If ModNation Racers and Motorstorm are PlayStation's arcade-y racers then the Gran Turismo series is the hyper-realistic feather in its cap. The last game, Gran Turismo 6, pushed the PS3 to its limits with developer Polyphony Digital wringing every ounce of power from the aging console. But it wasn't a complete success for them. Despite being the series' swansong on last-gen, Gran Turismo 6 made it onto our 2013 gaming disappointments list due to its inclusion of microtransactions which many felt were shoehorned in.
Confirmed earlier this year, Gran Turismo 7 is in the works from the notoriously perfectionist devs. Unlike the massive wait players experienced before Gran Turismo 5 however, Polyphony Digital head Kazunori Yamauchi has now confirmed that the game will be released for PS4 in either 2015 or 2016.
The statement comes from an interview with GamesTM during which Yamauchi explained the difference between PlayStation's last-gen and current-gen hardware. He says,
"Everything will be running naturally, PS3 was much, much more difficult. The high quality of data that we have being rendered on the PS4 I think is going to make an incredible difference.”
That 'incredible difference' will mostly be down to the game's visuals. We've come to expect nothing short of astonishing when it comes to the definition and detail of the cars in Gran Turismo games and Yamauchi says that that will continue in the next GT game as well:
"For GT7, myself and my staff have a clear vision: to do everything we couldn’t do in GT6. We want to make it very Gran Turismo. By that I mean it’s going to be a game that matches the very era that we live in, in 2015 or 2016."
Whilst '2015 or 2016' might be rather vague, it may also seem like a perilously long wait for one of PlayStation's best franchises. But, that wait will seem the longest to DriveClub fans and players whose experiences of PlayStation's other exclusive racing series are still being dampened by online issues.
After server issues put a massive roadblock in the way of DriveClub's PlayStation Plus Edition (a free, pared-down version of the game that is meant to act as a demo) players have also found themselves subject to rocky multiplayer. Last week developer Evolution Studios set up a one in, one out system which prevented players from getting into the online multiplayer mode until another player had left it.
Since the huge swathe of problems hit last week, the game's director, Paul Rustchynsky, has now taken to Twitter to clarify just what is up. First of all, he explains that it's not a lack of servers or hardware that's causing the issue but rather a coding problem. That will hardly be considered good news to most, as it means the issue can't be fixed with a quick update, but rather with some heavy duty programming.
For now, a temporary fix is in place as Evolution has just rolled out DriveClub update 1.03. According to a tweet from Rustchynsky, it "Implements several game-side fixes to reduce server load" and will help them "resolve the online issues" while a post on the game's official Facebook page explains that it also increases the number of players who can play at any one time.
But even so, the developer says that "Some functions are temporarily unavailable including challenges and social updates" which means that the promised features of DriveClub just aren't being made available. Considering that so many people bought the game for its challenges and the way it encourage teams to be social, together, this is a whopping dealbreaker.
It makes sense then that some players are asking for compensation. One fan suggested free DLC for early adopters (the game is already getting some free DLC, it should be noted) to which Rustchynsky replied "We're considering all of our options right now".
That's not exactly going to ease the fact that many players have yet to get the gaming experience that they paid for, but for those making use of DriveClub's (working) features, it might make make the game more worth the money that they paid.
There's no official date on this – the compensation DLC, the next DriveClub update or DriveClub's PS+ version – so there could be some time until PlayStation's newest exclusive racer is able to cruise easy on a straight. Many will also want to hold out for Gran Turismo 7 then, when that heads to PS4 in a few years.
Let's just hope it doesn't suffer from the same, game-breaking issues, eh?