Sony has gamers across the globe salivating with the announcement of the upcoming PlayStation 4 – its next generation games console.
The new device will be out just in time for Christmas 2013 with new PC-based hardware and a re-imagined controller that features a touchpad and light sensors. For racing game fans it surely means a new iteration of Gran Turismo, the PlayStation-only driving simulator.
Loved for its photorealistic graphics, huge selection of cars and incredibly accurate driving dynamics, the Gran Turismo series has also made several leaps from virtual reality to reality.
To celebrate the announcement of the PlayStation 4 (and an inevitable new car game), here are the top five Gran Turismo forays into the real world...
The Nissan GT-R is a car born from the PlayStation generation, with early Gran Turismo games cementing the car's fearsome reputation. So it was fitting that when Nissan needed a display designed for the dashboard of the latest R35 GT-R it turned to the game's developers, Polyphony. The interface displays performance information such as G-force, throttle opening, brake pedal pressure and steering angle. It's a gadget often praised by Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear team as it allows grown men live out their inner racing driver fantasies.
To promote Gran Turismo 5 the game developers turned to 2010 Formula One Constructer Champions Red Bull, by asking legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey to create his vision of a race car unshackled from any rules or regulations. The result was the crazy Red Bull X2010, which Gran Turismo players could download and drive in the game. After Newey specified the extreme racer, Polyphony analysed the design and calculated it would achieve 0-200mph in 6.1 seconds, have a top speed of 330mph and reach a maximum cornering force of 8.25G thanks to a fan that sucks air out from under the car, increasing the downforce.
GT by Citroen
The GT by Citroen was a collaboration between the French manufacturer and Polyphony - the result was a concept car that drew on Japan's Samurai warriors for influence. The cars panels were sculpted away from the main body "like plates of armour", and the front end had "a sharp gaze reminiscent of faceplates on the helmets of Japanese warlords". Citroen liked it so much, the firm made a real one with metal instead of computer code, and a ferocious 646bhp Ford V8 engine powered it.
Nissan GT Academy
The GT Academy is a worldwide contest that uncovers the best Gran Tursimo players and allows them to compete for the chance to become a professional racing driver. Entrants battle each other on-track in the game before being let loose in powerful Nissan race cars for real. Top performers are tested on their strength, stamina, mental agility and driving skills, and judges looking for passion and dedication select the very best to race in GT4 events around the world. Graduates, such as Brit Jann Mardenborough, now race V8 GT-Rs against Ferraris and Lamborghinis on tracks around the world.
Chevrolet Corvette C7
During the build-up to the launch of the new C7 Corvette, gamers were able to get their hands on the car long before journalists or potential buyers could via a downloadable version of a heavily disguised prototype – complete with plastic cladding and camouflage paint. The car was said to be a faithful representation of how the real Corvette would feel, so gamers were able to experience what, until that moment, had only been reserved for a handful of Chevrolet test drivers.