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Gran Turismo (series)

Gran Turismo
Developers Polyphony Digital
Publishers Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms PlayStation
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
PlayStation Portable
First release Gran Turismo
December 23, 1997
Latest release Gran Turismo 6
December 5, 2013
Official website

Gran Turismo (グランツーリスモ Guran Tsūrisumo?, Italian for "Grand Tourer" or "Grand Touring", abbreviated GT) is a popular and critically acclaimed series of racing video games developed by Polyphony Digital.

Developed exclusively for PlayStation systems, Gran Turismo games are intended to emulate the appearance and performance of a large selection of vehicles, nearly all of which are licensed reproductions of real-world automobiles. Since the franchise's debut in December 1997, over 70 million units have been sold worldwide for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable, making it the highest selling video game franchise under the PlayStation brand.[1]

Gran Turismo can trace back its origins to 1992, when Kazunori Yamauchi set out with a group of seven to develop the original Gran Turismo, which took five years to complete.[2]


The Gran Turismo series is developed by Polyphony Digital and produced by Kazunori Yamauchi.

The appeal of the Gran Turismo series is due significantly to pristine graphics, a large number of licensed vehicles, attention to vehicle detail, accurate driving physics emulation, and the ability to tune performance. Handling of the vehicles is modeled on real-life driving impressions, tuning is based on principles of physics, and the sound of the vehicle's engine is based on recordings of the actual vehicles. The game has been a flagship for the PlayStation console's graphics capabilities, and is often used to demonstrate the system's potential.

Although Gran Turismo has an arcade mode, most gameplay derives from its simulation mode. Players start with a certain number of credits, usually 10,000, which are used to purchase vehicles from several manufacturer-specific shops, or from used car dealers, and then tune their car at the appropriate parts store for best performance. Certain events are open only to particular types of vehicles. In order to enter and progress through more difficult races, a license-testing system has been implemented, which guides players through skill development. Players may apply prize money won in events to upgrade their existing car or buy a new one, collecting a garage of vehicles.

Since Gran Turismo 5 Prologue launched on the PlayStation 3, an online aspect of the gameplay has started to evolve. GT5 Prologue has enabled users to race online with up to 16 players on track at once. Gran Turismo 4 for the PlayStation 2 was actually the first online-enabled Gran Turismo game but the online aspect of the game didn't make it past beta stage.

According to Yamauchi, the cars in the first two games were made from 300 polygons,[3] while those in Gran Turismo 3 and 4 were made up of 4,000 polygons,[4] and the "premium cars" in Gran Turismo 5 were made up of 500,000 ("standard cars" are slightly more detailed versions of those in Gran Turismo 4).[5]


Game history

The Gran Turismo series is represented by six primary releases, two for the PlayStation, two for the PlayStation 2, and two for the PlayStation 3. The series is also represented by many other "abbreviated" releases on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3.


Primary releases

Title Year Released Platform Cars Tracks Sales[1]
Gran Turismo 1997/1998 PlayStation 140 11 10,850,000
Gran Turismo 2 1999/2000 PlayStation 650 27 9,370,000
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec 2001 PlayStation 2 181 34 14,980,000
Gran Turismo 4 2005 PlayStation 2 722 51 11,730,000
Gran Turismo 5 2010 PlayStation 3 1,086(1) 73 + track editor 10,660,000
Gran Turismo 6 2013 PlayStation 3 1,226(2) 100 2,785,000
Gran Turismo 7 2015/2016 PlayStation 4 TBA TBA

(1)246 Premium and 840 Standard cars. (2)388 Premium and 838 Standard cars.

Secondary releases

Title Year Released Platform Cars Tracks Sales[1][6]
Gran Turismo Concept: 2001 Tokyo 2002 PlayStation 2 440,000
Gran Turismo Concept: 2002 Tokyo-Seoul 2002 PlayStation 2 90,000
Gran Turismo Concept: 2002 Tokyo-Geneva 2002 PlayStation 2 100 5 1,030,000
Gran Turismo 4 Prologue 2003/2004 PlayStation 2 50 5 1,400,000
Gran Turismo 4 Online (test version) 2006 PlayStation 2
Gran Turismo HD 2006 PlayStation 3 10 1
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue 2007/2008 PlayStation 3 70 6 5,350,000
Gran Turismo (PSP) 2009 PlayStation Portable 833 75 4,220,000

Other releases

Title Notes
Gran Turismo (demo version) During Christmas 1998, a special promotional demo of Gran Turismo was included with the PlayStation console. The demo was limited to an Arcade Mode race at Clubman Stage Route 5 with three cars (Subaru Impreza WRX, Honda NSX, and Chevrolet Corvette), with the race limited to ninety seconds (1 minute 30 seconds). Other demos existed in other regions with different restrictions.
Gran Turismo 2000 Gran Turismo 2000 was a demo on display at E3 in 2000/2001 promoting the Gran Turismo franchise as well as the capabilities of the PlayStation 2. Due to a delay in the release date, the name of the final version of the game was changed to Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec.[7] A demo version of the game was given out for the visitors of PlayStation Festival 2000, allowing the players to drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V in Seattle Circuit for two minutes.
Toyota Prius demo disc In the summer of 2004, Toyota sent a demo disc of GT4 along with a marketing brochure for its 2004 Prius hybrid car by way of customer request from their web site.[8] The demo was also given out at a presentation of the Toyota MTRC at the New York International Auto Show. The demo disc featured only two cars, namely the Prius and the Toyota MTRC concept car. Two tracks were included, Fuji Speedway ('90s version) and Grand Canyon rally track, but each was limited to two minutes of play time. Toyota stopped offering the demo discs when the requests for the marketing brochure became disproportional to the real interest in their cars. The disc became a collectible item for Prius owners and is still sometimes available via auction at eBay. The game ran on a modified GT4P engine.
BMW 1-series demo disc Features four models of the 1-series (118i, 120i, 118d, and 120d), and three Gran Turismo 4 tracks – including the Nürburgring (driving around this circuit was limited to three minutes). BMW customers in the United Kingdom who ordered a 1-series before its official release date were invited to a private event at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire. On departure from the event, all guests were given a pack containing the demo disc. The game ran on a modified pre-release GT4 engine.
Nissan Micra demo disc With the release of Nissan Micra Roma, Nissan distributed a press kit for each concessionaire in several countries in Europe to promote the car. This press kit included several photographs, a press information booklet and three discs. One of the discs included in this kit is an official Gran Turismo demo named Nissan Micra Edition.
Nissan 350Z demo disc Similar to the Nissan Micra Edition, this CD also comes in one of the many press kits available for the Nissan 350Z in the United States. There is no confirmation that a European version exists. The press kit containing the game demo comes with two other discs inside a silver folder. An additional booklet with information and pictures of the Nissan 350Z is also included. The game ran on a modified Gran Turismo Concept engine and races are limited on 150 seconds. Only Côte d'Azur, not available in Gran Turismo Concept but available in Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, was the available course.
Gran Turismo Academy Time Trial Demo Featured the Indianapolis GP Circuit for the first time in the franchise's history and also included a tuned and stock Nissan 370Z. The object of the Time Trial was as the first stage of the 2010 GT Academy to find two of the best Gran Turismo drivers to end up competing in a real racing car in a real racing series. The demo showed off a new physics model and some graphical improvements to GT5 Prologue but was also criticised. Its primary objective was as the first stage of the 2010 GT Academy and not as demonstration of the upcoming Gran Turismo 5.
Tourist Trophy Tourist Trophy is a motorcycle racing game. It was designed by Polyphony Digital, the same team that makes the popular Gran Turismo auto racing series. It was largely created off of Gran Turismo 4's game engine. Tourist Trophy is one of only four titles for the PlayStation 2 that is capable of 1080i output, the others being Gran Turismo 4, Valkyrie Profile 2: Slimeria, and Jackass: The Game. Polyphony Digital reused the physics engine, graphical user interface and all but one of the circuits found in Gran Turismo 4. However, the number of AI racers (computer-controlled opponents) has been reduced from five in the Gran Turismo series to only three. Tourist Trophy also uses the License School feature that was popularized by the Gran Turismo series, as well as the Photo Mode introduced in Gran Turismo 4. The B-spec mode, which appeared in Gran Turismo 4, was removed from Tourist Trophy.
Gran Turismo for Boys A youth-focused Gran Turismo was announced in November 2004[9] with a scheduled release date of 2005.,[10] though the game was not released at that time. In September 2006, Kazunori Yamauchi confirmed the game was still in development.[11] In April 2008, while discussing plans for Gran Turismo 5, Kazunori Yamauchi was quoted as saying, "we're hoping to make [Gran Turismo for Boys] a feature within GT5."[12]


Gran Turismo 7 - 2015/2016

In an interview with Japanese magazine, Famitsu (and translated by series creator Kazunori Yamauchi mentioned that GT7 would be coming to the PlayStation 4 console "in a year or two [from 2013]". He also mentioned that it will be based off the same physics engine that Gran Turismo 6 uses.[13] In an interview with GamesTM magazine, Kazunori Yamauchi confirmed a release for GT7 sometime in 2015/2016. He also spoke about how much more powerful the game will be on PS4 and how much easier it is to develop on the new console versus GT6 on the PS3.[14]

Gran Turismo related products

File:Sparco racing kit 2001.jpg
Official Gran Turismo kit with GT Force and Racing Cockpit.

Official simulator kits

Polyphony Digital has collaborated with peripherals manufacturer Logitech and auto parts maker Sparco to design official driving simulator kits for the Gran Turismo franchise. The most recent product designation is Driving Force GT. Two other racing wheels are compatible with Gran Turismo.

Official model car kits

In 2009, radio-control model car company HPI Racing released an official RC car tie-in: the HPI E10 RTR Ford GT LM Race Car Spec II designed by Gran Turismo (200mm), a pre-built officially licensed radio-control car kit built to look exactly like the cover car for the Gran Turismo 4 game. Plans for future releases include releasing more kits to replicate other Gran Turismo cover cars.

Gran Turismo cafe

In 2009, a cafe opened at the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack.[15][16]

Street Namings

In acknowledgment of the Mount Panorama Circuit’s inclusion in Gran Turismo 6, the City of Bathurst in Australia unveiled a new street called ‘Gran Turismo Drive’ in December 2013. Mayor of Bathurst, Cr Gary Rush said “Driving a lap of our world famous motor racing circuit is a life changing experience for those who have the chance, and the Bathurst Regional Council is very excited about opening up the Mount Panorama experience through the launch of Gran Turismo 6.”[17]

Also in 2013, series creator Kazunori Yamauchi had a street named in honor of him in the city of Ronda. Named “Paseo de Kazunori Yamauchi,” the street snakes around the Parador de Ronda. According to Ronda's city mayor Maria de la Paz Fernandez Lobato, "There is no doubt that his work has a huge cultural resonance with people today. He has driven the racing game genre to new levels of realism and his creations are as much art as technology. Ronda’s association with Gran Turismo is also a reflection that our ancient city is a modern, vibrant place to live and very much part of the 21st century.”[18]

Gran Turismo Awards (SEMA)

6th annual Gran Turismo Awards (2008)

The sixth annual Gran Turismo Awards was held at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The exhibitors were given a chance to have their car featured in a future version of Gran Turismo as a drivable vehicle, with Gran Turismo creator and series producer Kazunori Yamauchi judging the five finalists to award the "Best in Show" prize.

The awards ceremony was held at The Joint, located inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (Las Vegas) and was hosted by experienced Formula D driver, Tanner Foust. Following the ceremony, Hip-hop star Ludacris and special guests Tommy Lee and Dave Navarro treated the guests to a special live performance.

The winners of the awards are as follows:

  • Best Domestic: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport (James Shipka)
  • Best Truck/SUV: 1938 Chevrolet (John Wargo)
  • Best Japanese Import: 2008 Infiniti G37 (JR Rocha)
  • Best European Import: Volkswagen Concept Car (Robert Gal)
  • Best Hot Rod: 1933 the Factory Five Racing Hot Rod (Jason Lavigne)
  • Best In Show: 2008 Infiniti G37 (JR Rocha)

Recap of the 6th Annual Gran Turismo Awards

Gran Turismo Trophy (Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance)

Each year since 2008, Kazunori Yamauchi is invited to the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance to present the Gran Turismo Trophy – an award “to support those who make efforts to preserve irreplaceable, precious automotive culture for future generations to come”. The winners are featured in Gran Turismo series.

The winners of the awards are as follows:


The series has been involved in sponsoring various real-life sporting events and teams, including the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb as of November 2014,[19] D1GP since the 2008 season, the 2004 Race of Champions, the first chicane on the Mulsanne straight at Circuit de la Sarthe until 2012, and racing teams such as Prost Grand Prix, Pescarolo Sport, Audi/Oreca, Peugeot, Abt Sportsline, Signatech-Nissan, Audi A4 DTM, Vita4One-BMW Z4, Aston Martin Rapide S and Sébastien Loeb.

GT Academy

The GT Academy is a driver discovery/development program initiated in 2008 through a partnership between Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Polyphony Digital Inc., and Nissan Europe.

Online qualifiers are held within Gran Turismo, and the top qualifiers are invited to National Finals in each participating country. The top winners of each country are sent to a Race Camp held at Silverstone, UK for the final selection. The winner undergoes an intensive Driver Development Programme designed by Nissan which will train and license them into a professional driver, competing in races worldwide.[2][3] The 4 winning drivers will then automatically join the Nismo Global Driver Exchange and go on to race in the following years' Dubai 24 Hour.

Winners of the Gran Turismo Academy include Lucas Ordóñez, Jordan Tresson and Jann Mardenborough, who have all gone on to compete in professional real-life racing.


Aggregate review scores
As of January 23, 2014.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
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The Gran Turismo video game series has been one of the most popular over its lifetime, appealing to an audience ranging from casual gamers to fans of realistic PC racing sims.

Because of the success of the Gran Turismo series, Guinness World Records awarded the series 7 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Largest Number of Cars in a Racing game", "Highest Selling PlayStation Game", "Oldest Car in a Racing Game", and "Largest Instruction Guide for a Racing Game".

With a collective sales total of 61.41 million units sold,[32] it is the highest-selling PlayStation exclusive franchise of all time.

In the final issue of the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, Gran Turismo 2 was chosen as the 5th best game of all time.[33] Edge magazine said the first game was one of the 10 greatest videogames of the last 20 years.[34]

In 2005, Maeda Corporation, in association with Tokyo University of Science, researched the feasibility of making a real-life replica version of the fictional Grand Valley Speedway used in the series.[35]


Sony is developing a live action Gran Turismo film with Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti from The Social Network producing the film, along with Josh Bratman, Elizabeth Contillon and Devon Franklin. DeLuna will oversea the film with Matt Millan and Joseph Kosinski will co-write the film with Alex Tse and is in talks to direct the film.[36][37]

At the Jalopnik Film Festival, Kazunori announced a documentary film covering the past 15 years of the game series to now for himself, entitled KAZ: Pushing The Virtual Divide.[citation needed] It was released on January 22, 2014 on Hulu.[38]


  1. ^ a b c "Gran Turismo Series Software Title List". Polyphony Digital & Sony Computer Entertainment. September 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  2. ^ Takahashi, Dean. "Gran Turismo's creator takes a fifth stab at a perfect racing game". VentureBeat. 
  3. ^ "Comparison: Gran Turismo 3 vs. Driving Emotion and PSone's Gran Turismo 2". Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Gran Turismo 3 - PRODUCTS -". 2001-07-10. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ ""Gran Turismo" Series Software Title List". Polyphony Digital. Sony Computer Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 6, 2007. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ Katayev, Arnold (2001-07-10). "Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec Review". PSX Extreme. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  8. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2004-06-02). "Toyota offering free Gran Turismo 4 demo disc". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  9. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2004-11-09). "New Gran Turismo". IGN. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  10. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2004-12-29). "Gran Turismo For Boys in 2005". IGN. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  11. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2006-09-25). "Gran Turismo Still For Boys". IGN. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  12. ^ Jackson, Mike (2008-04-04). "John Power Interview". CVG. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  13. ^ "Gran Turismo 6 producer talks physics engines, smartphone linkups, and the presumed GT7". 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  14. ^ "PS4 to Make "Incredible Difference" for Gran Turismo 7, says Kazunori Yamauchi". GTPlanet. 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2014-10-13. 
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ Nunnely, Stephany. "Gran Turismo Café opens in Japan". VG247. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  20. ^ "Gran Turismo Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Gran Turismo Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Gran Turismo 2 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Gran Turismo 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Gran Turismo 4 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Gran Turismo 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Gran Turismo 5 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Gran Turismo 5 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  32. ^ "". Sony Computer Entertainment. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  33. ^ Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 108, page 28, Future Publishing, March 2004
  34. ^
  35. ^ "前田建設 ファンタジー営業部". 2005-06-27. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  36. ^ "'Sony Fires Up 'Gran Turismo' Movie With 'Fifty Shades' Producers (Exclusive)". The Wrap. July 23, 2013. 
  37. ^ Kit, Borys (March 2, 2015). [http= "Joseph Kosinski in Talks to Direct 'Grand Turismo"]. The Hollywood Reporter. 
  38. ^ Chan, Ken (16 January 2014). "KAZ: Pushing the Virtual Divide Premieres On Hulu 1/22". PlayStation Blog. Sony. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 

External links

Official sites