If you are fans of cars, motorsports and video games, inevitably you have been through the mythical Gran Turismo saga . The franchise, exclusive to PlayStation , has always been run by the Japanese studio Polyphony Digital. Now, its creator, the well-known Kazunori Yamauchi , has ensured that he will continue to work on the saga even after launching Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation 5.
To the tranquility of Gran Turismo fans, the driving saga still has a lot of gas to do more kilometers and the departure of Gran Turismo 7 in 2022 ( we remember that it was delayed due to development problems ) will not mean reaching the line of goal. In an interview with KPMG, Yamauchi has made it clear that his intention is to continue, although he leaves the door open to other projects.
I intend to continue with Gran Turismo, [but] I would also like to do something different –Kazunori yamauchi
“I intend to continue with Gran Turismo in the future, which will be in the same boat as the culture and the automotive industry. At the same time, I would also like to do something different, ” Yamauchi explained. But what other project could it be? At the moment there are only a few mysterious statements: “I would like to take on the challenge of creating a world in which people feel more virtual than reality, whether through Gran Turismo or not.”
This last intention arises from Yamauchi’s vision of video games. “I think that one of the missions of video games is to make digital twins connecting the real and digital world. On the other hand, I also believe that ‘the reality that humans can feel is not necessarily felt from something real ‘, and I have the intention to confront this question safely. “
open world Gran Turismo 8?
One thing not many know, is also that Kazunori Yamauchi already thought about some kind of free-roaming open world aspect for his games. Just after the launch of Gran Turismo 5, he revealed on Twitter that he would have liked to include a mode where one could drive freely in the game’s cities, but wasn’t able to.
The PS5 would definitely be able to handle that kind of game, and Forza Horizon 4 demonstrated once more the potential of open world racing games in conveying the pleasure of driving. That kind of sentiment has always been present in Yamauchi-san’s development philosophy.
How could an open world Gran Turismo work?
While Gran Turismo games aren’t full fledged simulators as well, and take more liberties compared to ultra-realistic experiences like iRacing, Yamauchi-san and his team have always been very much dedicated to create an experience that steers towards the realm of the simulation.
This has great potential in an open world game, especially considering the large variety of road surfaces that can be found outside of a traditional track. Even within a single city you find an enormous range of different range of conditions, which become even wider as soon as you drive out in the countryside.
The most likely setting for this kind of game would be a fictionalized version of Tokyo, which has been present in many chapters of the series with the iconic R246 track, and is said to have inspired almost all the “Special Stage Route” courses.
Tokyo features a delightful variety of roads, ranging from narrow alley-like streets to full fledged highways with the iconic and scenic Wangan, passing by broad four lane boulevards. It’s also fairly near to the the famous mountain passes used by street racers and made famous by anime series like Initial-D and by the Fujimi Kaido course in the Forza series.
The game’s world could focus around a condensed and scaled down Tokyo, and extend in the countryside to the mountains for some awesome touge racing. That’s pretty much the wet dream of a petrolhead like me. Considering Yamauchi-san’s dedication to realistic driving, we could even see a fully working traffic system with traffic lights and signs, rules to follow and similar caveats conducive to a better simulation of real world conditions.
Of course I really doubt that Polyphony Digital could give up completely on circuit racing, especially considering the enormous know-how and the amount of licenses accumulated in six mainline games of the series, which means that we could actually see a hybrid between open world and track-based racing.
Tired to drive on the open streets and want to clock in a few laps at Suzuka or Silverstone? Drive to the airport, select your destination, and you get transported with your car to your track of choice, offering something more similar to the classic Gran Turismo experience. This could also work with the various photo mode locations set around the world.
Gran Turismo 7 is coming next year exclusively on PS5. The saga has always been a great example of performance and optimization, and Yamauchi already said months ago that GT7 will not repair the level of detail . Mind you, many fans wanted a regular numbered delivery after Gran Turismo Sport and GT7 will fulfill those wishes , as it will be a traditional game like the first Gran Turismo .