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features >> pole position 2k5

Upcoming Releases

The majority of these releases really won't be seeing the light of day until the spring season, so maybe in a way, I'm using the term "upcoming" a bit loosely. Actually, this section is made up of the racing games that seem to have a rather solid and firm release schedule. In other words, the developer gave a date of release. Now, as you may know, games DO get delayed (the sad truth of GT4 thus far), so these release dates should not be taken as the gospel. So, without any further delay, let's get into the games!

Gran Turismo 4

Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment America
Platform : PlayStation 2
Racing Type : Simulation
Release Date : Late Feburary - Mid March

Talk about playing with my emotions. I have been waiting for the release of GT4 since it was announced that it would be released in late 2003, and then in spring 2004, and then in summer 2004, and then in holiday 2004. Now it's 2005, and GT4 may ACTUALLY see another delay. While Sony never really gave a solid date of release (they just said Q1 '05), many retailers had seemed to have had the date penned down for Feb. 22, 2005. That was until a week or so ago, when Electronics Boutique changed the date to March 14. Maybe it will be released by 2/22 or not, who knows? But enough about the delays, what about the game?

If you own a PS2, you're probably familiar with the Gran Turismo franchise. Originally released in 1998, the GT franchise has estabished a new benchmark on how simulation racing should be. Within each installment, the developers at Polyphony Digital have further refined the handling design and behaviors of the automobiles featured in the game. No other game has really come close to the precise design that has been done in this series. GT4 promises to be even better and more refined in the handling department, as well as promise to push the PS2's visual capabillities to the limit.

Another thing the GT series is known for is the sheer number of cars you can buy, win, sell or trade. No other game has really come close to the amount of cars provided in a racing game like GT has. The original boasted aroun 100 cars, the second had over 500 and the third had over 150. But GT4 is going to bring the mother load, with over 600 cars to choose from. 600! And they span across many generations of automobiles as well, ensuring that this is the most complete collection of cars to ever be offered in one racing game!

Some new additions make it's way into GT4 as well, including the picture mode, and the B-Spec mode. The picture mode allows you to set up your vehicle in a variety of locations, and take a picture of the car, which could be printed via a USB printer. The B-Spec mode allows you to call the shots rather than drive the car. You decide on how much pressure you put on the driver to win the race. It may not be as good as driving the car, but it's an interesting feature.

So, here's to hoping that GT4 will be released very soon. Many people (including myslef) have been waiting a long time for the followup to GT3, and making us wait any longer is just plain criminal.