Here’s a thought that is mildly disappointing: In another universe, we might all be playing Gran Turismo 7 right now. When GT7 was originally announced last year, it was given a tentative “second-half 2021" release window. It is now June 2, and wouldn’t you know GT7 is nowhere to be found. Check back next year.
That was somewhat expected though, because Gran Turismo as a franchise has never been a stranger to delays. GT is, however, very much a stranger to releasing on multiple platforms, and it appears Sony may just break that tradition with GT7.
Sony posted a Q&A with PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst on Wednesday; PlayStation Studios is the umbrella that houses Sony’s first-party dev teams, including GT makers Polyphony Digital. When asked about where the PS4 fits into Sony’s plans going forward, Hulst revealed the following juicy nugget of information. (Emphasis mine.)
PlayStation Blog: How does PS4 factor into PlayStation Studios’ development vision? Is it still a focus internally for future game development?
Hermen: It very much is. You can’t build a community of over 110 million PS4 owners and then just walk away from it, right? I think that’d be bad news for fans of PS4, and frankly not very good business.
Where it makes sense to develop a title for both PS4 and PS5 — for Horizon Forbidden West, the next God of War, GT7 — we’ll continue looking at that. And if PS4 owners want to play that game, then they can. If they want to go on and play the PS5 version, that game will be there for them.
That being said, it’s also very important to have showpieces for PS5, hence the development of Returnal and Ratchet that are exclusive to PS5.
It makes perfect sense for Sony to release what were to be some of its biggest next-gen titles on last-gen hardware, considering it’s still damn near impossible to purchase a PS5 without cycling through eight Chrome tabs multiple times per day and exchanging stories of loss with strangers in stock-drop Discord servers. Developers are pouring tons of money and resources into games nobody will be able to play because everything is impossible to buy in 2021, from cars to gaming consoles.
But this is a big deal for Gran Turismo specifically. Never before has Polyphony Digital, which has a reputation for being very protective of its craft, ever released one game across generations of PlayStation systems.
These unique times call for a unique approach, though. And while Polyphony hasn’t confirmed itself if GT7 on PS4 is certain — Hulst was careful to say Sony was merely “looking at” that prospect — it seems like a common sense move.
What little footage we’ve seen of the upcoming game indicates it will borrow a lot from GT Sport, which already looks and runs pretty well on PS4 Pro. I’d love to get my hands on a PS5 and marvel at a Gulf-liveried Porsche 917 all shiny and ray-traced, but if I can’t? I have a PS4 gathering dust right here, and it’s ready to go. Personally I’d rather have GT7 on the PC, but beggars can’t be choosers and ultimately I’ll just be happy to play it at all, platform be damned.