When Sony announced that Gran Turismo 5 Prologue would be available for $40 in April, I couldn’t help but have a knee-jerk reaction. How could Sony get away with charging $40 for GT5 Reduced Lite Junior Prologue when the full version would sell for only $20 more? Here’s how, the word is out today that the full blown version of Gran Turismo won’t be out for another year! Is this a new business model for delayed games or just Sony trying to satiate the rabid Gran Turismo fans?
Gran Turismo is arguably the most popular/prolific console racing series ever, and certainly one of the Playstation 3’s key exclusive titles (second only to Metal Gear IMO). Apparently, even Sony can’t get their key exclusive games out the door in any sort of timely fashion for the PS3. By the time the “real” GT5 comes out, the PS3 will have already been out for two and a half years! That means that there will have been a four year span between the release of GT4 and GT5.
To put that in perspective against another big console exclusive, look at Halo. Each version only had three years or less after the preceding one, and Halo 1 was even a launch title. Although, how well would have a Halo 3 Lite have done? Probably really well, unfortunately. This could lead to more developers with deadline problems releasing partial versions of their game and then the full version only a year later, as they’ll just cash in for a total of $100 instead of $60 without hardly any extra work.
This isn’t the first time the Gran Turismo series has seen a gimped Prologue version however; the fourth installment had one too, and it came about four years after GT3. So I don’t know how much can really be attributed to the much talked about development difficulties on the PS3. Perhaps Polyphony Digital (the developer) just can’t get their product out the door in general.
All I know is that this can’t be a welcomed trend for gamers. Let’s hope that the GT5 Prologue owners don’t get stuck paying full price for what will essentially be a car and track pack.