Gran Turismo 7 has been a long time coming and every now and again, we get a morsel of new information about the game. Yesterday was one of those days, as PlayStation's Hermen Hulst appeared to confirm a rumour in a Q&A session.
Hulst suggested that GT7 will be released on PlayStation 4 as well as PS5. That may seem good on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Let's take a look at why GT7 on PS4 wouldn't be a good thing for Gran Turismo.
Diluting the formula
The most exciting thing about Gran Turismo 7 is that it will be on PlayStation 5. The incredible power and capabilities of the next-gen console will be fully exploited in GT7. That means haptic feedback, 60 fps, 4K graphics, ray tracing and a whole lot more.
A lot of these features are things that the PS4, in particular the original model, cannot handle. So, to make GT7 playable on the PS4, these features will either have to be reduced or omitted entirely.
We've seen this countless times in transitional periods for consoles and it rarely goes well. Polyphony should be solely focussed on making the best and most realistic game they possibly can, not making allowances for the PS4. This is especially the case if Forza is a Xbox Series X exclusive and there's the looming threat of Assetto Corsa 2 as well.
Whatever PolyPhony decide to do, a PS4 Gran Turismo 7 won't be of the same quality as its PS5 counterpart. Furthermore, time and resource will have to be allocated to the PS4 version when that could've been used on the PS5 game.
There's also the argument that PS4 already has its own GT in the form of Gran Turismo Sport. GT7 has often been mooted as a more "classic" GT game, so GT Sport will be radically different to GT7 and a more unique game that the PS4 can boast without having GT7 too.
Although, there in the counterargument that PS4 never got a traditional GT title and that GT7 should be it.
There are some positives, though
It's not all doom and gloom though, there is some solid logic behind Polyphony's decision to release GT7 on both PS4 and PS5.
There are over 100 million gamers on PS4, which is a huge market and one far larger than what PS5 is now. To ignore them and prevent them from playing GT7 because they haven't been able to purchase a PS5 yet would be unfair. Plus, it would increase sales, so Polyphony would see a larger return on their investment.
This is something that Hulst touched on in his interview for the PlayStation blog:
"You can’t build a community of over 110 million PS4 owners and then just walk away from it. 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."
But, even this has issues
There is a flaw to this theory though, and that's when it comes to selling units of the PS5 console. Those that have tried to buy a PS5 post-launch will know the struggle of trying to get anywhere near the front of the queue. The demand is definitely there, but once the system is easily available, that will die down.
What will entice more gamers to buy the PS5 is new games and GT7 could be one of those. If GT7 comes out on PS4 as well though, that won't exactly encourage gamers that haven't upgraded yet to do so.
Overall, we've heard conflicting reports about which consoles GT7 will be released on. Hulst's interview suggests both PS4 and 5, but a haptic feedback trailer from December last year said "PlayStation 5 exclusive". GT7 is scheduled to be released late 2022, so there's plenty of time for this news to develop.