This Thursday Sony is poised to announce the “future of Gran Turismo”, which most people believe will be Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3.
The interesting thing is that with Sony investing in PS Vita and PS4 connectability -- and the fact the PS4 is being released later this year -- is does seem somewhat strange to be releasing such a blockbuster game on a console set to meet its successor in the coming months.
Looking back to the PS2 era, Sony released Gran Turismo 4 in 2005, a year and a half before the release of the PS3. If GT6 comes to the PS3, say, at the end of 2013, its release could be diluted by the launch of the PS4.
Comparatively, however, the PS3 and PS2 are considerably different machines with different audiences, so GT6 coming to PS3 could be both beneficial for gamers, as well as for Sony. Here’s why.
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There was a five-year gap between GT4 and GT5, yet the latter’s long development wasn’t particularly beneficial for the game’s quality at launch (although Polyphony Digital has addressed UI, loading and performance issues since). If you consider the well-known issues developers had with the PS3 early in its life, it’s no surprise that some of the primary criticisms of GT5 weren’t necessarily associated with its content, but rather with its UI and presentation.
It’s been three years since the release of GT5, and Polyphony would have had almost a decade of experience working with the PS3 (GT5 was revealed in 2005). Taking everything the developer learnt from the making of GT5, and turning it into a superior successor is not that outrageous: the developer did an admirable job in advancing the GT experience from GT3 to GT4.
Even with the launch of the PS4 so close, it makes sense to bring the sixth entry to the PS3, as every PlayStation platform has seen at least two GT releases.
Furthermore, a PS4 release couldn’t realistically happen until probably 2015 (if previous GT development cycles are anything to go by), which would leave a five-year gap between GT releases, and only one GT game on PS3 (if you don’t include Prologue).
Great “door stop” game
GT6 releasing on PS3 would give the console a little extra legging as the PS4 attempts to find its feet. Considering the current state of the industry, expecting the PS4 to get off to a better start than the PS3, and even the Wii U, would be especially irresponsible.
GT6 on PS3 could be the perfect game to hold the door ajar for PS4 while the console’s software lineup improves. Also consider Sony’s “ten-year plan” for the PS3: the company never expected the PS3 to blast through the gates at the start, instead hoping it would have the legs to last into the decade. A GT6 release would certainly help that cause.
There are obvious consequences though, in that it could take attention away from the PS4’s launch. But you’re at least giving PS3 owners a reason to keep their console post-PS4 launch, while also enticing consumers to buy now-affordable PS3 bundles while the PS4 finds its place in the market.
Basically, GT6 could keep you occupied while the inevitable dry post-launch period for the PS4 is ironed out and third-parties find their feet on the platform (which could be 6-12 months).
More people to play with
While GT has never been an overly multiplayer-centric experience, you can’t ignore the growth in online console gaming over the past few years. Considering the PS3’s 70 million-plus install base, it would provide a far better competitive environment for GT fanatics, as opposed to a few hundred thousand that might get the PS4 on launch day.
Economically for Sony, it makes much more sense to release the game on PS3. You must think that GT6 being a launch title for PS4 would help enhance interest at launch, which is probably the case, but you’re still banking on a popular brand that hasn’t really had the time to be refined on the PS4’s hardware architecture, while also limiting its market to prospective consumers, rather than people that already own the console.
Multiplayer aside, though, there is substantially more community opportunity on the PS3 than on a console that hasn’t been released yet.
Would you rather see GT6 on PS3 or PS4 and why? Share your thoughts below!