Gran Turismo 5 Prologue speeds on to Australian PS3s

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCEA) has released the latest incarnation of the biggest selling PS franchise of all time, Gran Turismo (GT), with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue for Playstation3.

The game, widely anticipated to be one of the biggest sellers for the console this year, follows on from the downloadable-only Gran Turismo HD Concept, only available widely in Japan and released early in the PS3’s lifecycle. But unlike that game, which only featured one track and ten cars, this version offers 72 cars and five tracks.

Ferrari makes its Australian Gran Turismo debut in the game, and players will be able to drive the 2007 F1 championship winning Ferrari F1 car later on. Many other new vehicles, such as the new R35 Nissan GT-R, not due here until April next year, and the new BMW M3, will all be available to play.

Gran Turismo 5 also features the first full use of extended network play, with up to 16 opponents racing on the track at one time – double that of previous iterations – and players can also use their internet connection to access Gran Turismo TV, a new option that allows downloads of car-related video footage, including from the UK’s Top Gear program (no release date for Top Gear downloads has been set for Australia at this time, though).

The game will go on sale from today, with a retail price of $59.95 for both the Blu-ray disc and the downloadable version. SCEA will also sell a special PS3 bundle pack, with a 40GB console, GT5 Prologue and SIXAXIS controller for RRP $699.95.

Gran Turismo has sold 50 million copies in its ten-year lifespan, with 200,000 units of the previous full version, Gran Turismo 4, sold in Australia alone. According to website Geekpulp, PAL territory pre-orders have already exceeded the one million mark, making GT5 Prologue a platinum release before it has even gone on sale.

A watchable movie of the game is available at www.granturismoworld.com

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