Le Mans Ultimate Coming to Consoles “Makes Sense,” Says Motorsport Games CEO

Le Mans Ultimate coming to consoles "makes sense," says Motorsport Games CEO

Le Mans Ultimate coming to consoles "makes sense," says Motorsport Games CEO

Back in 1999, Le Mans 24 Hours (renamed Test Drive Le Mans in North America) was released on all current formats from PC to PlayStation 2 and even GameBoy Colour. 25 years later, we finally have a new official 24 Hours of Le Mans game.

Le Mans Ultimate raced onto Early Access this week, but PC is the only platform announced so far. This isn’t surprising since rFactor 2, which shares the same engine as Le Mans Ultimate, is also PC-only, but a console release would bring the official World Endurance Championship game to a broader audience at a time when interest in the sport is resurging.

We asked Motorsport Games’ CEO Stephen Hood about the feasibility of bringing Le Mans Ultimate to consoles.

Le Mans Ultimate going to consoles “makes sense”

“I think about that a lot when I’m dreaming at night,” Hood told us when asked if Le Mans Ultimate will get a console release. “A lot of people are asking when Le Mans Ultimate is coming to consoles – probably more so than VR. People want it on the PlayStation and Xbox. Getting the official Le Mans World Endurance game onto PlayStation and Xbox would be amazing. It’s our dream.”

Le Mans Ultimate screenshot
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According to Hood, steps have already been taken to make that dream a reality. “A lot of internal conversations have happened around that,” he said. “A big change we made to the company is instead of trying to do several things concurrently, we focus on delivering one thing really well and build from there.”

Ultimately, however, a console release will depend on the PC version’s sales and player reception. “If we get the wheel turning on PC and people are really enjoying the product, the ecosystem, the online platform we’re building, and the content we have planned, I think it makes sense to go to consoles.”

Consoles are a “natural market” for Le Mans Ultimate

Sim racing games are primarily PC-only, but the success of games like Assetto Corsa Competizione shows that console players have an appetite for more realistic racing games. Hardware limitations have prevented sim racers with complex physics engines and cutting-edge graphics from coming to consoles, but Hood believes that console hardware has caught up.

“We’ve already got some expertise bringing a complex piece of software to console. We’ve done it previously. We know the engine can run on the modern consoles and that’s a great stepping stone for us,” he said, referring to NASCAR 21: Ignition, which was powered by rFactor 2’s physics engine.

Le Mans Ultimate screenshot
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“In years prior, you could argue there wasn’t sufficient power in a console to run what we’re doing with the tyre model and force feedback. Now there is. I would love to blur the line between PC and console - but not just yet.”

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Gran Turismo 7 and Forza Motorsport both feature the iconic Le Mans circuit. But as the official game of the championship, Le Mans Ultimate is the only game where you can race the full WEC grid as the official game of the championship.

While Le Mans Ultimate is a realistic simulation of the famous endurance championship, the Early Access build already supports controllers, so you don’t need a high-end racing wheel to take Le Mans Ultimate’s roster of 2023 LMGTE Am, LMP2, and Hypercars for a spin. This accessibility, coupled with the power of current hardware, makes consoles a “natural market,” according to Hood.

Le Mans Ultimate screenshot Cadillac V Series R Corvette
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“Developers or publishers say it’s only a small fraction of the market and you need to make it really casual if you go to consoles,” said Hood. “The team have done an amazing job of trying to make Le Mans Ultimate more accessible. You can pick it up and play it on a control pad or just download it and try it on Steam for a couple of hours on a keyboard.”

“I don’t see why there wouldn’t be a dedicated audience because not everyone wants the game on PC and the expense associated with it. The hardware can deliver the experience so it’s a natural market for us.”

Are you hoping to play Le Mans Ultimate on PS5 and Xbox Series consoles? Let us know in the comments below.

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