"GT4: Prologue is an exclusive 'Advanced Skills School' designed with the most ambitious drivers in mind. It provides an opportunity to prepare for the imminent challenge of GT4 - an essential test-drive for potential champions." - Kazunori Yamauchi
Gran Turismo 4: Prologue (グランツーリスモ4プロローグ, guran tsūrisumo 4 purorōgu) is racing game in the Gran Turismo series, and the third release on the PlayStation 2, which was published by Polyphony Digital. It was released on December 4, 2003 in Japan and Southeast Asia; January 15, 2004 in Korea; and May 26, 2004 in Europe. It was not released in North America for unknown reasons, although a demo was released that was based on it.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Japan-Only Releases
- 3 North America-Only Releases
- 4 Europe and PAL Region Releases
- 5 Sales
Gran Turismo 4 was intended to be released worldwide in time for Christmas of 2003, but it was delayed. In consolation, Polyphony Digital released Prologue, a preview version of what was planned for the full release. The European version also included a bonus documentary "making-of" disc.
Prologue included 50 of the then-planned 500 cars for Gran Turismo 4, and only 5 available tracks. Also featured was a "Driving School" (similar to License Tests in previous games), Free Run, and Time Attack. Many of the menu sound effects, music, and graphics were recycled from the previous game, and some tracks, like the New York Circuit, were still in earlier stages of development.
There were several different themed releases for Prologue, most of them released only in Japan. Serial numbers are provided below for reference and collection purposes.
In Japan, a limited "Signature Edition", featuring the signature of the series producer Kazunori Yamauchi on the front cover, preceded the release of the standard game. There was also a limited-edition Christmas season bundle, called the "PlayStation Racing Pack", containing Prologue and a ceramic white-colored PS2 with matching gamepads. It was released alongside the disc-only version in Japan on December 4, 2003. Along with a "Making Of" DVD, a "Driver's Guide" was included, featuring a rough diagram of the Nürburgring Nordschleife on the back.
Volkswagen Lupo Cup Training Edition (PAPX-90508)
Toyota Prius Trial Edition (PAPX-90512)
Again released in Japan only, this edition was included with the purchase or lease of a new Toyota Prius. Interestingly, the "Prologue" title is dropped and instead the basic "GT" logo is displayed on the title screen, with "PRIUS TRIAL VERSION" printed along the bottom. The "Start" button is stylised as the push-button Start Engine button as found in a Prius as well. Also using recycled music and menu graphics and sounds from GT3, the only visible changes are the additions of hybrid-specific icons and images on the HUD. The only playable game mode is a 1-lap race on Tsukuba Circuit, driving a 2003 Toyota Prius. Before the race, a video showing a real-life Prius being started up plays, and a showcase video describing and displaying several features of the car is also included on the disc, though it is in Japanese only.
Subaru Driving Simulator (PCPX-96634)
First Preview Version (PCPX-96649)
Daihatsu Copen Trial Edition (SCPM-85301)
The PlayStation Appendix Trial (SCPM-85304)
North America-Only Releases
Toyota Prius Trial Edition (SCUS-97384)
Similarly to the Prius Trial Version, this demo disc was given to limited numbers of customers purchasing or leasing a new Toyota Prius, or by attending the Toyota booth at the 2004 New York International Auto Show. Gameplay itself is much the same as the Japanese Trial, however, instead of a 1-lap race on Tsukuba Circuit the selection has changed to a time-limited free run on either Fuji Speedway '90s or Grand Canyon. It should be noted that the version of Grand Canyon included here is still in it's pre-release iteration, and as such features a tarmac section at the start of the track and the finish line has been moved backwards on the straight dirt section with the three jumps, cutting off the last section of the track.
The Motor Triathlon Race Car is also featured in this version, with an entirely different HUD style, now showing information such as power distribution to the four wheels.
Europe and PAL Region Releases
Nissan Micra Edition (SCED-51352)
BMW 1-Series Virtual Drive (SCED-52681)
As of April 30, 2008, Gran Turismo 4 Prologue has shipped 790,000 copies in Japan, 410,000 in Europe, and 160,000 in Asia (which includes 110,000 in Southeast Asia and 50,000 in Korea) for a total of 1.37 million copies.