15 years Gran Turismo: Children’s Birthday at Silverstone

Gran Turismo celebrated the 15th anniversary with an event at Silverstone. Gameguru Kazunori Yamauchi gave a foretaste of the upcoming version this Gran Turismo 6 for the Sony PlayStation. Stefan Schickedanz, our reporter on the spot, plumbed the boundaries of retreaded car physics with a triple rollover.

Calculated Silverstone. So far, the legendary British Formula 1 circuit was a white spot on the map of Gran Turismo. But with version 6 of the world’s most successful driving simulator comes to the line at least in the version used for national races, together with six other Rennkursen.

For me, this means the encounter with my worst nightmare on the 15th birthday party of over 70 million copies sold PlayStation hits celebrated befitting in Silverstone. I know the track already from Forza motor sport from the Xbox and the official Formula 1 game for the PlayStation. And I have no good memories.

Sacred ground

Although Silverstone motor sports made from embodies something like holy ground. But just at the game console I feel driving on it because of the idiosyncratic history of the routes and the difficult visible curves in conjunction with the games typical wide angle perspective as the purest nightmare. I can remember only once to have survived a round without kindling.

Now I’m sitting here in the Playseat with steering wheel and plastic pedals and dying to burn a good time in the virtual asphalt. In the previous Gran Turismo 6 views that you want to go in the third quarter of this year at the start, game guru Kazunori Yamauchi promised a newly developed physics engine. This secured the games inventor and head of Sony’s software forge polyphony of the support of the German suspension specialist KW and a tyre manufacturer.

The automotive specialists provided their computer data and know-how candidly. You could clearly see the difference in the presentation of Gran Turismo 6: the car sets now, for example, not only in the curve, but raises depending on the weight distribution like in real life more a specific wheel on the inside than the other.

Gran Turismo 6 felt me progress in my first round. I stand in the curve too fast, the car switches from sub to oversteer and breaks out the tail. Unfortunately, the game seat equipped with an HD monitor doesn’t even have a force-feedback steering wheel. So I try to catch a very realistic reactive sports car with a completely senseless, arcade-like reality foreign tax.

The venture will fail miserably. The car on rocks and is finally no longer be controlled. I gliding Breitseits in the gravel bedwhere the wheels as in the real-life sinking and pry out the car. What follows is a triple roll sideways, which so realistically looks on the monitor that is suddenly bad.

Since I am now after half a lap and can go no further. It simply doesn’t work, finally is more the reality check with real sports car on the national circuit. There again top fit be because no restart after a crash there in real life and it is really embarrassing and expensive.

Real driving simulator

On the one hand, annoying, because I came to make me a picture of the future of the classic of game. On the other hand can tell me all the essentials in this to those truly as a crash course lesson. As close as in GT 6 never brought a Gran Turismo to the action and is more than ever its claim as “real driving simulator” justice. The vulnerability is now no longer the sometimes slightly woodcutting physics of the software, but addressed the callous hardware accessories. Thereon reciprocated with a meaningful grin Yamauchi, one is aware of the problem and working on it. I get an almost “bit-precise” answer with the same schnunzelnden facial expression to the question for better sound. So far high-speed six-cylinder engines sounded in the game sometimes like that have become wild Hornets and big V8 cleaner such as bumblebees wandering about.

Already several times I went for the magazine sports car in practice tests of the question to whether the PlayStation driving Simulator as a training device for the real race track is good what was definitely the case. Especially in complex classes like the Nordschleife you can learn very effectively and painlessly the route thus.

This time it’s different. Opens up the route I considered more in the subsequent practice test with my own eyes instead of through a virtual camera seen on a monitor. And above all there are tangible feedback about my “Popo”meter. One gave already my Gran-Turismo-round driven not to end me along the way: a good deal of humility from the dangers of the route. And that’s a mature performance for a racing game, a testament to its realism

The lesson from the Simulator shows even as strong effect, that I, who was never with under 300 HP on a race track, seriously considering, one me “only” 200 PS strong Toyota GT 86 with 2 l suction motor to take. Already the nearly 350 PS strong Nissan 370Z NISMO in the Sporttrim of the GT Academy – a consisting of virtual and real exercises racing school, whose winning later may prove their skills in real car racing – by Sony and Nissan in life would overwhelm determined me on this treacherous route. I’m sure of it.

I’m still safe at the Nissan GTR, a 600PS-Bi-Turbo-Monster that two years had chased previously abundant disrespectful with full throttle to the small Stowe circuit at Silverstone.


But fortunately, must be said, you take off the agonizing decision: the cars are assigned to the riders. And I get a quietscheblauen Jaguar XKR-S 550-Horsepower supercharged engine with full 5 litre precisely. Usually, the prospect to go with this dream car on the track, had given me in pure euphoria. However, the rollover effect and I set my seat always still somewhat sheepishly concentrated on Board of the cars. Just no errors!

It is a right hand drive with the number 13. Both are not suitable to lift my mood. In addition, the compulsory instructor warns me – Sony has occupied each car tested full professional at this event with a racetrack – front of the extremely snappy appealing gas pedal. Delightfully, it will be fun, I think to myself as are spaced 10 seconds behind a Nissan 370Z relish from the pit-lane speed up. The appetite comes while eating and quickly, I mused that I probably missed my job.

One would think that one feels much more comfortable in a simulator, where nothing can go wrong and you have not with centrifugal force to fight, as in a real missile types, which is racing at full throttle around the unknown, has been proven difficult course. But clearly, I feel better with every meter on the real road. My confidence is back and no time have I to snorted two Nissan started by me. By due to strong for my knowledge of the Silverstone.

Then my Copilot, always watching what is happening as a driving instructor with the rearview mirror prompts me to go there and Brooklands corner gas between maggot. A precautionary measure so that the Mercedes SLS AMG manned by an experienced racer in the GT3 O.CT can safely overtake us before the next bend. Hardly the Brit next to me is the race flounder with its huge rear wing past, us encouraged full me on the gas deal to exploit the last meters ahead of the curve.

I feel the hammer-Benz demonstrated the strong Bull, excellently balanced and blessed with very good traction Jaguar under me, just an exhilaration that can be hardly described. Already, the ignominy that befell me in the virtual world in front of gathered colleagues, is completely forgotten. There is only one thought: mean jagged overtaking and the formation flying with the AMG in the curve into it on video to review. Finally I got a sucker stand extra before this extraordinary event for my HD camera.

But I seem really missed the profession. Because I failed to find a reasonable position, the monitor was not quite unfold. And how should show themselves later, my curves speed worked up already him in the first link arch behind the pit lane. Finito, the recording ends just as the fun begins. What a shame, now do I get anything really up on three fast laps baked.

Less is sometimes more

After all, already should turn into the pit lane by the Jaguar driving experience, professional praising comment about my driving style. That surprises me, because I went on some tight curves combinations too aggressively and had to conjure up something, to keep on course for the Jaguar. This was also the only criticism: “If you do these curves more slowly, you come out more quickly”, the Professional with an appreciative face expression gave me on the way. I know the problem of the karting…

Ultimately, this recent comparison between the reality of race tracks and preview on Gran Turismo 6 How many years before ending My first test of racing games for the sports car: at that time were racing driver Robert Lechner – the Austrian won that race at the Nürburgring in a Dodge Viper – and I 24 hours alternately in the driving simulator GT4 and behind the valance of a genuine Honda NSX : I am amazed what everything is possible with such a game console (at that time still PlayStation2) and Philosophised the rest of the day about what himself could have done out of my life, when I would go with something more serious on the matter only once.

From the PlayStation to the race track

The subsequent interview proves that it is possible to come directly from the game console at the steering wheel of a real race car, with the German winner of the last GT Academy, Peter Pyzera. The 25 year-old industrial mechanic seems totally relaxed and of course, he tells the gathered crowd of journalist his incredible story.

Among 95,000 participants who fought in online duels to tenths of a second, he came in the top 32, who had to demonstrate their skills and fitness in the real race camp at the Nürburgring. After he had mastered this exercise also, the GT Academy allowed him a proper racing career. The 24-hour race in Dubai on a Nissan 370Z NISMO GT4 marked their zenith.

As for Gran Turismo, eyeing his ambitious creator Yamauchi a record after another. In the sixth generation, 1,200 cars from all over the world and from all epochs available will be the players. There are also 33 locations and many powerful tools with which players can design their own circuits.

In addition to the new physics engine, Yamauchi has high hopes in a more merger between reality and the virtual world. He demonstrated how this can look at Silverstone already impressively with some specially prepared Toyota GT 86, the telemetry data via radio were recorded, to reconstruct the complete driving simulator in the connection.

Other manufacturers to follow soon with similar data exchange. Then sports enthusiasts can study their hot rides and their progress at any time in peace and quiet from all perspectives on the PlayStation. Thus Gran Turismo finally wants to establish itself as a training aid for sports riders .

Only one thing triggered bemusement at the gathering game community: GT6 will run on the PlayStation 3, although this year the much more powerful, long-awaited PlayStation 4 will appear. For that it is supposed to but will run Gran Turismo in the sixth release on Smartphones, tablets and PCs are even more flexible and draw even more users of other platforms under its spell, because for the first time.