How Gran Turismo pushed the PlayStation beyond its limits and revolutionized racing games


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It’s hard to overstate the influence of the original Gran Turismo was when it was released worldwide in 1998. Sony was aware of that, as you can tell from that grandiose marketing claim you see above, of a print ad in the lead up to the game’s release which, yes – actually turned out to be entirely valid.

Recently Digital foundry John Linneman explored the series’ past with a two-part retrospective focused on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 entries in the franchise. He explains, from the creation of the Polyphony Digital studio to the game’s release and beyond, how the team has been dedicated to pushing the capabilities of the original PlayStation, hardware that would be considered extremely rudimentary by any standard. of today. They succeeded, achieving a quality of driving simulation that was not believed possible in the late 90s.

This two-part YouTube deep dive is a combination two o’clock explore the games that made Gran Turismo a household name, as well as a number of titles that have tried to capitalize on the attention – like Sega GT 2002 and Forza Motorsport. If you’re nerdy about these things, this is a must watch. It also ends with a comparison of the Nürburgring Nordschleife as recreated in four different titles – a particularly interesting segment, because Forza’s Green Hell is not green at all, and the interpretation of the famous circuit of Enthusiasm: professional racing is deeply upsetting if you suffer from SAD.

Watch them both and reminisce about those halcyon days before microtransactions and revolutionary updates.


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