Something was missing from Sony’s big press conference showing off the PlayStation 4. There were games from nearly all of the company’s western studios. Guerilla had Killzone: Shadow Fall, Sucker Punch had InFamous: Second Son, Media Molecule had its mercurial Move demo, and Evolution had DriveClub. Sony Santa Monica was absent, but with a new God of War due out in in mere weeks, that wasn’t all that surprising. It was Evolution that highlighted the strangeness of the show, though. Where were all of Sony’s Japanese developers? Mark Cerny is working on Knack with Sony Japan, but where was Team Ico? Where was Polyphony Digital? Kazunori Yamauchi was just a talking head in a video montage at a time when his envelope pushing Gran Turismo series should have been front and center. Rumor is this is because Gran Turismo 6 isn’t a PlayStation 4 game at all. It will be for PlayStation 3.
Speaking with Silicon Republic, Sony Europe VP Michael Denny indicated that the PlayStation 3 has life in it beyond its key spring releases, and that includes Gran Turismo 6.
“Look at the games coming out on the PlayStation 3 like The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, GT6,” said Denny. Lest his comments be misconstrued as a reference to Rockstar Games upcoming open world game with similar initials, Denny referenced that game separately. “On the third-party side of things [we have] another fantastic Assassin’s Creed [and] GTA.”
Sony and Polyphony Digital have already announced development on Gran Turismo 6. Polyphony was scouting locations for the game in March 2012. In June, Sony issued a questionnaire to some customers that suggested Gran Turismo 6 would be coming to the PS Vita and PS3 as a Cross Buy title. “You told us earlier how interested you would be in buying the PS Vita version of the latest Gran Turismo game,” read the survey, “Knowing that you might be able to get a discount on the PS3 version of the game, how interested are you now in the PS Vita version?”
Gran Turismo has always been a tech-centric series, though, and Yamauchi hinted in July 2012 that the PS4 would be the likeliest destination for his next driving game. “We’re always aiming for the latest technology and latest expression,” said Yamauchi at the Beijing-based China Joy event.
With DriveClub on the table, Sony’s driving sim docket for the PlayStation 4 is already crowded. The question is: Does Sony release a competitor to that game on older hardware when it needs to spur PS4 adoption? Especially when the PS4 isn’t backwards compatible with PlayStation 3 software? And does anyone really think there can be a Gran Turismo game without at least a few lengthy delays? If the game is due out for PS3 this year, any delays could be a serious problem and push the game back to the point where it will need to be reworked for the PS4.