What Happened While We Were Waiting For Gran Turismo 5

by Matt Helgeson on Aug 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Gran Turismo studio Polyphony Digital works at a pace more akin to that of a Renaissance painter than your average video game studio – though, in fairness, it only took Michelangelo four years to paint the Sistine Chapel.

On November 2nd of this year, our seemingly endless wait for Gran Turismo 5 will be over – or at least that’s what Sony is promising. But just how long has the wait been? To put it into perspective here are some of the games, news, and events that have transpired while GT has been missing in action.

[Pictured above: the August 2003 issue of Game Informer, a preview cover story on Gran Turismo 4]


- Gran Turismo 4 is released in Japan on December 28th for PlayStation 2


- Barack Obama is sworn in as a U.S. Senator for the state of Illinois on January 4

- Sony releases God of War on March 22, creating an instant icon in the game’s antihero Kratos. Sony Santa Monica will deliver two complete console sequels of the game, God of War II & III, a PSP title (Chains of Olympus), and the God of War Collection for PS3 in the time it takes for GT 5 to be completed. God of War: Ghosts of Sparta for PSP will release on November 2nd, the same day as GT 5

- The PlayStation Portable handheld system debuts in the U.S. on March 24

- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game hits stores on March 24, becoming an instant sensation. A host of sequels follow, based on properties like Batman, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter

- Rockstar Games releases Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition on April 13. While gamers wait for Gran Turismo 5, the company releases Bully, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Grand Theft Auto IV, The Lost and Damned, Chinatown Wars, The Ballad of Gay Tony, and Red Dead Redemption

- Microsoft publishes Forza Motorsport for Xbox on May 3rd. In the absence of Gran Turismo, the series becomes the definitive realistic racer of the generation, spawning two successful sequels in 2007 and 2009

- In an MTV special on May 12, Microsoft unveils the Xbox 360 to gamers the world over

- At its E3 press conference on May 16, Sony announces the PlayStation 3, which features a strange “boomerang” controller that was later scrapped

- Nintendo lifts the curtain on its newest console, then dubbed the Revolution

- Rockstar becomes embroiled in controversy when the mod to unlock the “Hot Coffee” sex minigames in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas hits the web on June 9

- Activision ships Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 2 on October 25

- Microsoft kicks off the current generation of consoles with the November 16 launch of the Xbox 360 in the U.S. and Canada

- Harmonix’s Guitar Hero is released for PlayStation 2. In the time it takes GT 5 to come out, Guitar Hero would become a pop culture phenomenon, Harmonix would leave the franchise to create the equally successful Rock Band franchise, and Activision would go on to release five sequels plus numerous handheld titles and the upcoming Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

- Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is available on Xbox Live Arcade on November 22. This becomes one of the early breakout hits in the downloadable games space


- Sony halts production of the original PlayStation on March 23

- Hannah Montana debuts on the Disney Channel starring a girl who is the daughter of that “Achy Breaky Heart” dude Billy Ray Cyrus from the ‘90s

- In October, Fox greenlights the production of the long-delayed James Cameron’s Avatar. Many in the industry feel the ultra-expensive film will be a massive bust

- Microsoft releases Epic’s brutal action hit Gears of War on November 9

- Sony launches the PlayStation 3 on November 11 in Japan and the 17th in the U.S., priced at “five hundred and ninety-nine American dollars”

- Nintendo releases its motion control Wii console on November 19. The system quickly becomes a massive blockbuster


- Apple launches its much-hyped “smartphone”, the iPhone, on January 9. It is a moderate success, but somewhat overlooked by the media

- In February, Nintendo says that its ill-fated GameCube has been officially discontinued

- Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record on August 7, but is dogged by rumors of steroid use

- Two of this generation’s best new IPs, BioWare’s Mass Effect and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed are released in November of 2007. Both are massive hits that produce successful sequels


- Grand Theft Auto IV is released on April 29 to massive critical acclaim and sales

- On June 28, Blizzard announces that Diablo III is in production, later in the year it releases the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for World of Warcraft, which becomes the fastest selling game to date, tallying 2.8 million copies in the first 24 hours

- In July, the Florida Supreme Court permanently disbars outspoken video game critic Jack Thompson. Gamers around the world rejoice


- Pioneering amusement company and video game publisher Midway Games declares bankruptcy in February

- On March 6, Nintendo announces that the Nintendo DS, which released just one month before Gran Turismo 4, has sold 100 million units worldwide

- Infinity Ward and Activision release Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game is an instant smash and goes on to become one of the biggest selling games of all time


- Remedy’s long awaited psychological thriller Alan Wake, which was announced all the way back at E3 2005, is finally released on May 12 in Europe and May 14 in the U.S.

- Sony’s PlayStation Move controller will release first in Europe on September 15

- As of this writing, Duke Nukem Forever remains unreleased