ICYMI: This week in racing games – 06 January 2023

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Welcome to Rear View Mirror, your weekly racing game news roundup.

The new year has only just begun, but this week saw some GT7 PSVR 2 support confirmed, our first look at the Gran Turismo movie, and the sad passing of a racing game icon.

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To help you get up to speed, we’ve rounded up this week’s biggest racing game news stories in one handy place.

Racing game developers react to Ken Block’s untimely death

It’s been a sad start to 2023. Tragically, Ken Block, founder of Hoonigan and best known for his tyre-torturing Gymkhana viral videos, died in a snowmobile accident. His impact on car culture will always be remembered, as will his racing game legacy.

Ken Block

Racing game fans were introduced to Ken Block in Codemasters’ DIRT series after he appeared in DiRT 2 and DiRT 3. He also played himself in live-action cut scenes in Need for Speed 2015 and his Hoonicorn cars have appeared in the Forza Horizon and Forza Motorsport games.

Since his untimely death, tributes have been pouring in from racing game social media pages including Gran Turismo, Forza Horizon, and Need for Speed.

Gran Turismo 7 PSVR 2 support confirmed for launch

Racing games are a natural fit for virtual reality, which is why we were puzzled by the lack of racing games in the PSVR 2’s launch lineup.

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Much to our relief, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that Gran Turismo 7 will be a PSVR 2 launch title during Sony’s CES conference.

Gran Turismo 7 PSVR 2
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Accompanying the announcement was a first look at Gran Turismo 7 PSVR 2, showcasing a Ferrari Vision GT racing around Road Atlanta. We’ll have to wait and see if GT7 will be fully playable in VR, but the larger car grids suggest it will be a huge step up from GT Sport’s limited VR support.

First look at Gran Turismo movie footage

GT7’s PSVR 2 update wasn’t the only big Gran Turismo announcement at CES. We also got a first look at the forthcoming Gran Turismo movie adaptation in a teaser trailer taking us behind the scenes. The video introduces us to the cast and shows how the high-octane racing scenes were filmed.

Gran Turismo movie teaser trailer

Gran Turismo may not seem like movie material, but the film is inspired by the real-life story of Jann Mardenborough, the 2011 GT Academy winner who went on to become a professional racing driver competing in Le Mans.

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Judging from the footage, the racing looks exciting and viscerally filmed, but the jury’s still out on the story and acting.

In other racing game news…

MXGP is one of Milestone’s longest-running bike racing series, but the future of the series looks in doubt after the studio confirmed there won’t be a new MXGP game this year.

Esports fans won’t want to miss next week’s epic 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race. With a star-studded lineup of real-world drivers from Max Verstappen to Romain Grosjean, it's going to be an epic final to the Le Mans Virtual.

24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual drivers

If you’ve ever wanted to race on a real-world track in Forza Horizon 5, a YouTuber has recreated Japan’s Tsukuba Circuit with amazing accuracy.

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In case you missed it…

With high-profile releases including Forza Motorsport and Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, 2023 is shaping up to be another banner year for new racing games.

Check out our comprehensive 2023 racing game preview to find out what we have to look forward to this year.

We also explore why meta cars are ruining racing games for everyone.