F1 E3 2005 Preshow Impressions

Sony puts F1 first in its PS3 game demo reel. We're there to see it and get our impressions.


Formula One Championship Edition

Today's Sony teaser trailer of games currently in development for the PS3 began with a Formula One-style bang. Sony's currently untitled F1 game was the first over the start/finish line in the demo reel, setting the tone for the rest of the footage with its high-octane speed and absolutely ear-blistering sound.

The demo footage begins in the cockpit of a Ferrari, a team that until very recently has been the dominant force in the sport. As your virtual head scans back and forth, you watch as some of your crew members check your tire pressure and generally prepare you for the start of the race. A helicopter flies over the course, and your virtual eyes follow it as it flies by. A few more shots of the grid follow, showing teams like current constructor's championship points leader Renault, as well as Toyota and Sauber. The cars have a spectacularly realistic look to them--not overly shiny but wonderfully solid in appearance.

As the lights go out and the grid takes off from the starting line, the camera pulls back to the familiar angle of an F1 standing start. Cars rocket off the line, the tires smoking probably a bit too much to be realistic in these days of traction control. The cars jockey for position heading into that crucial first turn, where many races are won or lost. One car even stalls at the start, a fairly common occurrence, and the cars behind the stall struggle to get around it.

The scene then cuts to a shot of Ferrari fans doing the wave in the stands--suggesting that perhaps the track shown in the demo is San Marino or Monza (two traditional Ferrari fan strongholds). A shot of a Fernando Alonso pit board is followed by a yellow and blue Renault (perhaps Alonso himself?) spinning off the track as he comes out of a turn and slaps into a wall. The camera then cuts to a cockpit-view shot of the Renault driver, as well as a shot of the right front tire crumpled in after the shunt. A final handful of scenes shows a Ferrari speeding down a straightaway while its front tires lose traction on the tarmac, followed by the traditional champagne celebration that ends every F1 race.

As great as the graphics look in this F1 title, the sounds are nearly as impressive. The screaming whines of the V10 F1 engines are present and accounted for, along with a punishing "bumpity-bump" as cars pass over the rumble strips on the side of the tracks at upwards of 150mph. All in all, it's an impressive graphical and audio package.

There's no word yet whether this PS3 F1 game will be coming to the States yet, as F1 seems to be falling somewhere behind lawn mower racing in the American viewing popularity. Still, we'd love to see more of this title and hope to bring you more information as we approach the PS3 launch.

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