Yamauchi opens up on Gran Turismo

Producer completely focused on the racing series, GT5 Prologue only at "halfway point," PSP version not due this year.

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Fans of Gran Turismo can sleep easy at night; the PlayStation's quintessential driving game is in safe hands. Gran Turismo's creator and producer, Kazunori Yamauchi, spoke candidly with GameSpot UK today at Sony's Three Rooms venue in Central London about Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and the long-awaited Gran Turismo 5, and reconfirmed that a PlayStation Portable version of the game and the mysterious Gran Turismo for Boys are still in the works.

Talking about the two vaporware titles, Yamauchi confirmed they're both still on the radar. He said, "Gran Turismo for Boys will most likely become a service within Gran Turismo 5, and for the PSP I don't think we'll be able to make this year."

When asked what's next for the Gran Turismo following GT5 Prologue's European launch, Yamauchi said that, "first off, GT5 prologue is only at the halfway point to its completion. So in the next update there will be many more features added to the game. From that point to Gran Turismo 5, there's just going to be a lot more quantity in terms of cars and of the tracks as well."

GameSpot asked if the development of GT5 Prologue meant a longer wait for the eventual Gran Turismo 5, and Yamauchi answered, "This is true, but creating games on the PS3 is so much more difficult than we imagined at first and it took us three years to get here, and I hope our fans understand that we're trying our best and will be moving forward [on GT5] from here on."

Yamauchi also stated that his team at Polyphony Digital is and will be completely engrossed in Gran Turismo for the foreseeable future. He said, "We want to do other things, and I have some ideas but we don't have any resources and time to do anything else right now, we're focusing on getting Gran Turismo evolved and moving forward and also [Gran Turismo] for the PSP as well."

While Yamauchi steered clear of discussing what the challenges were for developing on the PS3, he added that he thinks the PS3, "is finally at a level that is suited for expressing the beauty of cars, and I think that's the interesting part of developing games on the PS3."

Yet perhaps the most curious fact of the day is that Mr. Gran Turismo doesn't compare his craft to those in the next-door garage. Yamauchi confessed, "I've never played any other [racing] games besides Gran Turismo, so [I] wouldn't know about those, but in the past before Gran Turismo, there are games that were on the Commodore Amiga--a game called Grand Prix--that's one of the games that I think has some influence on Gran Turismo."

The full interview with Yamauchi-san will be broadcast soon on GameSpot. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is out now in Europe and Australia, and will arrive on US retail shelves on April 15, and in downloadable form over the PlayStation Network on April 17.

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