In a bit of bad but not unexpected news, it has been confirmed by Sony that Gran Turismo 7 (GT7) has been delayed until 2022.
Confirmation came during an interview that GQ Magazine conducted with PlayStation head Jim Ryan about future plans for the PS5 console which included the announcement of a new PS VR headset.
Why is Gran Turismo 7 being delayed?
Robert Leedham, (the interviewer) astutely noticed that during Ryan’s talk of everything to expect for 2021, Gran Turismo 7 went unmentioned. Considering that up until now, most promotional media had Gran Turismo 7 slated for a 2021 release, Ryan’s failure to mention it rightly struck Leedham as odd so he inquired further.
At that point a Sony PR representative jumped in and made the following statement:
“GT7 has been impacted by Covid-related production challenges and therefore will shift from 2021 to 2022. With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months. We’ll share more specifics on GT7’s release date when available.”
There we have it, we’re all going to definitely have to wait a bit longer to play Gran Turismo 7. It is disappointing news but as mentioned before, not unexpected.
This is not the first time Gran Turismo 7 release date has changed
There has already been some subtle shifts in PlayStation’s language regarding when GT7 would release. You may remember back in November, PlayStation released a sizzle reel video with fine text at the bottom that stated that Gran Turismo 7 was set to release in “the first half of 2021”.
Then, just weeks later in December 2020, PlayStation altered that video that replaced the “first half of 2021” text with “in development” and captioned all Gran Turismo 7 gameplay video with “coming in 2021”.
So, it seems that GT7‘s release date has been a moving target for quite some time now. Furthermore, if we’re being honest, delays are not new to the Gran Turismo franchise. It hasn’t happened with every game in the series but enough of them to make fans strongly consider delays with each new entry.
Though, instead of a Gran Turismo game being held back due to Kazunori Yamauchi (GT’s director) famously high standards, it looks like COVID-19 is the culprit this time.
Is COVID the only reason for the Gran Turismo 7 delay?
However, we have to wonder if COVID is the only reason why Gran Turismo 7‘s release has been pushed to 2022.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, today a new PlayStation VR (PS VR) headset was announced. It is promised to be more advanced than the previous PS VR headset and more user-friendly.
In our opinion, the timing of this new PS VR announcement and the reveal of GT7’s delay is slightly suspect and also very familiar. Way back in 2016, I had the opportunity to interview Kazunori Yamauchi during E3.
At that time, the PS4 Pro was still just a rumor known as the “PS4 Neo”. I asked Kazunori-san if the rumored, more-powerful PS4 console would have an effect on Gran Turismo Sport (GT Sport)’s release date and he said he didn’t even know much about the PS4 Pro besides the rumors.
A few months later GT Sport was delayed as Kazunori said his team needed more time to “perfect the game”. Then a short while later, the PS4 Pro was officially revealed. Shortly after that, another announcement was made stating that GT Sport would have 4K resolution, HDR, and VR capability. All of those features being marquee capabilities of the PS4 Pro.
Considering the sequence of events, it really seems like GT Sport‘s delay could have been a result of Kazunori waiting for the PS4 Pro hardware so that he could optimize GT Sport for it.
Is Gran Turismo 7 waiting for the PS VR 2?
Considering, what happened with GT Sport and the PS4 Pro, we wouldn’t think it’s absolutely crazy to speculate that perhaps the new PS VR headset coming up in the future may be part of the reason why GT7 is being delayed.
According to the GQ interview with Jim Ryan, development kits for the new PS VR are just now being sent out to developers.
Maybe Kazunori is deciding to wait for this new VR hardware and optimize a VR mode for GT7? Again, this is pure speculation on our part and we have no concrete info to back it up.
There is also the clear and obvious fact that the COVID pandemic has really made game development exceptionally difficult. Especially considering a high-end racing game like Gran Turismo where cars sometimes need to be physically scanned and recorded. That type of thing requires traveling, which is significantly limited currently.
Additionally, if there are any race tracks that have not been laser scanned yet would likely have to wait until travel restrictions are eased.
Speculation aside, it looks like we are definitely going to have to wait until 2022 to play Gran Turismo 7 which is unfortunate. Though, we’re pretty confident that Kazunori and Polyphony Digital will take this extra time to really make GT7 worth the wait.
Also, let’s be honest; It’s still really damn hard to even buy a PlayStation 5 (PS5) right now. We probably won’t be able to walk into a store and buy a PS5 comfortably until 2022 anyway.