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Feature Article

Gran Turismo Sport Will Let You Earn A Real Racing License

Pave the world.

Though longtime Gran Turismo overseer Kazunori Yamauchi joined us on stage at E3 for an intimate discussion about the latest installment of his storied racing sim series--the competitive-minded Gran Turismo Sport--we also had a chance to learn more about his long-term plans for the game, the franchise, and the future of motorsports during a separate behind-closed-doors presentation later that same week. Here are six facts straight from the man himself, covering everything from online etiquette to earning a real live racing license just by playing GT Sport.

GT Sport Lets You Earn An FIA License

"We also have the FIA Gran Turismo Digital License. This is a program that provides a real motorsports license* after achieving a certain level of performance within the game. Myself, I have a motorsports license, but acquiring that motorsports license is actually pretty difficult. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of money--and throughout the world right now, there are fewer and fewer people becoming newly involved in motorsports. So this is a program that really aims to increase the popularity of motorsports in the real world.

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"To become eligible for the license, you have to complete the racing etiquette mode, achieve silver or better results in all the campaign mode events, and then maintain or exceed a certain level of driver class and sportsmanship points."

* Editor's note: Though the license you can earn through GT Sport qualifies as a "real" license, a motorsports license is not the same thing as a driver's license. A motorsports or racing license allows you to legally participate in on-track events. For more information, check here.

GT Sport Will Track Your Bad Behavior Online

"Because we're running an esport together with the FIA, we have a section where you can learn racing etiquette and behavior. In the racing etiquette mode, you're able to learn things like signals, flags, how to behave when there's a safety car, driver's conduct--all the knowledge that's required of you in a real-world motorsport, you can learn here.

"In order to enable clean, fair, safe races online, players are going to have two indexes that are going to kind of evaluate their performance and abilities. So one is the Drivers Class, which shows the speed and the strength of the driver in a race, and then the other is the Sportsmanship Points, which really indicate how their manners are, how their behavior is on the track with other cars.

"Players who drive really rough online, their Sportsmanship Points are going to continue to go down. It will come to a point where they're only matched with other drivers who drive really rough online. And then players who drive really clean races will then be only matched with other players who are able to run clean races."

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Gran Turismo Sport Will Offer Worldwide Esport Tournaments

"Together with the [Federation Internationale de l'Automobile], we're going to be running two flagship championships. One is sort of the World Cup of motorsports--the Nation's Cup--and the Manufacture Fan Cup, where manufactures are pitted against other manufacturers. One characteristic of these series is, anyone can participate. We aim to produce lots of winners. The purpose of Sport isn't really to find the fastest driver in the world like the GT Academy was.

"The winners of the World Finals are actually going to be awarded at the FIA Prize-Giving Gala ceremony, which is hosted every year to recognize and award real-world motorsports championships. So these people are actually going to be awarded alongside people like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel."

Gran Turismo Sport Could Be Considered a Full Franchise Installment

Yamauchi: "In terms of the naming, I think we actually could have called it Gran Turismo 7 because it contains so many different features. There would be no problem calling it GT7. But at the time of the announcement for this game, the main focus of the title was really the 'sport' part, so that's why I named it [Gran Turismo] Sport. Now that I look back and think about it, I think I actually could have called it 7. [Laughs]

"But as a result, this Gran Turismo… If you would think of GT1 through 6 as the first age or first era of Gran Turismo, from this title on, you could actually call it a brand new era because of the level of innovation and the level of technology that's going into the title now. So naming it Gran Turismo Sport with a new title like that might not be so off the mark."

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PS3 Was A "Nightmare" For Developers

"The age of the PS3 for us was sort of a nightmare. We really had to deal with this situation for a while where, 'This is what we want to achieve, but all we can do is this.' So there was a lot of frustration that was built up. The PS3 hardware is something that, at first glance, looks like it's able to do this certain level of things, but in actuality, it can't.

"In terms of development, it was really really difficult and the games, after all the development efforts were put into it, were very very low. I think it was just that the balance as a piece of hardware wasn't very good. But the PS4 is so good. This time we're really able to do and achieve what we want to do, so it's really fun."

Gran Turismo Was Always Intended For Driving Newcomers

"This Gran Turismo is really geared towards people who are playing racing games for the first time. The aim was not to create a hardcore racing simulator, per se. In this game, we've really gone to great extents to produce a beginners' school circuit experience. Most of the offline mode events are really geared towards people are playing racing games for the first time or people who've never driven cars before.

"And that's actually the focus that I had when we originally made the game back in 1997, but over the years, the players have become more hardcore and wanted more realism and harder games. And that's sort of the way that the game deviated. But our intent in making this title is to really rebuild Gran Turismo from the ground up so first-time players of racing games can feel the fun of driving. Driving is something that pretty much anyone can do, and if it seems difficult, that means that there's something wrong in the videogame. And that was a mistake that we wanted to correct."

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Avatar image for harrykid1
harrykid1

It baffles me that they claim to love ps4 so much yet they still haven't had 1 release on the system. If making games for the ps3 was so hard why didn't they just skip gt6 then

Avatar image for facts23
facts23

your number 5 was such a joke. personally i'm done with this franchise, no more money from my side. and i think i'm not the only one who got pushed away. so good luck for the future.

Avatar image for lvsolja
lvsolja

your damn game played like sht and handle like crap...there is no damage or customizTion and you seem to think thats cool...gran turismo 2 was the pinnacle of this franchise...3 was pretty update to 2..with even harder to steer cars...go play dirt and see what racing supposes to feel like..

Avatar image for alien33
alien33

@lvsolja: I agree that 2 & 3 are the best games of the franchise. GT4 had many more cars & tracks, but something felt off to me when I played it. For some reason I find GT3 better both in gameplay and graphics.

The PS3 era was a disaster. I played the heck out of GT5 (more than 500 hours), but most of it was a slog and a grindfest.

Avatar image for deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

It's a racing game, 99% of the players are going to be smashing into shit as they try to get first place

Avatar image for Kiaininja
Kiaininja

This FIA license feature reminds me of that old gimmick where you get decoder rings in sugary cereals so that you can decode a secret message on some silly kids show and make you feel like your special for wasting money on it.

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

This is really interesting, not that I will ever be good enough for that haha but I am going to wait for the reviews to come out because I have always been more interested in playing GT alone or just random, non important online races.

Avatar image for alien33
alien33

I think they tried too hard on the graphics of GT5 & 6 and lost focus on other more important areas. They tried to create pixel perfect cars (the premium ones) instead of focusing on delivering fun and exciting gameplay with many modes and competitive AI.

Avatar image for almatha
almatha

i think that is a very stupid and very dangerous thing and i woudnt be suprised some fool earning such thing and then getting hurt badly in a real life track suing the ass out of them. The thing is its been proven you cannot learn real skills by playing video games more so driving games. its just a whole diffrent ballgame this could be dangerous and stupid and i dont really understand how they can allow this. maybe they figure few people would actually race using it in real life but youd be suprised.

Avatar image for veryDERPY
veryDERPY

@almatha: dude they're not throwing you into a race the moment you pass and there's sims the can simulate LITERALLY everything and cost more than an entire car

how you think f1 drivers practice anything when they're not in the car?

Avatar image for analgrin
analgrin

@almatha: Most commercial airline pilots do most of their learning in flight simulators. Racing sims will teach you a lot about racing lines and how to gain control of a skidding car etc. Stick someone on a real racetrack who's played nothing but racing sims against someone whos never driven any car, real or sim, and I know who I'd put my money on to win.

Avatar image for deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

@analgrin: Except everyone you are referring to who's played nothing but racing sims have also never driven any car.

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

@almatha: link to your 'proven' evidence as I know it is BS. There are professional drivers now who started on nothing but a computer.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@almatha: "its been proven you cannot learn real skills by playing video games" yes you can, its been proven several times dependent on what games you play. a full racing simulator with impulse controls (for example) has shown massive improvment for people learning to drive or improved people who currently drive. sports games have been known to help players play better as they act out stratigies they have done in game. ok, it dosn't translate with everygame but its 100% face that they do help in real life under correct conditions.

Avatar image for gralvader
gralvader

Your turn Forza, give us the option to obtain a license too!
He forgot to mentioned that during the PS3 era Forza steam rolled them haha.

Avatar image for louixiii
LouiXIII

That's sweet

Avatar image for deactivated-5a5f623fa2551

Articles like this make me glad Sony is back on the right track and order has been restored in the console world. I hope the ease with which one can program on the PS4 means that we'll see more Gran Turismo games this gen than last.

Avatar image for jcharp
jcharp

"Most of the offline mode events are really geared towards people ........ who've never driven cars before."

huh? Is it me or is that a weird thing to say? I'm not sure how to interpret that.

Avatar image for allangreen
allangreen

@jcharp: The players must qualify for the online mode. The competition will be serious, and points are awarded for speed, deducted for poor driving. This will determine if you can enter into certain global FIA events.

The offline mode, is more of a tutorial nature. Allowing the player to ease into the game and to driving. GTS is attempting to take on the role of a simulator, teaching novices how to drive, helping drivers learn how to race, helping experience racers learn the tracks.

Avatar image for allangreen
allangreen

@DrunkenPunk800:Seems you only glossed over my post.

I never said frame rate isn't important in a game. I was responding to a specific post. What I said was that in attempting to achieve photo-realism, frame-rate add very little after you've achieved 30fps.

Shooters are clearly an exception and there are evident benefits for sacrificing graphical quality for higher fps as it provides a competitive advantage.

As for Racing games, It would be worthwhile pointing to the graphical success of DriveClub. it runs extremely smooth even though its at 30fps and you would be a fool to judge the PS4 as crappy based on that as I have yet to see any PC driving game exceed the graphical achievement of DriveClub on a PS4.

Edit: You mentioned resolution. In certain games, higher resolution matters, but this highly dependent on your screen and your distance from it. Back to my original point of achieving Pixar or ILM type quality, resolution is meaningless. Has always been. Once you've passed say 720, it matters not greatly.

Of course we want standards, we want pretty games, we want high resolution, we want 60fps, but then we complain when upgraded consoles are mentioned.

Avatar image for spartanx169x
spartanx169x

Looking forward to this Gran Turismo game. I've never played the others. The PS4 is my first playstation. Will be interesting to see how it is compared to other racing games I've played.

Avatar image for alien33
alien33

@spartanx169x: Welcome to our family :D

Avatar image for StonerDemon
StonerDemon

With GT4, GT5 XL, GT6, Dirt 3 Complete Edition and a G27 properly installed, I have a lot to play until GT Sport/GT7 arrives. Take all the time you need, Yamauchi san :D

Avatar image for alien33
alien33

@StonerDemon: Still play GT4?

Avatar image for StonerDemon
StonerDemon

@alien33: Of course! I bought it back in 2006 but I have it practically unplayed XD XD work and real life won't allow me to fully enjoy my games, so I pick them up every once in a while. I finally finished FFXII two months ago, that's 10 years after release, so glad my memory card still had my save file hahahaha. Nowadays I'm more into collecting than actual playing. That's the drama of real life :(

Avatar image for alien33
alien33

@StonerDemon: Yeah, I feel you man... I am finished with PS2 games, but I still have a few PS3 titles I want to complete. So many games, so little time!

Avatar image for StonerDemon
StonerDemon

@alien33: Can you believe that I've just started playing Yakuza 1 on the PS2? I have 1,2,3,4 and Dead Souls, so it's gonna be a loooong way to Yakuza 5 XD XD

Avatar image for alien33
alien33

@StonerDemon: You have a loooong road ahead :P

I would set some more realistic goals if I were you.

I have a huge backlog in Steam and PS3, but I have accepted the fact that I am going to play only some of them and complete even less. I wish I was in school or college again when I was gaming 10 hours a day, but gone are the days.

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

@lonesamurai1: The FIA isn't a big commercial thing though, it is the governing body of motorsport, it is set up a bit like the UN with different racing federations all being part of it. For example F1(Bernie Ecclestone who owns it)has all the TV rights and money for F1 not the FIA, they are just there for rules and disputes. F1, or other disciplines, could leave and continue to race without anything to do with the FIA.

So much for that conspiracy you just pulled from your a*s...

Avatar image for robopsn
robopsn

Then I will expect Gran Turismo 7 to be the best Gran Turismo ever. That isn't asking too much here in 2016, right?

Avatar image for allangreen
allangreen

@bioswat:Because Frame-rate alone doesn't make a game look good.

Example: a game running at 30fps vs the same game running at 100fps doesn't add anything to make the latter look closer to Pixar or Photo-realism.

It all depends on the graphics quality and effects that are being employed. Ask anyone who does high quality 3D rendering, no matter how much power you have, a particular scene with an immense amount of detail can take forever.

Since U4 is a first party game and the only version exists is on PS4, there was no downgrade to speak of. No Higher version exists and no other game on any platform can put U4's graphics to shame.

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

@allangreen: Frame rate is one of the most important things. FAR more important than resolution.

Shooters and especially racing games SUCK BALLS at 30fps. Lag city.

If I'm getting 30fps on pc, I lower the res. Usually don't even have to turn down the graphical effects.

And you know what? There's no excuse for games to be running at such a poor frame rate now days. Is this the PS4, or the PS1?! If your crappy console can't output 1080p/60fps, either lower the res, or turn down the graphical effects, stupid developers.

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

@DrunkenPunk800:

I'm sorry but I just don't agree resolution FAR outweighs the importants of FPS. I can see a definite difference between 1080p and 720p but I really see no difference between 30FPS and 60FPS. 30FPS isn't slow choppy or unplayable like you suggest it looks just fine and plays the same as 60 but 1080p looks way better then 720p and 4K looks even better the 1080p. Resolution makes a huge difference frame rate does not. I'd rather have 1080/30FPS then 720/60p 720p is garbage.

Avatar image for sonypony4eva
SonyPony4eva

@Marky360: So you would rather have a good looking game that slows completely down/freezes because there are too many enemies or cars on the screen over a game that is a tad bit worse graphically but runs extremely smooth with zero dips, no lag, or freezing? You sound crazy.

Avatar image for bioswat
bioswat

"But PS4 is so good". That's why every game is being downgraded for this gen consoles and games like Uncharted have 30 fps cap.

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

@bioswat:

I'd rather have 1080p/30 than 720p/60

Avatar image for deactivated-5887c3545bd6c

@bioswat: go cry about it, who cares. is your life based on games? i would hope not. ps4 is great, so is xbox and pc, whats your malfunction? clearly the ps4 is good because for 400 bucks i have a great gaming system with excellent graphics, 30 fps doesnt hurt a game, it only hurts a game when the player is petty about everything. forza was fine at 30 fps 60 fps made it look weird. a game like u4 doesnt need 60 fps in the story why would it??