Gran Turismo (series)
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Gran Turismo Series

Gran Turismo[a] (GT) is a series of racing simulation video games developed by Polyphony Digital. Developed for PlayStation systems, Gran Turismo games are intended to emulate the appearance and performance of a large selection of vehicles, most of which are licensed reproductions of real-world automobiles. Since the franchise's debut in 1997, over 80 million units have been sold worldwide for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Portable, making it the highest selling video game franchise under the PlayStation brand.[3]


The Gran Turismo series is developed by Polyphony Digital and produced by Kazunori Yamauchi. Gran Turismo can trace back its origins to 1992, when Kazunori Yamauchi set out with a group of seven to develop the original Gran Turismo, which took five years to complete.[4][5]

The appeal of the Gran Turismo series is due significantly to its graphics, a large number of licensed vehicles, attention to vehicle detail, accurate driving physics emulation, and the ability to tune performance, hence the subtitle "The Real Driving Simulator", incorporated to the franchise's iconography since Gran Turismo 4. Handling of the vehicles is modeled on real-life driving impressions, tuning is based on principles of physics, and the sound of the vehicle's engine is based on recordings of the actual vehicles. The game has been a flagship for the PlayStation console's graphics capabilities, and is often used to demonstrate the system's potential.

Although Gran Turismo has an arcade mode, most gameplay derives from its simulation mode. Players start with a certain number of credits, usually 10,000, which are used to purchase vehicles from several manufacturer-specific shops, or (more likely at the beginning) from used car dealers, and then tune their car at the appropriate parts store for best performance. Certain events are open only to particular types of vehicles. In order to enter and progress through more difficult races, a license-testing system has been implemented, which guides players through skill development. Players may apply prize money won in events to upgrade their existing car or buy a new one, collecting a garage of vehicles.

Since Gran Turismo 5 Prologue launched on the PS3, an online aspect of the gameplay has started to evolve. GT5 Prologue has enabled users to race online with up to 16 players on track at once. Gran Turismo 4 for the PS2 was actually the first online-enabled Gran Turismo game but the online aspect of the game did not make it past beta stage.

According to Yamauchi, the cars in the first two games were made from 300 polygons,[6] while those in Gran Turismo 3 and 4 were made up of 4,000 polygons,[7] and the "premium cars" in Gran Turismo 5 were made up of 500,000 ("standard cars" are slightly more detailed versions of those in Gran Turismo 4).[8]

With the release of Gran Turismo Sport, it became the first game solely focusing on online-only racing, whereas offline is limited. However, Gran Turismo Sport provided post-release content at no charge, including cars and tracks, along with offline events, as well as bug fixes.

The next game in development, Gran Turismo 7, was revealed at the 2020 PS5 Future of Gaming event on June 11, 2020.[9] The title will be developed for PlayStation 4[10] and PlayStation 5.[11]


Game history

The Gran Turismo series is represented by eight primary releases, two for the PlayStation, two for the PlayStation 2, two for the PlayStation 3, one for the PlayStation 4, and one upcoming game for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The series is also represented by many other "abbreviated" releases on the PS2 and PS3.


Primary releases

Title Year released Platform Cars Tracks Sales[12][13]
Gran Turismo 1997 PlayStation 140 11 10,850,000
Gran Turismo 2 1999 650 27 9,370,000
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec 2001 PlayStation 2 181 34 14,890,000
Gran Turismo 4 2004 722 51 11,760,000
Gran Turismo 5 2010 PlayStation 3 1,0881 723 11,950,000
Gran Turismo 6 2013 1,2472 1003 5,220,000
Gran Turismo Sport 2017 PlayStation 4 3374 845 8,000,000
Gran Turismo 7 2022[14] PlayStation 4,[10] PlayStation 5 TBA TBA -
1. 275 Premium and 850 Standard cars.
2. 388 Premium and 838 Standard cars.
3. Track editor included
4. As of November 2020[15]
5. As of December 2019[16]

Secondary releases

Title Year released Platform Cars Tracks Sales[12][17]
Gran Turismo Concept: 2001 Tokyo 2002 PlayStation 2 51 440,000
Gran Turismo Concept: 2002 Tokyo-Seoul 2002 90,000
Gran Turismo Concept: 2002 Tokyo-Geneva 2002 100 5 1,030,000
Gran Turismo 4 Prologue 2003 50 5 1,400,000
Gran Turismo 4 Online (test version) 2006 N/A
Gran Turismo HD Concept 2006 PlayStation 3 10 1 N/A
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue 2007 70 6 5,350,000
Gran Turismo 2009 PlayStation Portable 833 75 4,670,000

Other releases

Title Release date
Gran Turismo (demo version) Late 1998
During Christmas 1998, a special promotional demo of Gran Turismo was included with the PlayStation console. The demo was limited to an Arcade Mode race at Clubman Stage Route 5 with three cars (Subaru Impreza WRX, Honda NSX, and Chevrolet Corvette), with the race limited to ninety seconds (1 minute 30 seconds). Other demos existed in other regions with different restrictions.
Gran Turismo 2000 N/A
Gran Turismo 2000 was a demo on display at E3 2000/2001 promoting the Gran Turismo franchise as well as the capabilities of the PlayStation 2. Due to a delay in the release date, the name of the final version of the game was changed to Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec.[18] A demo version of the game was given out for the visitors of PlayStation Festival 2000, allowing the players to drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V in Seattle Circuit for two minutes.
Gran Turismo 4 - Toyota Prius demo disc Mid 2004[19]
In the summer of 2004, Toyota sent a demo disc of GT4 along with a marketing brochure for its 2004 Prius hybrid car by way of customer request from their web site.[20] The demo was also given out at a presentation of the Toyota MTRC at the New York International Auto Show. The demo disc featured only two cars, namely the Prius and the Toyota MTRC concept car. Two tracks were included, Fuji Speedway ('90s version) and Grand Canyon rally track, but each was limited to two minutes of play time. Toyota stopped offering the demo discs when the requests for the marketing brochure became disproportional to the real interest in their cars. The disc became a collectible item for Prius owners and is still sometimes available via auction at eBay. The game ran on a modified GT4P engine.
Gran Turismo 4 - BMW 1-Series demo disc
Features two models of the BMW 1 Series (120i and 120d), and three Gran Turismo 4 tracks - including the Nürburgring (driving around this circuit was limited to three minutes). BMW customers in the United Kingdom who ordered a 1-series before its official release date were invited to a private event at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire. On departure from the event, all guests were given a pack containing the demo disc. The game ran on a modified pre-release GT4 engine.
Gran Turismo 4 - Nissan Micra Edition demo disc
With the release of Nissan Micra Roma, Nissan distributed a press kit for each concessionaire in several countries in Europe to promote the car. This press kit included several photographs, a press information booklet and three discs. One of the discs included in this kit is an official Gran Turismo demo named Nissan Micra Edition.
Gran Turismo - Nissan 350Z Edition demo disc
Similar to the Nissan Micra Edition, this CD also comes in one of the many press kits available for the Nissan 350Z in the United States. There is no confirmation that a European version exists. The press kit containing the game demo comes with two other discs inside a silver folder. An additional booklet with information and pictures of the Nissan 350Z is also included. The game ran on a modified Gran Turismo Concept engine and races are limited on 150 seconds. Only Côte d'Azur, not available in Gran Turismo Concept but available in Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, was the available course.
Gran Turismo Academy Time Trial demo December 17, 2009[21]
Featured the Indianapolis GP Circuit for the first time in the franchise's history and also included a tuned and stock Nissan 370Z. The object of the Time Trial was as the first stage of the 2010 GT Academy to find two of the best Gran Turismo drivers to end up competing in a real racing car in a real racing series. The demo showed off a new physics model and some graphical improvements to GT5 Prologue but was also criticised. Its primary objective was as the first stage of the 2010 GT Academy and not as demonstration of the upcoming Gran Turismo 5.
Tourist Trophy January 26, 2006
Tourist Trophy is a motorcycle racing game. It was designed by Polyphony Digital. It was largely created off of the Gran Turismo 4 game engine. Tourist Trophy is one of only four titles for the PlayStation 2 that is capable of 1080i output, the others being Gran Turismo 4, Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, and Jackass: The Game. Polyphony Digital reused the physics engine, graphical user interface and all but one of the circuits found in Gran Turismo 4. However, the number of AI racers (computer-controlled opponents) has been reduced from five in the Gran Turismo series to only three. Tourist Trophy also uses the License School feature that was popularized by the Gran Turismo series, as well as the Photo Mode introduced in Gran Turismo 4. The B-spec mode, which appeared in Gran Turismo 4, was removed from Tourist Trophy.
Gran Turismo for Boys Unreleased
A youth-focused Gran Turismo was announced in November 2004[22] with a scheduled release date of 2005,[23] though the game was not released at that time. In September 2006, Kazunori Yamauchi confirmed the game was still in development.[24] In April 2008, while discussing plans for Gran Turismo 5, Kazunori Yamauchi was quoted as saying, "we're hoping to make Gran Turismo for Boys a feature within GT5."[25] In a 2013 interview with GTPlanet, Kazunori Yamauchi said that the PSP video game Gran Turismo was a rendition of the Gran Turismo for Boys idea and there was no need for a separate game.[26]

Gran Turismo related products

Official Gran Turismo kit with GT Force and Racing Cockpit

Official simulator kits

Polyphony Digital has collaborated with peripherals manufacturer Logitech and auto parts maker Sparco to design official driving simulator kits for the Gran Turismo franchise. The most recent product designation is Driving Force GT. Two other racing wheels are compatible with Gran Turismo.

Official model car kits

In 2009, radio-control model car company HPI Racing released an official RC car tie-in: the HPI E10 RTR Ford GT LM Race Car Spec II designed by Gran Turismo (200mm), a pre-built officially licensed radio-control car kit built to look exactly like the cover car for Gran Turismo 4 . Plans for future releases include releasing more kits to replicate other Gran Turismo cover cars.

Gran Turismo cafe

In 2009, a cafe opened at the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack.[27][28]

Street namings

In acknowledgment of the Mount Panorama Circuit's inclusion in Gran Turismo 6, the City of Bathurst in Australia unveiled a new street called Gran Turismo Drive in December 2013. Mayor of Bathurst, Gary Rush said "Driving a lap of our world famous motor racing circuit is a life changing experience for those who have the chance, and the Bathurst Regional Council is very excited about opening up the Mount Panorama experience through the launch of Gran Turismo 6."[29]

Also in 2013, series creator Kazunori Yamauchi had a street named in honor of him in the city of Ronda. Named Paseo de Kazunori Yamauchi, the street snakes around the Parador de Ronda. According to Ronda's city mayor Maria de la Paz Fernandez Lobato, "There is no doubt that his work has a huge cultural resonance with people today. He has driven the racing game genre to new levels of realism and his creations are as much art as technology. Ronda's association with Gran Turismo is also a reflection that our ancient city is a modern, vibrant place to live and very much part of the 21st century."[30]


The series has been involved in sponsoring various real-life sporting events and teams, including the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb as of November 2014,[31] D1GP since the 2008 season, the 2004 Race of Champions, the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight at Circuit de la Sarthe until 2012, and racing teams such as Prost Grand Prix, Pescarolo Sport, Audi/Oreca, Peugeot, Abt Sportsline, Signatech-Nissan, Audi A4 DTM, Vita4One-BMW Z4, Aston Martin Rapide S, Igor Fraga and Sébastien Loeb.


GT Academy

2011 GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough joins competitors at the UK National Final in 2013

The GT Academy is a driver discovery/development program initiated in 2008 through a partnership between Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Polyphony Digital, and Nissan Europe.

Online qualifiers are held within Gran Turismo, and the top qualifiers are invited to National Finals in each participating country. The top winners of each country are sent to a Race Camp held at Silverstone, UK for the final selection. The winner undergoes an intensive Driver Development Programme designed by Nissan which will train and license them into a professional driver, competing in races worldwide. The four winning drivers will automatically join the Nismo Global Driver Exchange and go on to race in the following years' Dubai 24 Hour.

Winners of the Gran Turismo Academy include Lucas Ordóñez, Jordan Tresson and Jann Mardenborough, who have all gone on to compete in professional real-life racing. Some of these winners, who would normally be seen as "non-professionals", have received praise relating to how they are as skilled as drivers with years of experience. Based on this merit, four GT Academy drivers have been barred entry to the British GT (specifically the 'gentleman driver' section of the competition).[32]


The FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships is a series of Gran Turismo tournaments held around the world since 2018.


The Gran Turismo video game series has been one of the most popular over its lifetime, appealing to an audience ranging from casual gamers to fans of realistic racing sims.

Because of the success of the Gran Turismo series, Guinness World Records awarded the series 7 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Largest Number of Cars in a Racing game", "Highest Selling PlayStation Game", "Oldest Car in a Racing Game", and "Largest Instruction Guide for a Racing Game". Despite its success, a few other first-party studios led to them creating simulator racing games similar to the franchise. It started with Sega GT, Sega's answer to the franchise which was released on the short-lived Dreamcast console, though it had fewer sales and less traction, and later had a sequel on the original Xbox before the franchise died off. Turn 10 would later create the Forza Motorsport series on more of the Xbox consoles and serves as the primary ongoing rival of the Gran Turismo franchise. Aside from that, other studios also created other racing simulators exclusive to the Playstation 2 and others such as Driving Emotion Type-S by Square and Enthusia Professional Racing by Konami.

With a collective sales total of 80.4 million units sold,[46] it is the highest-selling PlayStation franchise of all time.

In the final issue of the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, Gran Turismo 2 was chosen as the 5th best game of all time.[47] Edge said the first game was one of the 10 greatest video games of the last 20 years.[48]

In 2005, Maeda Corporation, in association with Tokyo University of Science, researched the feasibility of making a real-life replica version of the fictional Grand Valley Speedway used in the series.[49]


In 2013, Sony announced it is developing a live action Gran Turismo film with Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti producing the film, along with Josh Bratman, Elizabeth Contillon and Devon Franklin. DeLuna will oversee the film with Matt Millan and Joseph Kosinski will co-write the film with Alex Tse and is in talks to direct the film. Jon and Erich Hoeber will write the film.[50][51][52]

At the Jalopnik Film Festival, Kazunori announced a documentary film covering the past 15 years of the game series up until that point, titled KAZ: Pushing The Virtual Divide. It was released on January 22, 2014 on Hulu.[53]


  1. ^ Italian for "grand touring"
  2. ^ a b c GameRankings score


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