It likely won't happen, but I still cling to the reaction from Kazunori Yamauchi when he laughed at the idea of a 2010 launch for Gran Turismo 5 . He even said it might release "sooner than everyone thinks," but that was late last year and recently…well, we've heard evidence to the contrary. But here's why the PS3 could really use GT5 as a massive holiday release.
We already know that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – a game that PSXE has already seen firsthand and we say it's the prettiest console production yet – will make a big splash. However, it isn't quite the established blockbuster franchise that GT is, and if the fifth entry in that critically acclaimed series launched for the holiday season this year, that'd be game, set and match for the PS3 in 2009 (we're just talking about this year, of course). The key to causing a hardware sales surge is to release must-have exclusive software; that's a fact we've learned many times over in the past. Last year, when Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots launched, we saw the inevitable PS3 sales spike. Later, when Gears of War 2 released for the Xbox 360 in the fall, 360 sales enjoyed a big rise. And lately, Killzone 2 has spurred more PS3 sales, although the surge in Japan can't be attributed to Guerilla's FPS…maybe we should just call it a happy turn of events.
Anyway, does anyone remember when everyone was anxiously anticipating Gran Turismo 3 for the PS2? The system launched towards the end of 2000 and like most all new platforms, it didn't have too many "AAA" games in the first six months of its existence. But as you all know, 2001 became one of the greatest years in the industry's history, and much of that was due to the PS2. One of the main draws? GT3. In fact, if you talked to anyone who hadn't yet bought a PS2 in the early days, there was a damn good chance they'd tell you this: "I'm waiting for GT3." And what happened? The game launched in a special bundle pack and sales went through the roof. Now, if you take into account that the PS3 needs a price cut, and it really won't be happening any time soon, wouldn't it be great to celebrate the GT5 launch with a price cut? We theorized before that the drop will come with Uncharted 2 , but it'd make more sense if it coincided with GT5.
We'll have God of War III in early 2010 and we still don't have a release date for GT5, but it'd be a gigantic boost for the PS3 if the latter released just in time for the 2009 holiday rush. Timing is everything in any business.
Related Game(s): Gran Turismo 5