Gran Turismo 7 will mark a return to the classic games in the series. In an interview with Octane, Polyphony Digital CEO Kazunori Yamauchi stated that while e-sports will factor into the game, they won’t be as big a focus as they were in the last title, Gran Turismo Sport.
As Yamauchi explained, Gran Turismo Sport “took on the challenge of full-scale e-sports” in a move away from the traditional model of previous games. The problem is it didn’t sell as well. The game did manage to attract 9.5 million players in the end, but “it didn’t sell explosively from the beginning“. The reason for this was seemingly because it “may have seemed quite outlandish for some people”. As such, Gran Turismo 7 will keep some e-sports elements, like the FIA-certified Gran Turismo Championships, but the game will return to the classic and nostalgic feel of games like Gran Turismo 1-4. It will “provide the best Gran Turismo experience at present”.
The development of the game has been very drawn out. First teased for PlayStation 4 back in 2013, everything went quiet as GT Sport was released instead. The title was then leaked for a 2020 release before being officially unveiled for PS5 last year. Developing the title for the latest PlayStation console will mean it can make use of many of the console’s features, like fast loading, 3D audio, haptic feedback, Adaptive Triggers, 4K support, HDR, and a target frame rate of 60 frames-per-second. Ray tracing will especially make a large difference to the game’s visuals. Yamauchi explained how:
In the evolution from PS4 to PS5, what we have been waiting for is the realization of real-time path tracing. Path tracing is a CG simulation method that is also called ray tracing, and faithfully reflects the reflection and reflection of the subject on the light source. CG for movies has been around for a long time, but it was difficult to obtain the computing power required to operate it in real time in a video game console. Being able to surpass that with PS5 has greatly improved expressiveness. […] In the scenery of the world, many of the smooth and shiny objects are automobiles. It uses a lot of metal and glass, and is beautifully painted. It can be expected to be even more effective in expressing such glossy things in a realistic manner.
Yamauchi failed to be drawn on the future of the franchise once Gran Turismo 7 has been released. However, he did imply the franchise wouldn’t be ending anytime soon:
Gran Turismo was created by Japanese automobile culture. I myself grew up as a car enthusiast surrounded by the influence of Japanese automobile manufacturers and the transmission of automobile media, and that is also the driving force behind my production. Although the title has been played worldwide, I have never forgotten that it originated in Japan, and now I feel the responsibility and mission of inheriting the Japanese automobile culture.
Gran Turismo 7 and its incredible amount of detail is expected to be released at some point this year.