Well, it's not long after 9am and I haven't been to bed yet. Sony's TGS conference finished just over two hours ago, and after a pretty slow start, I finally got what I stayed up for. Apart from new trailers for The Last Guardian and the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Collection, what I was really interested in was seeing what Polyphony Digital had left to reveal about GT5, which is my most anticipated game for years. Did they disappoint? Did they ****.
The biggest new feature is the dynamic weather system. It's been semi-confirmed before, but now it's official, and even in the low quality video, it looks absolutely stunning. Check out those rain effects!
We also saw some more of GT5's online features, more specifically the 'My Home' section. Here you'll be able to do things like check messages, view your profile, view saved photos, etc. There's even a Twitter-****message system, complete with a 140 character limit.
Twitter-****messages + other options:
After the conference was over, there was a GT5 breakout session which revealed even more information, with all the key stuff kindly summarised over at GTPlanet (my favourites in bold):
- Laguna Seca has been completely rebuilt and will return for GT5.Trial Mountain has also been confirmed.
- "Gran Turismo Anywhere" will allow you to manage B-Spec races, right from your computer. You'll be able to hold B-Spec races with your friends from anywhere in what are called "Remote Races".
- GT5 will feature a series of special events such as the Karting Experience, the AMG driving school, The Stig Challenge, Jeff Gordon NASCAR School, Sebastien Loeb Rally Challenge, and Gran Turismo Rally.
- Point-to-point rally stages will be automatically and randomly generated – you'll have to depend on your co-driver to give you the best instructions about the road ahead.
- Rally mode can be played either on or offline.
- Weather changes include temperature differences, air pressure changes, and humidity, affecting the surface conditions of the track dynamically.
- Weather conditions are randomized. Forecasts for your race will be available but may not be entirely accurate, just like the real world.
- Polyphony Digital has helped Red Bull Racing's Adrian Newey design the X1 Concept – an "ultimate" racing car, free of any technical regulations.
- Polyphony Digital has worked to improve engine sounds.
- Yamauchi admits that, in certain situations – such as standing race starts in the rain with 15 other cars on the screen kicking up spray in front of you – the game may not be able to hold 60FPS. Otherwise, it will strive to hold 60FPS as often as possible.
- The Volkswagen Kubelwagen, which has a drive system like the first beetle, and the amphibious Volkswagen Schwimmwagen will be in the game.
- Many things didn't make the cut in Gran Turismo 5, and work on Gran Turismo 6 has already begun.
All in all it's been a pretty good day to be a GT fan.
Not long to go now :)