Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
|Gran Turismo 5 Prologue|
European Box Art
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Engine||Gran Turismo 5|
|Release date(s)||Blu-ray Disc
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Split-screen, 16-player online multiplayer|
|Distribution||Download, Blu-ray Disc|
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (グランツーリスモ5 プロローグ, Guran Tsūrisumo 5 Purorōgu) is a PlayStation 3 exclusive title which was announced at the E3 2007. This short version title was a precursor and sampling of Gran Turismo 5 and replaced Gran Turismo HD Concept. The "Prologue" suffix is a self-reference to Gran Turismo 4 Prologue which was released one year before the full version of Gran Turismo 4.
Since October 3, 2008, the game is now referred to as Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III which is the software's version 3.0 title. Since its release, the game has sold 5.09 million copies worldwide making it the second highest selling PlayStation 3 exclusive title of all time being beaten by its successor Gran Turismo 5.
The game is a budget sale which was first released in Japan on December 13, 2007 (Blu-ray Disc and PlayStation Store) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series. It was followed by a Chinese translated version issued in South East Asia on February 1, 2008 through the PlayStation Store, then on Blu-ray Disc on February 15.
An upgraded version dubbed "spec II", also available as a patch for the original version, was released on the PlayStation Store on March 27, 2008 in Australia, then in Europe on March 28. However, in Portugal the game was officially launched in stores as early as March 26, 2008 (and unofficially on March 21).
The "Spec II" version was released in North America on April 15, 2008 (Blu-ray Disc) and was released on April 17 (PlayStation Store). The Blu-ray Disc version added value with an exclusive GT-TV video feature called "Beyond the Apex".
The latest update entitled "Spec III" added new cars and further improvements to the gameplay. A separate disc was also released (only in Japan) to coincide with this update that included all updates including Spec III.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III features 16-player online races, over 70 cars (including tuned cars), 6 tracks, 12 layouts, a 60 frames per second frame rate (during races, replays are displayed at 30 frames per second) and LPCM 7.1ch high definition sound.
Also new to the series is the realistic in-car view feature. It includes functioning speedometers and odometers, reflecting rear-view mirrors, wing mirrors and real time in-car lighting effects (cast shadows). Players driving with both the control pad or the steering wheel have the ability to look left and right in the cockpit of the car by using the D-pad. This function can be mapped to other buttons on the controller if preferred. Any PlayStation 3 compatible steering wheel works with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. The engine also sounds different according to which view is selected among the available four. Back view is also specific with the in-car views with also the windshield.
Spec II update brings Drift Mode (similar to that of Gran Turismo HD Concept), car tuning adjustments, and head to head two-player racing offline.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is the first mass-produced Gran Turismo game to feature online multiplayer. Up to 16 players can play online at once in GT5 Prologue. Since Gran Turismo 5's development cycle is so long, GT5 Prologue's servers are no longer available after two years of being online and the gaming only serving as a prologue. Gran Turismo 4 for the PlayStation 2 was intended to be an online game but this feature was pulled prior to the game's release to avoid further delays; a beta of GT4 online was even released. Gran Turismo HD Concept also featured an online feature but only on a Time Trial basis.
The game has a brand new interface, called My Page. It acts as the player's personalized menu for the game. When the game starts up, the player is taken straight to the 'My Page' area and the currently selected car is displayed on screen in a picturesque real-life location. The vehicle is set in a Full HD advanced 3D environment with a 360° camera work and the GUI's real time zoom-in function enabled.
In the Japanese version 'My Page' icons include;
- News: a regularly updated online log archiving game news such as newly added Online Event Races, VOD programs or technical information such as server maintenance schedule.
- GT-TV: a Video-on-demand service offering free of charge or payable HD content. Available videos are real-life car related videos such as new model tests, Auto show reports, car documentaries or special event videos. Game videos such as opening and ending movies are also available for download from the Blu-ray Disc to the console's HDD once unlocked. However, premium content was discontinued on December 29, 2009 to move focus on to the release of the full game.
- Online: Online Events consist of either multiplayer races from 2 up to 16 players (some of which are world scale), or online Time Trial events. Each event is limited in time, once finished, a ranking board shows the most successful players' scores. Top players' replay files are made available for download as ghost replays. Each week new events with their specific parameters (car class, tyre types, assistance level, etc.) are added to the list while older are closed.
- Ranking: an online ranking board for each course archiving the best record per track and car.
- Arcade: a single race mode allowing the player to choose a track to race on board the currently selected car and to compete against 15 AI controlled cars. Credits are not earned in this mode.
- 2P Battle: an offline two-player splitscreen mode.
- Event: Event Races are championships, time trials and mission races against the AI in various classes. Once completed in Gold, Silver or Bronze level, new, harder classes are made available. Credits are earned by the player as he win the races in top positions. Three basic classes are available Class C, B and A. Once Class A is completed the game's ending movie is available for download in GT-TV and a bonus class called Class S is added.
- Garage: where the players' cars are viewed and raced also can be sold to earn credits.
- Dealerships: where the player can buy a new car using his Event Race earned credits. Various models from world famous automakers are available for purchase in the showroom. Some automakers have their own Event race consisting of a one make race for a specific model. Brand related News are regularly provided through online updates.
- Replay: saved or downloaded replays are available for watching.
- Option: various options settings for the game.
- Manual: the game's Playing Manual is displayed on-screen. The Manual is almost always updated with a software update.
- Save: allows to record the game when the autosave feature is disabled.
When the user's PlayStation Network account is signed off, online contents related icons are disabled (1, 2, 3 and 4). The Museum is activated from the My Page interface once the game is in rolling demo mode. This feature provides the players with automakers background and history.
Updates are available on game boot through online download and they are all free. Game contents such as new cars, game modes or GT-TV videos are added with each update. Some elements such as BGMs are regionally exclusive due to licensing issues. As Polyphony Digital are currently focused on Gran Turismo 5, they have stopped applying updates for GT5 Prologue.
The Gran Turismo TV feature was introduced in the free playable demo version. The VOD service was activated on October 22, 2007 providing free SD trailers for three upcoming GT-TV programs, Super GT ("Climax Digest"), D1 Grand Prix ("Top of the Drifting World") and Best Motoring ("Best Motoring Trailer").
From October 22 to November 30 three GT-TV exclusive HD videos featuring game producer Kazunori Yamauchi premiered in the demo: "First Impression: Lancer Evolution X", "Tokyo Motor Show 2007" and "GT-R Legend Inside Story part I".
The demo was removed from the Japanese PlayStation Store on November 30 and its online functions ended on December 6, however all issued VOD videos were later re-released in the game's retail version through updates, except the SD trailers. "The GT-R Legend Inside Story" part 1 documentary was included in the Blu-ray Disc though. It was later completed by parts II & III, both released through GT-TV updates.
The first episode of the BBC's Top Gear series 6 is available for free since March 31. In the meantime five videos released in December 2007 have been removed. On April 1, two promotion videos for Super GT ("Fascination for the Super GT") and D1 Grand Prix ("The Drifting World") were added. A first trailer for Video Option ("What is the Video Option?") was also included announcing upcoming releases for this magazine.
On August 1, 2008, GT-TV was completely overhauled with a new interface, layout, and the launch of the PPV (pay-per-view) service. The "GT-R Legend Inside Story (all parts)", "'08 Nurburgring 24h Introduction" and "First Impression Lancer Evolution X" videos stayed free-of-charge. "Fascination for the Super GT", "The Drifting World", and "What is The Video Option?" videos were taken off of GT-TV. The new update added new PPV videos; 8 Top Gear videos, 1 Option video, 1 Super GT video, D1 Grand Prix video, 1 Gran Turismo video, 1 Best Motoring video. Also kept were the opening and ending movies, also staying are free-of-charge. All PPV videos were released at a reduced price at the launch of the service.
In an interview with IGN on July 17, 2008, when asked whether the GT-TV service could come to the PSP, Yamauchi answered, "We definitely want to do that in the future." Suggesting that watching GT-TV on the move could become a reality in the future.
The Japanese release in December 2007 featured 37 stock cars (plus the uncredited GT-R "Black Mask" returning from the free playable demo) from various Japanese, European and American manufacturers including Nissan, Ferrari and Ford.
Spec II update adds new manufacturers, more stock cars and introduces racing cars, tuners and "Tuned" cars. Total number of playable cars reaches 71.
The North American version of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue brought additional stock and tuned cars, increasing the game's car list to 76 credited cars.
Four circuits located in Japan, Europe and North America are included in the original game, plus two fictitious tracks: The High Speed Ring and Eiger/Eiger Nordwand. In the absence of suitable roads in the real-life location around Kleine Scheidegg and the Eiger, the game developers created the track based on actual hiking trail.
Each track is available in two different layouts. London, High Speed Ring and Eiger Nordwand are available in the forward and reverse directions. The Fuji International Speedway is available in both "F1" and "GT" variation; the Daytona International Speedway has both the Oval and Road Course layouts; and the Suzuka Circuit has a shorter layout known as the East Course.
Each real-life circuit has an HD video "Course Guide" that documents the location with actual footage and commentary text.
Spec II update adds the Gran Turismo franchise's classic High Speed Ring fictitious circuit (available in both forward and reverse version) which brings the total number of tracks to six (twelve different layouts).
Input device support
The Gran Turismo 5 Prologue free playable demo was the first PlayStation 3 release supporting both DualShock 3 controller vibration and racing wheels force feedback feature. On February 20, 2008 Logitech announced a new Gran Turismo official wheel, the Driving Force GT will be launched in May to coincide with the game's western release. Previous official Gran Turismo wheels are supported, these include the Driving Force Pro, GT Force, Driving Force and Driving Force EX. Limited support for the Logitech G25 Racing Wheel is available; the wheel is not officially supported, but it is possible to re-map the button layout via the Driving Force Pro setup screen and the clutch can be enabled by pressing the triangle button at the start of each race, as soon as you have control of the car. Support for the logitech G27 is also limited, for example, the paddle shifters do not work in game, although, in the controller configuration screen, the paddle shifters signals are detected (up and down).
Japanese PSN demo
A free demo (グランツーリスモ5 プロローグ 無料体験版) was made available for download between October 20, 2007 and November 30, 2007 in the Japanese PlayStation store with the Suzuka Circuit and seven playable cars. The demo unlocked cars as they were unveiled at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show. This demo replaced Gran Turismo HD Concept that was removed from the Japanese PlayStation Store on September 30, 2007.
The demo initially had four playable cars from various Japanese and European manufacturers. The remaining three cars (Mazda ATENZA Sport '07, Lexus IS-F '07 and Subaru Impreza WRX STI '07) were unlocked as each one was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. The show also unveiled the release of the Nissan GT-R '07 (replacing the "GT-R Black Mask" with its defining panels concealed). The Black Mask was removed from the car section on October 23 to coincide with its official unveiling at the Tokyo Motor Show and was subsequently made available the following day.
SEMA Show 2007 demo
Compared with the Japanese demo this new version had American cars (Dodge Viper GTS '02 and Ford Mustang V8 Coupe Premium '07) and tracks (Daytona International Speedway), these were included but not playable in the PSN demo.
Downshift Session 2008
This was an event held in October by Polyphony Digital to celebrate ten years of Gran Turismo. The main attraction in the show was Gran Turismo 5 Prologue running at a resolution of 3840x2160. The game normally runs at 60 frame/s and at 1920x1080 resolution. The game needed four PlayStation 3 consoles to run and it was projected onto a 220-inch (5.6 m) screen using an expensive Sony projector. Each PS3 handled the rendering of one quarter of the screen. With one PS3 system, approximately 2.1 million pixels would be displayed, but with this special high resolution display, approximately 8.3 million pixels were displayed. A separate demo ran with the original resolution but at 240 frame/s.
Release with 80GB PlayStation 3 in Japan
On October 9, 2008, it was announced that Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III will be released for a limited time only, bundled with the new 80GB PS3 model released only in Japan. The new model will have a choice of 3 colours; black, silver, and white, and will also come with the DualShock 3 controller as standard. Spec III introduces gameplay improvements and 3 new cars. New packaging has also been shown, showing the GT by Citroën car on the front instead of the Nissan GT-R. The bundle was released on October 30, 2008.
Beyond the Apex is a 18-minute GT-TV documentary included in the Blu-ray version of the North American release of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. This documentary was filmed and edited over four months by director Greg Harvey. It features behind-the-scenes footage of the development of the game along with an interview with series creator, Kazunori Yamauchi.
A Gran Turismo 5 Prologue soundtrack was released in Japan on February 20, 2008. The CD is published by Village Music and includes 18 tracks.
The "Moon Over the Castle" theme song from the Gran Turismo series is featured, arranged and performed by Rocky IV and The Transformers: The Movie composer, Vince DiCola. DiCola stated in an interview with Music4Games that he recorded two versions of the theme, one for use in-game and the other for the soundtrack album. This new version of the song was re-recorded in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The European and Japanese releases of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue featured the song "SURV1V3" by Jonathan Underdown/Daiki Kasho as the opening theme song whereas the North American release featured the LA Riots remix of "Automatic" by Weezer.
|Official PlayStation Magazine (UK)||7/10|
According to SCEE's ThreeSpeech blog, the game has reached the one million mark in pre-orders from PAL territories making it the first PlayStation 3 game to reach Platinum status before its release. On Metacritic, the game has a score of 80/100, based on 67 reviews. Hyper's Eliot Fish commends the game for "looking and feeling fantastic". However, he criticises it for having "no damage model".
By April 30, 2008, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue had shipped 2.23 million worldwide according to Sony Computer Entertainment and Polyphony Digital, with 270,000 units in Japan, 550,000 in North America, 1.38 million in Europe, and 30,000 in Asia. As of August 2009, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue has shipped 3.94 million copies worldwide, with 690,000 copies in Japan, 820,000 in North America, 2.33 million in Europe, and 100,000 in Southeast Asia.
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