Hello? Gran Turismo 5? Can you hear me? Gran Turismo? Follow the light, pal. Can you follow the light for me? There you go. Blink for me. Can you blink? Good job. Can you squeeze my hand? That’s good. Once more. Great. Now, wiggle your toes for me. That’s it. We’re going to try to sit up now, can you do that? Slowly. Slowly. There you go. Now, just relax. You’re probably wondering where you are right now. That’s only natural. Just remember that you’re safe now. Okay? I need you to listen to me now, but remember, you’re safe…You’re…you’re on sale. (Screams) I know! I know! Shhh! Calm down. Calm down. It’s okay! You’re okay. Just listen: You’re at retail! You’re safe now.
Believe me, no one is more surprised that you’re here right now than we are. It’s been five long and painful years of waiting for you to come along. There were times when we weren’t sure if you’d ever come out. But before we give you the all clear, we’re going to need to bring you up to speed on a few things that might look a bit different to you since you last saw them half a decade ago, just so you aren’t taken totally by surprise when you finally find your way into the world today. We’re relieved you’re finally here, but we don’t want to risk causing serious damage to you, especially after the journey you’ve had.
So, the last thing you probably remember was being show off by Sony during its big PlayStation 3 reveal during E3 2005. Of course, at the time, you were demoed under the name Vision Gran Turismo (which was then changed to Gran Turismo HD), and you were primarily a concept demonstration rather than an actual game at that point. But to be fair, there were plenty of other big reveals made during that show that would undergo similarly drastic changes over the next five years, just as you did.
I mean, you probably don’t even recognize the PS3 and Xbox 360, do you? After all, the 360 is no longer tall and white, nor does it sound like a 50-foot hyena swallowing a jet engine, and the PS3 not only costs a fraction of its original price, but it’s not the entertainment cabinet buckling behemoth it once was either. And the Wii…well, aside from no longer being named Revolution, not much has changed. Although, when you bumped into it at E3 all those years ago, the console’s biggest “revolutionary” feature had yet to be revealed: motion controls.
What’s that? What are “motion controls”? Oh, well, it kind of became a huge deal in the gaming industry, thanks to Nintendo’s little white box. Interestingly enough, both Sony and Microsoft released their own takes on the gesture-based technology this year (five years after their E3 reveals too) in the form of the PlayStation Move and Kinect. Don’t panic, though. Since you’re a PS3 exclusive, you don’t have to worry about being retrofitted to support hands-free driving via Kinect, and seeing as Move is wand-based like the Wii, it seems rather unlikely that you’ll be given the motion control treatment anytime soon. Still, it’s been a pretty major trend over the past few years, and it’s actually helped the Wii become the dominant console by quite a bit, so just keep it on your radar.
Now, there’s actually someone I want to tell you about too before we discharge you. Remember your E3 debut pal Alan Wake? That moody, psychological thriller that Microsoft showed off alongside the 360? No, no, no! He’s fine! He’s fine . In fact…he came out this year too (although, his PC version didn't make it). He was released a few months back actually. I know. We still can’t really believe it either. You guys were two of the highlights of that show, and were used to show of what these next-gen consoles were capable of, even if we wouldn’t witness that potential in the form of truly spectacular next-gen titles for a bit longer than we’d hoped. But rest assured, you’re pal Wake is safe and sound in the disc trays of loving fans (not quite as many as we would have liked, but so it goes).
How did he turn out? Well, like you, he underwent a number of big changes, had an inordinately challenging development cycle, and became a bit of a running joke as the years passed and the game continued to remain in the shadows. Interestingly enough, you two are among the most iconic “games that took forever” titles in gaming history, and you both started development roughly around the same time, and came out within a few months of one another. Funny how that works sometimes, huh?
Of course, unlike Wake, you had the luxury of eventually reaching a limited level of consciousness in the form of the interactive aperitif Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, which released back in 2008. On the other hand, the fact that you would peek your head out in that way, three years into development, and two years after you were first teased, simultaneously satisfied and disturbed us. It gave us our first solid chance to see what you had in store for us, while at the same time indicating to us that you had a long, long way to go before we could see you in the fully awakened state that we find you in today. Still, it was a good sign that you were still with us, and that was very encouraging.
Well that just about does it. Do you have any questions? We obviously couldn’t fill you in on everything that’s happened over the past five years (advances in handheld and downloadable games, the boom in online services like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam, Achievements/Trophies, the rise of 3D, etc), but hopefully this has helped you find a little footing as you step into the world. Just remember to look both ways when you leave. There are some crazy drivers out there. And, hey, Gran Turismo: good luck out there.