Posted Feb 21st 2013 1:30PM
Sony has just announced their next-generation gaming console, the Playstation 4 or PS4 as it will be known to gamers. This occurs to us as exciting news because a new Playstation beckons a new version of the console's famous racing game, Gran Turismo.
You can only stay in the hot tub for so long - we Canadian car enthusiasts must eventually move on to other pastimes during the long winter months. Many of us enjoy brushing up on our track driving skills via racing video games.
Plenty of arcade-style car racing games remain, but the discerning car enthusiast will select from a group of games endearingly called "driving simulators." The physics engines of these games are so advanced, invoking reality, that much can actually be learned by playing them. For example, one can learn the subtleties of car setup - adjusting tire pressures and spring rates. Driving simulators can also be used as excellent tools to learn new racetracks before you actually drive them - we can attest to this fact after having driven on the Circuit de Catalunya via Forza on the Xbox before actually driving it.
One of the most popular driving / racing simulators to ever hit TV screens is Gran Turismo (GT) - a game belonging to the Sony Playstation console - it can't be played on other consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox. In its 5th iteration, it's already a darling game, with great graphics, a plethora of cars to choose from, and realistic in-game physics. But rumour has it that Gran Turismo 6 is to launch, following the reveal of Sony's latest Playstation, the Sony Playstation 4. Rejoice, GT Fans, as the PS4 launch has just happened.
For more info on the new Sony Playstation 4, a video summary of its launch in NYC, and a few rumours circling Gran Turismo 6, click past the jump.
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Playstation 4 reveal means we're inching closer to Gran Turismo 6
Sony revealed little about the guts of the new console itself - they are likely keeping their cards close until the very last moment possible lest their competitors learn too much. Rumour has it that the Playstation 4 (PS4) console will have a central processing unit based on AMD's R10XX architecture, 4GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive that can handle up to 50 GB discs - as with the PS3, the PS4 will double as a Blu-ray player for movies when you're done with gaming.
Graphics are central to the gaming experience and rumour has it that Sony will turn to AMD once again include a Radeon graphics processing unit (GPU). As far as the controller, the PS4 will also receive an updated interface using a dual shock pad with a large touch pad replacing the previous Start and Select buttons.
What does all of this techno-jumbo mean? In a nutshell: the PS4 will have blazing quick speed with beautiful, rich, detailed graphics.
What we do know for certain based on the Sony conference held in New York yesterday is the following:
- The PS4 will allow giddy gamers to start playing their new games before they are fully installed. When downloading and installing from the online Playstation store the console will allow you to start playing as soon as the basic game software has been downloaded - the rest of the game data will continue to be downloaded while you play.
- The PS4 will allow gamers to perform remote play on their Playstation Vita - true, this was already possible on the PS3, but Sony aims to make every PlayStation 4 game playable remotely on Vita and potentially even other devices. In tech-speak, basically the PlayStation 4 becomes a server and the device, for example, the PlayStation Vita becomes the client.
- PS4 will allow gamers to pause, rewind and then record game play so that you can later upload the epic fail (or triumph) and share it with your friends.
- Making the PS4 even more interactive, gamers will be able to actively stream game play to their friends at the touch of a button. Friends will then be able to make comments, essentially making the PS4 more of a social experience - no need to text your friend, "that was rad!" when you can simply message them through the console.
- Next up is PS4 artificial intelligence - the new console will take note of the type of games you play the most, and then recommend games you'll likely enjoy - but the PS4 takes it one step further and actually pre-downloads these games before you actually purchase them so that if you do decide to buy one - it's immediately ready for game play. Sounds a little over-the-top? We think so too since this feature will likely waste both storage space and bandwidth (let's hope you have unlimited internet!).
Sony has stated that the PS4 console will go on sale for this coming Christmas holiday season, so expect the devout to pitch their tents outside BestBuy around November 2013.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but rumour has it the PS4 will ring in at around $450.00.
What does this all mean for Gran Turismo 6?
The above bodes well for Gran Turismo players since the improved processor speed and graphics will allow for even more realistic game play in all of our favorite cars.
- It is expected that Gran Turismo 6 will feature more realistic racing and an improved physics engine and more detailed, rich graphics.
- Crash damage is expected to be more realistic, and the visual damage observed on the car will be more finely depicted.
- Cars will be more customizable, both on the aesthetic front, with plenty of paint colours and vinyl graphics. The more important mechanical bits will also be more customizable, with plenty of modifications to alter performance from turbos to brake kits to aero modifications; expect to feel the difference during game play.
- One of the best features of the PS4 that will improve Gran Turismo game play is the ability to rewind long driving stints, and analyse where there is room for improvement - it may also be entertaining to share these clips with friends, or even invite them to view your real-time gameplay and make comments on your driving.
No word on Gran Turismo 6 release date or pricing, but we'll keep you updated.