be coming in GT5,samething for Soul Calibur for PSP,it was more of a resized version of Soul Calibur IV so it can fit for PSP,and the samething for motorstorm and little big planet for PSP are still nothing for the PS3 games,which makes me think every year to stick with my PS3 and get new games for my growing library,but PSP is good thing to buy if you want to get a little taste of what PS3 feels like,motorstorm,little big planet,Soul Caliubur IV and MGS and more games,are resized to fit into PSP,but they all give a good result and they are nothing short from amazing even if the PS3 version was way bigger,but this game looks a bit promising.

CoolKid006
CoolKid006

Whoa. Just read IGN's review. Pretty disappointing. But hey, you can't stop ME from picking this up!

especensor
especensor

Seems like nobody here can just accept the truth that the game is nowhere near as good as it should be. Its going the way of Soul Calibur PSP. Theres not a doubt in my mind that the gameplay is fine. But seriously, the lack of a career mode is a big deal. I don't think people realise, you can ONLY time trial and single race. The multiplayer isn't amazing either, as it misses out on online. Just like Soul Calibur... To me, just for that, the game doesn't deserve higher than a 7 or 8. That being said, it is still Gran Turismo on the PSP finally. Despite being overpriced for the content I'm getting, I will probably still pick it up.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

I think IGN's review was overly critical and that this preview was a much better overview of the game. I for one am looking forward to it!