Shocking though it may be to consider, the oft-delayed Gran Turismo 5 has actually been available for more than a year now. In that time, the game has played host to a number of content updates, all of which will be included in Gran Turismo 5: Spec II, a new retail package set for release next February.
As the name makes explicitly clear, Gran Turismo 5: Spec II features the massive Spec II update that was released last October. In addition to finally allowing saves during endurance races, Spec II added cockpit views to the game's many Standard cars.
While that update didn't cost GT5 owners a dime, the retail release of Gran Turismo 5: Spec II will also include a code to download the paid DLC that debuted around the same time: the Course Pack, Racing Car Pack, Racing Gear Pack, and Paint Pack. These join long-available Gran Turismo 5 updates like the multiplayer damage patch and Gran Turismo Anywhere.
Given the enormous number of changes that have been made to Gran Turismo 5 since it first released, a new retail package containing all the updates makes sense. That said, a few details may keep the Spec II re-release from being quite so desirable as it might otherwise have been.
For starters, though the game has been confirmed for a February 2 release in Japan, no international release plans have been revealed. In fact, when questioned directly by Eurogamer, a Sony spokesperson replied that the company has "no plans" to release the game in Europe. Granted, Sony may simply not want to cut into Gran Turismo 5's sales during the biggest shopping season of the year. Still, given the series' obvious international appeal, any suggestion that the Spec II re-release is Japan only is tough to take seriously.
The second issue is, as it always turns out to be, the game's price. There is a tradition of re-releasing games, complete with DLC, in Game of the Year or some such similar editions. These often arrive as full-priced titles, despite the fact that the "original" version of the game has long since been discounted. Sadly, this appears to be exactly the case with Gran Turismo 5: Spec II. While a brand-new copy of GT5 can be had for just $39.99, Spec II will be roughly $64 U.S. when it launches in Japan. Granted, paid DLC is included on the disc, but the Complete Pack (which contains all the GT5 DLC mentioned above) is only $11.99 to download from PSN, meaning that buying a current copy of GT5 plus the DLC is still cheaper than the Spec II package.
Of course, things change fast in the video game industry, and plans for a Gran Turismo 5: Spec II international release -- hopefully at a lower price -- may well emerge. Keep your eyes on Game Rant for more news as it develops.
Ranters, any interest in Gran Turismo 5: Spec II, or are you already holding out for Gran Turismo 6?
Gran Turismo 5: Spec II releases February 2, 2012, for the PS3 in Japan.
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