It’s hard to overstate how influential the original is Grand Touring was at its worldwide release in 1998. Sony was aware of this, as you can see from that grandiose marketing claim you see above, of a print ad leading up to the game’s release that, yes – actually turned out to be complete Valid.
Recently Digital Foundries John Linneman explored the series’ past with a two-part retrospective focused on the franchise’s PlayStation and PlayStation 2 entries. It explains, from the inception of studio Polyphony Digital to the game’s release and beyond, how the team was committed to improving the capabilities of the original PlayStation, hardware that would be considered extremely rudimentary by today’s standards. They succeeded and achieved driving simulation quality that was not thought possible in the late 1990s.
This two-part YouTube deep dive is a combined two o’clock exploring the games that made Grand Touring a household name, as well as a number of titles that tried to capitalize on the attention – such as Sega GT 2002 and Forza Motorsport† If you’re nerdy about these things, it’s a must watch. It also ends with a comparison of the Nürburgring Nordschleife as recreated in four different titles – a particularly interesting segment, because forzas Green hell is not green at all, and the rendition of the famous circuit in Enthusiasm: Professional racing is very upsetting if you suffer from seasonal depression.
Check them both out and think back to those halcyon days before microtransactions and groundbreaking updates†