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Gran Turismo Sport Finally Gets a Release Date, But Has to Play Catch-Up

PlayStation's flagship racing game finally starts its engine.
courtesy Polyphony Digital

We finally know when the next Gran Turismo game is going to roll out of Polyphony Digital's garage and rejoin the other multi-format racing franchises on the track. Apparently feeling October wasn't crowded enough, or just trusting that GT fans will clear the requisite six months on their calendar, Sony will release Gran Turismo Sport on October 18.

It will release onto track just behind Forza 7 (October 3) and well after Project CARS 2 crosses the finish line on September 22. And while that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to find itself a lap down from the rest of the field (being the flagship racer on the best-selling console is not a bad place to be), I'm not sure I remember a time when Gran Turismo had more ground to recover.

Because as GT's release tempo has grown ever more stately—with four years having passed since Gran Turismo 6—there have been more opportunities for competitors to enter the fray and for the landscape itself to change. Project CARS 2 will hopefully be picking up where its predecessor left off, where it finished as one of the best racing-sims I've played in years, but was let down by malfunctioning menus and features and a third-rate career mode (Austin ended up in a similar place, for some different reasons). Project CARS 2 could be a credible rival on PlayStation, which isn't something GT has had to contend with too much in the past.

The bigger issue for me personally is that the Forza games, both Motorsport and Horizon, have gotten really fucking good. I'm a PC racing-sim snob and I'm in danger of becoming a convert to the Church of Turn 10. And now I can play those on PC as well, so it's not like I have to go to my PS4 to find a console-style car collecting game.

What I'm saying is it's been a long time since Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec set the bar for what a console racing sim should be, all the way back on PlayStation 2. I still feel enough of that vestigial excitement to be invested in how Gran Turismo Sport turns out, but it's a new era now. Hopefully GT Sport hasn't been idling in the pits for too long.