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How GT Sport is making the most of PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR

Polyphony president and series creator puts his foot down on things to come

Kazunori Yamauchi is very serious when it comes to motorsport. Not only is the Polyphony Digital president creator of one of the most acclaimed video game racing series of all time, he’s a keen driver, too. And talking to him about how the additional power of PS4 Pro has supercharged GT Sport reveals that the line between the game and the real thing are blurring quicker than you may think.

“PS4 Pro marks a historical moment,” says Yamauchi-san, speaking with us at a media event in London earlier this month. “It’s the first time video games are going to exceed and better the quality of images in movies, broadcasting and packaged media out there.”

With GT Sport, a powerful engine is everything – and PS4 Pro pushes the game into an eye catching fast lane featuring 4K, 60FPS, HDR, an 18GB VPS uncompressed stream and wide colour support. What that all means is the races are smoother, slicker and more vibrant than they’ve ever been. And as any car enthusiast knows, the details are part of what drives the passion.

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“I think the world of 4K and 60FPS is a pinnacle for the games industry, and to be able to provide that sort of quality on a home console is something special,” says Yamauchi-san.

“All the cars look fantastic in 4K in terms of the detail improvements, but if you look at it from the aspect of HDR and wide colour, about 11% of the cars in the real world today don’t fit into the standard colour space that was possible in games up until now.

“Cars like Ferrari… it wasn’t actually possible to accurately represent that particular distinctive red in games unless you used the wide colour space that’s now available in GT Sport. So the brightly coloured cars out there are now going to look perfect in the game.”

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It may sound like something you’d take for granted, but it’s taken technology to catch up with Polyphony’s ambitions in order to get to this stage.

“In order to support HDR compatibility, we had to start with the development for a capable camera because there are no devices out there that were able to capture images in HDR and wide colour,” explains Yamauchi-san.

“Doing that kind of data gathering wasn’t easy when we first started, so we had to design systems for the camera. In the past we’ve used RGB image sensors but we had to utilise a spectra base image sensor to capture the proper colours and light that could not be recorded by RGB sensors in the past.”

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Where we’re going, we don’t need roads

Don’t think that Polyphony is neglecting PlayStation VR enhancements in GT Sport, either. Yamauchi-san is eager to use PS VR to make sure you feel extra special behind the wheel.

“The raw, live feel that you get when you sit in the cockpit of a car using PS VR is something that wasn’t possible in GT before.”

While remaining coy over what exactly to expect in GT Sport once you put on the PS VR headset – aside from the thrill of high speed, first-person driving, of course – Yamauchi-san couldn’t resist revving the engine on a couple of details.

“The tracks are very interesting in VR,” he smiles. “But we’re letting you explore the environments in virtual reality, such as the interior of cars. I think that kind of subtle usage is best for VR.”

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A new world behind the wheel

There’s clearly more info to reveal farther down GT Sport’s spectacular looking track, but between PS4 Pro and PSVR things are only going to get better. Racing fans will have a lot to look forward to once Polyphony’s PS4 muscle car gets off the starting grid in 2017, but if you’re a GT fan this will be extra special.

“When we created GT games in the past, people always used to ask is there any way that the graphics quality could get any better, because it was already incredible. But with GT Sport you can really feel the light of the new world in Gran Turismo – and it’s an experience I’d love players to feel.”

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18 Comments
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Those screenshots look stunning. Can’t wait to play this on my pro.

I’m sorry but if only a small portion of the game is playable in VR that’s going to be very disappointing.
The driving experience in DriveClub VR is so great I’d rather only race in VR from now on.

Robinworldwide 15 November, 2016 @ 14:54
3

Agree with #2. I’ve pre-ordered this game assuming you can actually race in VR like in Driveclub VR, but if only photo mode is VR supported I’m gonna drop this immediately. Driveclub shows that it can be done and it’s awesome so why would a superior dev not be able to put it in? Even if wasn’t all tracks or all cars I still think it should support racing in VR.

Waiting for this game like for nothing before , I beleive in you guys . Some racing games feels great evening in Cinematic mode VR , so nothing to worry about for me .
All racing games are lacking gt atmosphere and I hope you going to bring this ro ps fans soon.

No love for 1080p :( … I was hoping that dev studios will take a stand like Square Enix did with Pro options in TR. Of course you would not like to enable cap for 30 fps, but I would appreciate more if it rendered in 1080p with 60 FPS and push the “effects”, lighting more… rather then getting downscale of “4K”

5.1

All PS4 Pro games played on a 1080p screen render at their native resolution and then supersamle down to 1080p. Gran Turismo will be no different, but that doesn’t mean that the extra horsepower can’t be used to improve the 1080p experience, the game WILL look better at 1080p on pro than a standard PS4, and it will be a smoother experience with significantly reduced chances of frame drops. It’s just the pro doesn’t work the way you want it to, otherwise devs would be introducing god knows how many different options to the game, each requiring it’s own batch of full QA testing to make sure they work 100% and pushing development time and costs even higher than they are now!

5.2

Well.. dont get me wrong, but supersampling is not that big of a deal… the thing is that there are already games like Watchdogs 2 where Pro has deep frame drops where standard PS4 has not… just because the engine is pushing all extra power to the 1800p and checkerboard upscaling… You could introduce a option which keeps render target at 1080p and add few tweaks to play safe, with some performance margin… curently I get Watchdogs 2 with worse play experience on Pro.

Sure that solution like Rise of Tomb Raider involves better QA, but it worth it… BTW they play it very safe, there is minimal risk involved, let me explain.

unlocked FPS mode, takes standard PS4 settings and uses 2.3x GPU power to double the FPS = very safe
30 FPS mode, tryes to push the fidelity, not to extreme, I believe they have good margins
4K mode, IMHO this one must take the most time to perfect, because you will hit a lot of HW limitation like memory bandwith and those are the tricky ones because you dont want to ...

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Well.. dont get me wrong, but supersampling is not that big of a deal… the thing is that there are already games like Watchdogs 2 where Pro has deep frame drops where standard PS4 has not… just because the engine is pushing all extra power to the 1800p and checkerboard upscaling… You could introduce a option which keeps render target at 1080p and add few tweaks to play safe, with some performance margin… curently I get Watchdogs 2 with worse play experience on Pro.

Sure that solution like Rise of Tomb Raider involves better QA, but it worth it… BTW they play it very safe, there is minimal risk involved, let me explain.

unlocked FPS mode, takes standard PS4 settings and uses 2.3x GPU power to double the FPS = very safe
30 FPS mode, tryes to push the fidelity, not to extreme, I believe they have good margins
4K mode, IMHO this one must take the most time to perfect, because you will hit a lot of HW limitation like memory bandwith and those are the tricky ones because you dont want to downgrade the effects compared to 1080p standard PS4….

Time spent on adding the options is nothing compared to the full development cycle costs… No doubt GT has other more important stuff to do before release, but patch after release would not hurt :)

It looks ugly as hell.

I hope all the VR gimmickery is to be a completely optional download (not a forced patch either) and isn’t part of the core game. This goes for all games that choose to incorporate it. I don’t need my gamedata to be larger than it has to be for features I’ll never use.

How about a solid release date after delaying your game?

DriveClub is already great with PSVR, although the visuals are a bit blurry and the effects have clearly been pared back. However, the cockpits are phenomenal and you feel like you are actually, physically sitting in the cockpit, which is crazy impressive.

I hope most of, or at least much of GT Sport will be playable with PSVR. If so, and if Polyphony can make the visuals sharper and richer than in DriveClub, it’ll be racing nirvana.

Getting a Sony 4K TV to use as my PC monitor next month, and will also hook up the PS4 Pro to it. Can’t wait to experience GT Sport when it comes out.

It’ll be making the most of PS5 at this rate. 3 years into the PS4 and still no Gran Turismo is an embarrassment.

Robinworldwide 16 November, 2016 @ 10:06
12

I have to take back my earlier comment. Although this article is doing a great job to make it unclear as possible, apparently there will be driving in VR as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4Vxt7AdbVM

Not exactly “making the most of” vr, is it? Have I just payed £400 for an expensive pair of goggles with after thought add ons? Cmon Sony. Please, please back this awesome bit of kit with some decent a list games!

Where did some of you pre order the game from and also do you guys thing there will be online multi player?

15

We need more VR support, this format is already struggling. Yes the pro does give us better visuals and on occasions better FPS, but the pro is here to support VR as a main stream format, surly Polyphony knew the PSVR was in the works so surely they have to take full advantage as we still don’t have that killer, must have VR game!!!!!

It always feels like gt games are released for outgoing models of the playstation. I am waiting desperately for the PS5 to come out so that we can finally get a gt game on the PS4 :-)
With driveclubs less than stellar track graphics on vr and project cars not going the vr route, the wait for a gt came feels ever longer. I hope they fully support VR and do it right.

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