We’re still digesting the overload of Gran Turismo 7 information divulged in Sony's dedicated GT7 State of Play last night. With just over a month until launch, the show did its job of getting us excited for GT7 as we get closer to launch. GT7's new Campaign Mode looks comprehensive, marking a return to the series’ single-player roots.
The new GT Café also celebrates the history and culture of cars while guiding newcomers. There were some surprises too, such as the return of Music Replays from GT3 and the new Music Rally mode.
And yet GT7’s State of Play left some questions unanswered. Sony still hasn’t shown any GT7 PS4 gameplay or shared any online multiplayer details. Moreover, the State of Play was a missed opportunity to show how PlayStation VR2 will revolutionise racing games.
We still don’t know if GT7 has VR support
We were hoping to find out if GT7 has VR support at the State of Play show. Alas, VR wasn’t brought up in the event at all. But considering that Sony hasn’t fully unveiled PSVR 2 yet, it’s too early to see GT7 running in VR. With its OLED display, 4K resolution, and new Sense controllers, the PSVR 2’s technology will be a significant step up from its predecessor.
So far, Horizon Call of the Mountain is the only confirmed PSVR 2 title. But GT7 would be one of the most important PSVR 2 releases and an effective showcase of the cutting-edge technology.
Racing games are a natural fit for VR technology. Since you’re sitting in a cockpit in-game and looking at a fixed horizon, players are less prone to motion sickness in VR racing games. VR also heightens the sense of speed, increases immersion, and improves your field of view.
VR also arguably makes you a better driver. In VR, you can tilt your head to look around the cockpit, check your rear mirror, and keep a close eye on competitors trying to overtake you.
GT Sport has already shown how virtual reality can make you feel like you’re driving a real car. Due to the hardware limitations of the PSVR and PS4, VR support is limited in GT Sport. You can only race with one opponent or drive in time trials. With the PSVR 2's extra power and innovative technology, GT7 could take the VR driving experience to the next level.
PSVR 2 could revolutionise racing games
While the visuals in GT Sport are blurry in VR, the cars and environments should look crystal clear in PSVR 2 thanks to its higher 4K resolution. Hopefully, the extra horsepower of the PS5 will also allow for VR races with a full grid of cars. VR support could also be extended to other modes - imagine being able to play the Campaign Mode entirely in VR. This would make visiting the GT Café and browsing car models in dealerships a more engaging experience.
Sony says the PSVR 2's Sense controllers will “enable players to feel and interact with games in a much more visceral way.” What this could mean for GT7 isn’t clear yet. But the Sense controllers could let you interact with your car by physically turning the steering wheel, changing gears, and turning headlights and windscreen wipers on.
Like the PS5 DualSense controller, the PSVR 2 Sense controllers have haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. This innovative technology could allow you to feel vibrations from the road surface and the roar of the engine from inside the cockpit. There’s so much potential.
Unfortunately, it looks like PS4 players will miss out. Although GT Sport is playable on PSVR, Sony hasn't confirmed if GT7 will support the original PSVR. Given that the launch is only a month away, it's looking increasingly unlikely that GT7 will be compatible with Sony's first VR headset on PS4.
As it’s likely to be a PS5 system seller, it would make sense for GT7 to offer VR support in a patch update coinciding with the PSVR 2’s launch. The PSVR 2 should go on sale at the end of 2022. If GT7 is playable in VR and the PSVR 2 is as revolutionary as Sony claims, you might never want to play racing games on a flat-screen again.