Well, despite all the hype for Sony and Polyphony Digital's download-based gaming endeavor, things just didn't pan out. Today, Sony has announced the official cancellation of the retail release of Gran Turismo HD , reportedly so the developer can center all its energy on Gran Turismo 5 .

GT HD was originally slated for a Japanese release some time in December, and it should've been available for a very low cost. Of course, there was only minimal gameplay content at the get-go; players would've had to head online to download cars and tracks through a series of transactions.

However, they are preparing a version of Gran Turismo HD to be released exclusively in download form on the PlayStation Store. Entitled Gran Turismo HD Concept , the download will be free, and added to the Japanese Store on December 24. They have yet to announce a U.S. date.

That download will only be the first of many "Concept" downloads. There are no content specifics as of yet, but producer Kazunori Yamauchi did drop a few hints in a message posted at the official Gran Turismo site. He says the Christmas Even download will provide gamers with a first look at high-definition visuals made possible by the PS3. The next Concept download will come with Polyphony's next-gen driving engine.

Concerning the online racing originally promised for GT HD, Yamauchi has said this will now be included in the final Gran Turismo 5 product, which should make many GT fans happy. At this time, there is no estimated release date for what is guaranteed to be a hugely anticipated title.

One final bit of interesting news concerning the GT franchise: the official site lists the genre for Gran Turismo HD Concept as "Real Driving Simulator," which sounds similar to Gran Turismo 4 . However, and this might get one thinking, they label Gran Turismo 5 as an "Online Car Life Simulator." Hmm…

Related Game(s): Gran Turismo HD, Gran Turismo 5

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