One of the classics of driving simulation, Gran Turismo, is coming to VR, Sony announced at Paris Games Week.
Gran Turismo Sport is the latest game in a popular series dating to the original PlayStation in 1997. It’ll be coming to PS4 in 2016 and be compatible with PlayStation VR, offering fans of racing games a dream scenario as it combines the immersion of VR with the well-respected gaming series, which is known for giving players control of some of the most popular real-world cars.
Assuming the PS4 game will work with a high quality physical wheel, fans of racing simulation may have a hard decision to make between Rift, Vive and PlayStation VR. The first generation of VR technology is likely to be popularized by racing games, along with cockpit-style flying/spaceflight games. The ability to look out windows at will to judge the direction of other vehicles is a huge advantage over the limited camera angles of traditional driving or flying games and Gran Turismo is likely just one of many racing VR titles that will be revealed in the coming months. Games like Assetto Corsa and Project Cars have had support for VR development kits in the past.
Interestingly, Sony is partnering with FIA, the governing body for many racing events and they’ll offer an online racing championship that “will be awarded in the same manner as real life motorsports champions, at the FIA prize giving ceremony. This will be a historic moment, the first time a video game will officially be recognized as part of the real motoring world.”
I’m personally a huge fan of Gran Turismo but haven’t played it for many years. I spent countless hours training myself in the first few games to run courses perfectly, shaving milliseconds off my finish time in order to unlock licenses granting access to bigger championship races and faster cars winnable as prizes. As I think back to that training, I wonder if Gran Turismo or another VR racing game could be so realistic people can make the jump from practicing at home to driving a real car efficiently. Or perhaps professional drivers could get some practice at home when they aren’t on track?