Gran Turismo 6: Hands-on with Epic New Title, GPS Visualizer, Drifting and More

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIINovember 29, 2013

image from Gran Turismo 6

On Dec. 6, the next version of the legendary Gran Turismo series will release for the PlayStation 3. Yes, PlayStation 4 is not the only system receiving shiny new titles. A few weeks back I had the opportunity to attend a Gran Turismo race track event at the Willow Springs race track in Rosamond, Calif., and the experience was unforgettable.

I had hands-on experience with the game—which plays like a dream—and also had a chance to test a revolutionary new piece of racing/gaming technology called the GPS Visualizer. Along with those two awesome experiences, I also took a spin in the Scion FR-S with professional drifter Ken Gushi of Scion racing. 

This was pretty amazing, but frightening. Let's break down everything from top to bottom.

The Game

Visual Impression

image from Gran Turismo 6

In a word, Gran Turismo 6 is beautiful. Just when you thought you'd seen the best graphics your PlayStation 3 could deliver, this title stretches the limits. For a current-generation title to impress me with its visuals within weeks of the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is a noteworthy accomplishment.

The environments and vehicles are top notch. Take a look at the screenshots above and the trailer below.

The Tracks, Cars and the Handling

image from Gran Turismo 6

The diverse handling of the vehicles is as true to life as the simulation has always been. Gran Turismo 6 looks to still blur the lines between real and virtual car fanaticism. The technical specificity of each car shines through for those looking to delve that deep, but the fun of simply driving a fast car is present as well.

There are over 120 new cars, which extends the total to more than 1,200. That's pretty impressive.

Track layouts have also increased to 100. There are notable classic tracks and new well-known courses like Silverstone included immaculately.

Technical Innovations

Working off the GPS function in your tablet or smartphone, a device called the GPS Logger works in tandem with Gran Turismo 6's in-game Course Maker to recreate any route you take in your own car. Seriously, how sick is that?

The Willow Springs Race Track Event

Building on the GPS Functionality

image from Gran Turismo 6

With the GPS Visualizer function, gamers can take a vehicle on a real-life course like the Willow Springs race track—which is included in the game—and have their driving performance recorded (steering and throttle data) and viewed within Gran Turismo 6.

Aside from being a really cool feature, this could also serve as something professional drivers could use to evaluate their training runs. Take a look at the footage from my modest run on the track.

Don't judge the performance of the Scion FR-S based on my driving skills. I'm quite sure the vehicle can do more with a better driver behind the wheel.

Check out this informative video on the GPS Visualizer that features Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer for the Scion FR-S and Toyota Motor Corporation.

Drifting is Scary

As if playing the game, driving the awesome Scion FR-S and witnessing the innovation of the GPS Visualizer wasn't enough, I also had a chance to ride shotgun with one of the world's best drifters.

Scion Racing's Ken Gushi was behind the wheel and in charge of scaring me to death on this lovely afternoon. Let's just say this experience was something I'm glad I can say I did, but wouldn't ever do again.

Look out for my full review on Gran Turismo 6, coming soon.

Follow me for news and musings on Gran Turismo 6 and other sports video games.

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