Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image | January 18, 2018

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Gran Turismo HD and micro-transactions |

Gran Turismo HD looks like it could be a great game on the surface- GT4 in HD, with an online mode, more competitors, Ferraris and a demonstration of what to expect from GT5.

Then Sony and Polyphony Digital did something rather strange. They fiddled with the formula by which people buy console games. Within minutes of Famistu’s article being translated gamers were up in arms; quite reasonably too. “How dare they charge us for a game that actually has no content in it!”, “This game will cost up to $800 now!”, “So this is what micro-transactions mean… :x”…

Well now some more details have come to the surface:
*GTHD is likely to have a very low retail price- probably only a few dollars.
*GTHD Classic mode does indeed come with no cars, tracks or parts.
*GTHD Premium mode is a GT5 demo coming with 30 cars and 2 tracks. These can be doubled through downloads.
*AI and damage upgrades will be available as time goes on.
*The online mode is pretty much exclusively focused on GTHD Classic and offers the following options:

The most interesting of these being:
~Online garages- implies you can look at other racers’ collections.
~Drift contests- Just sounds interesting and challenging.
~Team and Club building tied in with numberplate, colouring and livery editiors.

Sounds great! But it’s the microtransactions thing. It’s the sticking point and it completely changes the nature of the game. You’re usually used to getting a reward for winning a race. Not this time around though. I worked out that I would probably buy somewhere in the region of 50 cars- the majority would be supercars and non-road cars (the 770 figure rerpesents a nice choice though). Based on the price quoted that would probably cost me at most $50. That’s already fairly expensive, but my problem isn’t so much the price of the cars… It’s the price of the tracks. All 51 tracks would cost you somewhere uder $230! Even if I didn’t want all of them I could only knock myself down to spending around $100. I really hope Polyphony and Sony offer some deals- track packs, and car packs- to make it less of a burden, although if I’m really honest I would like to see all the tracks included in the game with later ones added at a premium download price.

The odd thing is that I can see this game selling in vast amounts, simply because it’s so cheap. Hell, you might as well get it and I certainly will, you aren’t under an obligation to buy anything and you could just play Premium mode all the time (although that would become rather boring)! I think that is exactly what Polyphony and Sony are gambling on though- that you buy the game, and then Polyphony will get you hooked in to buying and trying out more cars and tracks. Great business model, not so good for the fans like myself though!

In a way it makes sense- since the game’s focus is online and not achieving cup after cup after cup to collect cars and get rewards, but it would also be nice to have a choice of every car right at the start. What I would really like to see is the game coming with some free microtransaction points to get you started and then rewards of some more points if you succeed in online cups and leagues, it would just make things easier on the consumer.

IGN has a detailed overview of the GT conference that Kaz gave.

  • mcloki

    The micro payments thing scares me only if it is the only way to buy new cars and tracks. But if you can buy new cars with in game earnings as well that would be great. Hard core gamers could earn all of the cars they want, but less hard core gamers could go out an buy the car they want.
    And it brings up something else. IF i can buy a newly downloaded car can i sell one of these cars to my friends. It would be great if I could micro transact that.

  • I won’t be surprised if this game is free with European PS3s. If it’s so cheap why not bundle it in with the PS3 at European launch?

    I’m not impressed at all with the micro-transactions and my worst fears seem to be realised with this news.

    I’m going to wait for more concrete info about this game before I condemn it to Hades.

  • Tom

    Yes re-selling and trading would be a very interesting idea and a great way to try more cars. This is all the kind network management of stuff Sony really need to inform us of before launch!

    They keep tellling us the PlayStation network will be in opperation for launch but they still won’t give us the other details! One thing is obvious though- GTHD at least will be free to play online, which gives us a nice hint as to the direction that other games are going in.

  • Darrin

    The micropayments worry me but in their defense: the pricing aspects haven’t been finalized. Even the developers don’t know how the payments will work when the game ships so it’s a little early to get too upset.

    I can’t remember Sony or PD ever using any obnoxious pricing structures in the past so there’s a good chance that they will ultimately settle on a fair and tolerable payement system. And if they don’t, I’ll switch. GT is my favorite but there are plenty of alternatives.

  • There was some blog post at Gamespots TGS report, which suggested, that GTHD DID come with 700+ cars and 50+ tracks, but ADDITIONAL cars will have to be bought…

    Cant seem to find it right now (was something with visiting Polyphony and stuff), but I dont know…

    Everybody say “how can they do that”?? Ok, I am a real FREAK when it comes to GT (I own EVERY SINGLE ONE!) and I can tell you, that you really wont buy EVERY SINGLE CAR OFFERED in GT4.

    I mean, who cares about the 50-70s consumer cars anyways? Especially the european ones (like the Citroen C2V)?

    Really, my garage is filled with about I dont know lets say 50 cars, that I frequently use for racing (my coed bought a PSTwo last week… I finally have a real opponent!!).

    And 770 cars? I dont think they charge you for all of those Impreza and Skyline variations available! THAT would be ridiculos.

    But, I cant say that I am happy that they maybe leave out the tracks. I mean, come on, a racing game lives and dies by its tracks. And the tracks in GT were always top notch.

    I would love to see, that they allow importing of cars or so of GT4. I mean I already paid the freakin full price for that!!

    But what really got me worked up is… DAMAGE!! Professional Driving Physics!! Interiors!!

    Man, THAT makes GT GT!!

  • Jason

    I agree with Gary in the realm of worst fears becoming realized.

    I’ve been dubious of the downloadable content trend since it started on the xbox. Essentially it allows publishers to push a game into the marketplace even if elements of the original build aren’t complete. GT5 is a perfect example of this. Developers are under extreme pressure from their publishers to hit their deadlines and now the publishers have the ability to release the game ‘as is’ ; they get to hit their target release date and still get to cash in further with content that was supposed to be in the game in the first place. Have you noticed how secretive developers are about how many levels/cars/maps are in a game until very close to the launch?

  • matt

    Having to buy things that should be in the game is just ridiculous. There is no way to spin this into a good thing. If the game would have come with 30 tracks and 250 cars for $50 that wouldn’t be so bad. Then when you go online everyone has a base that can be used for basic online gaming that should be enough for the average gamer. This would also allow people to buy a few cars of their own to customize their experience.

    I love Microtransactions so far on the 360. Some developers have screwed things up (GR:AW) with selling extra content that basically was necessary to continue playing the game. GR:AW sold extra maps for online and didn’t give the option to play without them, so those who didn’t buy the $15 map pack could no longer play online. Outside of that the micro-transactions have been a welcome edition to gaming. I remember buying extra maps for Return to Castle Wolfenstein for Xbox like 3 years ago and it helped a dying online game.

    I am all for things that can extend the life of a game, especially at a price that is appropriate and can be considered a deal. Sony is just raping the average gamer. The best way to stop this crap from happening is to not buy games like this. Let them know with your money that this kind of thing is not OK. They check online sites and if the people refuse to buy this game they will change how it is released.

    Things like this are horrible for gaming and Sony continues to show me no reason to buy their system. Have they even thought about the 45% of America that still uses dial-up internet service? How are they going to get the full experience?

  • Shouldn’t you be throwing some criticisms at PD not Sony? They are the ones that make the game not Sony.

  • Conan Troutman

    This is the same thing that happened with cell phones. Pay for SMS, Pay for pictures etc.
    Pretty soon we will have to buy expansion packs for our real cars.

    I just got my Drive over 50MPH and Night time Driving Modules!!! And passenger upgrades!. Do you guys want to ride with me to the beach?, plug in your memory cards so it knows that you have purhcased a license to be a passenger and bring your nightime driving modules. its ok if you dont all have your over 50 mph add on packs, we can just use the old version and drive 49 mph!