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Gaming: Gran Turismo Sport on PS4 will crown virtual world champions

Official FIA championships bring real and digital racing even closer

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The first Gran Turismo game on Playstation 4 won’t be Gran Turismo 7 after all, it’ll be Gran Turismo Sport, enraging numerophiles everywhere.

There’s a good reason for that, though. Gran Turismo Sport will be the first game that’s fully sanctioned by motorsport’s international governing body, the FIA. In shorter, more digestible words, we’re getting a virtual world championship. Two, in fact.

The Nations Cup will see players representing their country online against the rest of the world. The Manufacturer Fan Cup will allow players to choose a favourite manufacturer for whom to compete. Both series will run simultaneously, with a World Final at the end of the season.

As an added incentive on top of the usual bragging rights, the GT Sport world championship winners will receive their trophies alongside the Formula One world champion at the FIA’s swanky annual gala in December. Assuming they don’t overdo the open bar and fail to make it up the stairs to the stage, that is.

Budding Hamiltons keen to get in as much practice as possible before the first season kicks off will want to keep an eye out for the ‘beta’ version of the game that Sony has promised will be available to download for public testing at some point in spring next year. Ostensibly a beta is designed to make sure the online servers don’t fall over, but it also offers fans their first chance to get their hands on a teaser of the game.

As you’d expect from the cross-generational leap between Playstation 3 and Playstation 4, GT Sport will also boast improved visuals, audio and more realistic physics simulation, giving you even fewer things to blame when you make an impression the exact size and shape of a Bugatti Vision GT’s front end in a section of the Nordschleife’s Armco.

Perhaps the most tantalising morsel for those of us who aren’t ever likely to be world champion material is that the game will also eventually support the upcoming Playstation virtual reality headset. Playstation VR’s wraparound 3D visuals and precise head tracking offer you the feeling of actually nestling into the cockpit of a race car and all for the low, low price of looking like you’re wearing a rubbish Tron-themed Halloween costume.

Okay, those are the cold hard facts about GT Sport. Ready for a bit of reading between the lines? We couldn’t help noticing that the archive footage at the beginning of the trailer above is absolutely riddled with footage of Porsche 917s, hinting that the marque might finally be making its Gran Turismo debut. After Stuttgart’s finest was confirmed for Forza 6, we wouldn’t be at all surprised.

Either way, next year the worlds of digital and real motorsport are going to inch that little bit closer. All that’s missing is a virtual reality mini-game where you have to dodge a flying podium cap lobbed by the victorious world champ…

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