Gran Turismo fans have been waiting to play the new installment for a long time, and an invite to this closed beta could give them a preview.
Sony has announced that the closed beta for Gran Turismo Sport will begin on March 17. PlayStation 4 owners are encouraged to keep an eye on their messages to see whether they receive an invite to take part in the preview.
Participants will be given access to a rotating selection of cars and tracks, racing against other testers online, according to an announcement on the PlayStation Blog. The cars and tracks available will change over the course of the beta period, giving players the opportunity to check out a good portion of what the full game has to offer.
The beta test will be used to perfect the Driver Profile system set to be implemented in Gran Turismo Sport. The Drive Profile tracks a player’s sportsmanship as well as their ability on the track, which feeds into the game’s matchmaking system to ensure balanced, competitive online play.
At least initially, invites to the Gran Turismo Sport closed beta will only be distributed to PlayStation IDs registered in the United States. There’s currently no confirmation as to whether or not the beta will expand to other regions later on.
This decision has been made so that development staff based in Tokyo can observe what’s going on as it happens, without the interference of different time zones. During the initial phase of beta testing, servers will only be available at certain times of the day, which will be announced closer to the start of the test period.
The Gran Turismo Sport beta was initially intended to take place around this time last year, but the test period was cancelled in an attempt to prepare the game for a late 2016 release — of course, the title would end up being delayed. At present, the hotly anticipated sequel is still expected to release worldwide before the end of 2017.