Source: A Famitsu interview with Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi that sprung up in the Beyond3D.com forums.
What we heard: Microtransactions are a white-hot topic in the gaming biz. Publishers love them because it's an easy way to scoop up easy revenue. Gamers love them because they can pick and choose what they want to add to their game for a few bucks.
Well, that's the theory at least. Some of the more vocal gamers have expressed displeasure over the choices and prices of content, claiming that several items aren't worth what publishers are charging (horse armor ring a bell?). On the other side of things, some publishers are being forced to lower prices on online content after dismal sales. In short, the business of microtransactions is off to a cool start.
If a post on the message boards of Web site Beyond3D is true, gamers haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg. A forum member who goes by the nom de plume "one" posted his/her translation of an interview with Gran Turismo creator and Polyphony Digital president Kazunori Yamauchi that originally appeared in Japanese game magazine Famitsu.
The interview allegedly says that the Gran Turismo debut on the PlayStation 3 will come in two forms, one called Gran Turismo HD: Premium and one called Gran Turismo HD: Classic.
Premium will feature "the full graphics power of the PS3" and include 30 cars and two courses, with the option to buy more of each later. There will allegedly be one mode--a casual racing mode--that doesn't include the typical GT gameplay of winning races and acquiring cars and medals.
Classic will (racing fans brace yourself) come with no cars or courses and is basically the demo that was playable at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. According to the translation, 750 cars will be downloadable for 50 to 100 yen ($0.43 to $0.86) each, and 50 race tracks will be downloadable for 200 to 500 yen ($1.72 to $4.30) apiece. The translation also states that cars will be released on a monthly basis, with some being available in limited quantities. New modes and tuning kits may also be downloadable.
There was no mention of how much the games would cost or if they would be included as a pack-in with the PlayStation 3.
It's obvious that publishers are still a bit confused as to how microtransactions are going to sit with gamers. But if such a scenario comes to pass, Sony could have a full-fledged riot on its hands, if the scathing comments in the Beyond3D forums are any indication.
The official story: Sony had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: We're hoping bogus but abstaining until something more official emerges.