Details for the upcoming PlayStation exclusive Gran Turismo 7 are a little thin on the ground right now, but that won't stop us from shifting our hype into fifth gear.
The latest game in the long-running Gran Turismo series is set to be the best yet and with the power of the ultra-fast PS5 backing it up, we're ready to believe it. Players will have the opportunity to hone their skills in single-player races, then head online to challenge the best in multiplayer matches. We'll be seeing the return of fan-favorite tracks and modes, as well as some interesting new surprises too.
Originally set for a 2021 release, Gran Turismo 7 has now slipped into 2022 as a result of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic and it's looking like it'll be coming to PS4 as well as PS5. Though we won't get to play the game in 2021, we are hoping we'll find out more about it at some point.
In the meantime, if you're desperate to find out everything you can about Gran Turismo 7 and want know what improvements we hope the game makes, then read on.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? A racing game with an emphasis on simulation
- When can I play it? Sometime in 2022
- What can I play it on? PS5 (and possibly PS4)
Gran Turismo 7 release date
Gran Turismo 7's release date has slipped to 2022, Sony has confirmed.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan was asked whether GT7 was still set to release in 2021, only for a Sony PR representative to step in and reveal that Gran Turismo 7 has been impacted by Covid-related production challenges, and will therefore release in 2022.
"With the ongoing pandemic, it's a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months," the representative said. "We'll share more specifics on GT7's release date when available."
It's also looking like the game will release on PS4 as well as PS5, with PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst confirming on the official PlayStation blog that Sony is looking at bringing the racing sim and other upcoming titles to PS4 as well as current gen hardware.
Gran Turismo 7 trailers
Right now we just have a 3-minute reveal trailer for Gran Turismo which was shown back at Sony's PS5 game reveal event. Polyphony Digital is obviously keeping some details back, but we get a good glimpse of Gran Turismo 7, including a peek at the gameplay via a race on the iconic Trial Mountain circuit.
Hopefully, we'll have another chance to learn more about Gran Turismo 7's new features, such as the GT Cafe mode shown off in the game's menu, before it releases later this year.
Gran Turismo 7 news and rumors
Cross-gen release a recent decision?
Sony recently dropped the news that Gran Turismo 7 is likely to release on PS4 as well as PS5 and according to a recent report from VGC, that was a fairly recent decision. In the report, VGC's Any Robinson says that while it was always Sony's intention to release Horizon Forbidden West and the God of War sequel on both PS4 and PS5, it's his understanding that the decision to release Gran Turismo 7 on PS4 was "made only fairly recently", pointing out that the game was advertised as a PS5 exclusive in a December 2020 trailer reel.
Coming to PS4?
It's looking likely that Gran Turismo 7 will also see a release on PS4, following comments made by PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst.
Hulst stated on the official PlayStation blog: “You can’t build a community of over 110 million PS4 owners and then just walk away from it, right? I think that’d be bad news for fans of PS4, and frankly not very good business…
“Where it makes sense to develop a title for both PS4 and PS5 – for Horizon Forbidden West, the next God of War, GT7 – we’ll continue looking at that. And if PS4 owners want to play that game, then they can. If they want to go on and play the PS5 version, that game will be there for them.”
Hulst's comments make business sense, sure, but we hope that if Gran Turismo 7 does find its way onto last gen hardware, that it doesn't hold back the PS5 version too much in terms of graphical and technological prowess. Sony's Simon Rutter has, at least, previously said that the game will take full advantage of the PS5's exclusive new features.
Sony has announced that it will release a second iteration of its PSVR headset, known as PSVR 2. This announcement raises questions of whether or not Gran Turismo 7 will support the new technology. Following the success of Gran Turismo Sport on PSVR, it seems quite possible. That said, nothing has been confirmed by Sony just yet. But there are positive signs. In June 2021, Sony said that we should expect "experiences synonymous with PlayStation" on PSVR 2, which suggests titles that lean into Sony's back catalogue of exclusive franchises, such as Gran Turismo.
Going slightly further back in time to 2019, in a roundtable interview with GT Planet, Gran Turismo series creator Kazunori Yamauchi revealed that, when it comes to harnessing the power of next-gen consoles, Polyphony Digital is interested in VR.
“The first thing that’s going to be affected by more power is VR,” Yamauchi told GT Planet. “I don’t think that there’s anything else that requires that much processing power. I really like VR; I’m one to believe in the possibilities of it, and it’s very suited for a driving game.”
“VR is something that really depends on the evolution of GPU power, and the hardware for it, like display devices even. It’s something where you can never have enough computing power; there’s always going to be that hardware limit, and that limit is never going to be high enough for us! Obviously that’s going to gradually improve over time and we’ll make sure to follow that.”
The fact that PSVR 2 will bring the technology forward does make it look promising that Gran Turismo 7 could have some kind of VR support.
No E3 2021 appearance
As expected, Gran Turismo 7 was absent from E3 2021 after Sony confirmed it wouldn't be attending the entirely-online show.
This isn't, of course, the first time that Sony has skipped E3. The company missed out E3 2019 entirely and last year it opted to have its own State of Play stream. Given E3 2021 is all digital anyway this year, it’s possible Sony sees more benefits in doing its own online event again or perhaps even doing a dedicated stream like its May Horizon Forbidden West stream. If Sony does host its own event, then we’d likely see something from Gran Turismo 7 during that but, at the moment, there’s no certainty on when we’ll get our next update on the game.
“No concessions” on detail
Polyphony CEO, Kazunori Yamauchi, has emphasised the studio’s attention to detail while speaking at the FIA Gran Turismo Championships in December 2020 (via VGC).
“We always pursue the best at Polyphony Digital,” Yamauchi said. “We don’t want to make concessions on anything. We want to deliver the best to everyone. And this is no longer just my thinking, but it’s the mindset of all 200 or so staff at our company.
“They say in Japan that ‘divinity comes to reside in the details’ and it’s so true. How much attention you pay to the fine details, how to perfect it, hone it to perfection and applying an incredible amount of attention to this, is our production style.”
This bodes well for Gran Turismo 7, though it also goes some way to explaining why the game's release date shifted from 2021 to 2022.
Making the most of PS5
It's looking likely that Gran Turismo 7 will release on PS4 but that won't stop the game from taking full advantage of the PS5’s exclusive features such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on the DualSense controller, a super-fast SSD, and 3D audio.
Speaking to The Guardian, Sony executive vice-president Simon Rutter said he believes that Gran Turismo 7 will be a showcase for the console, and detailed exactly how its realistic racing game will wow players with the PS5’s new technology.
First of all, loading times will be seriously sped up thanks to the PS5’s SSD. “The loading times will be next to nothing compared to what they have been in the past,” said Rutter, which will come as a huge relief to many Gran Turismo fans, as load times have always been painfully long.
Rutter also said that when it comes to 3D audio, players can expect an immersive experience. “Sitting in the cockpit, the 3D audio allows you to hear the thunderous roar of a Ferrari behind you or in front of you, and you can recognize the difference between that and the engine noise of a Maserati.”
Finally, when it comes to the DualSense controller, Rutter had this to say: “Driving the car using the DualSense controller, you’ll have a different feeling in your hands from the smooth undulating tarmac of a racetrack, compared to the gritty sensation on a gravel track,” adding, “Pressing a soft accelerator will feel very different than pressing on a stiff brake pedal or gear paddle.”
What we want to see in Gran Turismo 7
Meaningful damage modeling
This hope precedes every Gran Turismo entry and Gran Turismo 7 is no exception. The franchise seems almost allergic to damage-modeling, preferring that its beautifully rendered cars maintain a factory clean sheen – but we want to see it. If we careen off-track and smash into a wall at many miles per hour, we’d expect our vehicle to be pretty banged up and not just sporting a few minor scratches.
This level of realism has been captured in many other modern racing sims, and with the PS5 boasting some seriously powerful next-gen hardware, it’s time that Gran Turismo put it to good use.
Another long-standing issue with Gran Turismo games is the AI. A race’s challenge has either been far too easy or too heavily choreographed depending on the difficultly level, so it's time for Gran Turismo 7 to finally bring some realism to its computer-controller competitors.
We want to see AI drivers react to our actions and learn to match our skills behind the wheel. Earning better vehicles should provide a meaningful reward in improved race performance, but not at the expense of leaving the competition behind in the dust. We hope that Gran Turismo 7’s drivers will give us a run for our money, then.
Better offline content
Gran Turismo Sport, the last installment in the series, was often criticized for its lack of quality offline content. Whether it was because of server maintenance or your own connection, the game would only let you play Arcade Mode, which blocked any meaningful progression which could have been made when offline. Hopefully Gran Turismo 7 improves its offline capabilities.
Returning features in Gran Turismo 7
Tuning, a feature missing from Gran Turismo Sport, is set to make a return in Gran Turismo 7. Players will be able to spend their in-game credits in order to unlock upgrades and make changes to their cars to better suit certain tracks and races.
This feature can also be used to make improvements to a car you've fallen in love with to keep it competitively viable for as long as possible.
It might be under the new name "Campaign Mode" as Kazunori Yamuchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital, put it, but let's just call a spade a spade. This single-player content can be a great way to get to grips with Gran Turismo's core driving gameplay, giving you a chance to try out different vehicles in different challenges. We'll have to wait and see how Gran Turismo 7's Campaign Mode pans out.