Gran Turismo HD Concept (グランツーリスモHDコンセプト, guran tsūrisumo HD konseputo) was the first installment of the Gran Turismo racing series to be released on the PlayStation 3. It was made available as a free download which was released on the PlayStation Store on December 24th, 2006.
A Blu-ray Disc version, called "Install Disc", was released in Japan in limited quantities in September 2007. This game was intended to be a sneak preview, in the likes of Gran Turismo Concept, preceding the release of a full version title but the Gran Turismo HD project was canceled and replaced by Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.
Gran Turismo HD project
On the September 22, 2006 Tokyo Game Show opening, Famitsu's website released details and a screenshot about a new Polyphony Digital project, Gran Turismo HD, scheduled from a December release. Two versions would be simultaneously released, the Blu-ray Disc based "GTHD Premium" (GTHDプレミアム) and the PlayStation Store downloadable "GTHD Classic" (GTHDクラシック).
During the Tokyo Game Show, Polyphony Digital unveiled the first Gran Turismo HD teaser. It featured HD renders of five cars: NISMO Skyline GT-R R-tune (R34) '99, Honda S2000 '99, Toyota Castrol TOM'S SUPRA '00, Ford GT '05 and the Ferrari 599 '06. The first four cars were available in Gran Turismo 4 but didn't appear in late GTHD trailers, though the Ferrari was featured in Gran Turismo HD Concept. Kazunori Yamauchi confirmed the full version of Gran Turismo HD was scheduled for a December 2007 release in Japan. Among the planned contents he introduced an "iTunes-like" download service and various download packs including additional cars and tracks, advanced AI or car damage, all of which being compatible with the future Gran Turismo 5.
Footage from game shows suggests that GTHD Classic would have been essentially a high-resolution port of Gran Turismo 4, with motorcycles from Tourist Trophy and number of vehicles on the track expanded to 16.
In November 2006, shortly before the release of Gran Turismo HD Concept v2.0, Polyphony Digital director Kazunori Yamauchi officially announced a revision in the product strategy where "Gran Turismo 5 will be given priority".
Polyphony Digital chose to abandon the planned full version named Gran Turismo HD, which was previously announced as Vision Gran Turismo at the E3 2005 (not to be confused with the later Vision Gran Turismo concept car program) and was first displayed during the Tokyo Game Show 2006 and was scheduled for a 2007 worldwide release to focus on developing Gran Turismo 5 instead.
Kazunori Yamauchi stated "Gran Turismo 5 will adopt most of the planned features of Gran Turismo HD", which confirmed by the two "Gran Turismo × Skyline" trailers based on Gran Turismo 4 replay footages and early Gran Turismo HD Concept artworks or replay footages and including the line "Passage to Gran Turismo 5". "We are hoping to present [...] several Concept versions, each loaded with various experimental features", azunori Yamauchi added. That makes Gran Turismo 5 Prologue the first title of this planned experimental series since it is dedicated to online play.
In GTHD Concept v1.2 main menu, a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano can be seen in the Garage.
The Japanese and Traditional Chinese versions 1.1 (NTSC-J) were released on the Japanese and South East Asian PS Stores on December 26, 2006. This update added force feedback support with Logitech Driving Force steering wheels.
They were followed by an English version 1.2 (NTSC-U/C) which was released in North America on April 5, 2007 and was also adding support for the Logitech GT Force steering wheels line. A European languages version 2.0 (PAL) replacing NTSC SD output (480i/p) to PAL (576i/p) was available for download on the PAL regions PlayStation 3 launch date on March 23, 2007. Eventually, the Korean version 1.1 (NTSC-J) was released in the South Korean PS Store to coincide with the local PlayStation 3 launch on June 15, 2007.
Following an official message from Sony Computer Entertainment Japan the Japanese demo (version 1.1) was removed from the local PlayStation Store on September 30, 2007. It was replaced on October 20, 2007 by an exclusive demo for Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, which was discontinued itself on November 11 and was replaced by the full version on December 13, 2007.
Despite this, the demo continues to be downloadable for users who already obtained the demo when it was available; additionally, the online leaderboards are still operational.
A free Gran Turismo HD Concept Blu-ray Disc including the Japanese language version 1.1 plus the July 17, 2007 Gran Turismo 5 Prologue PlayStation Première 2007 HD video trailer ("Concept Movie Type B") came out in Japan in September 2007. A PlayStation Store Guide ("PlayStation Storeガイド映像 収録") manual was included in the BD package.
Gran Turismo HD Concept includes external view (or rear view) and bumper view, the latter introduces left and right view as seen from the driver's helmet. Left and right views are available with both Sixaxis and steering wheel peripherals although they are not assigned in the wireless controller's default configuration.
- Main article: Gran Turismo HD Concept/Car List
As a short title, the Concept version only features ten cars ranging from the Suzuki Cappuccino to the Ferrari 599, available in both stock and tuned version, once unlocked. The game's opening movie focuses on Didier Auriol's 1995 Toyota Celica GT-FOUR WRC and the Lotus Elise 111R.
The introduction of Ferrari models in the Gran Turismo series was officially announced by the series producer Kazunori Yamauchi and Giulio Zambeletti from Ferrari on September 28, 2006 at the Paris Motor Show. It was soon followed by a special trailer "Gran Turismo HD featuring Ferrari GT cars". The first models were supposed to be the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and the Ferrari F430. While the former was available in Gran Turismo HD Concept, the latter was not, but was included in the Gran Turismo 5 Prologue free playable demo among the non selectable NPC cars.
The game features only a single track, The Eiger Nordwand (Eiger north face) which is a newly created mountain pass track based on the Kleine Scheidegg and featuring the Swiss Alps' famous Mönch and Jungfrau peaks. The track is also available in reverse mode once unlocked.
Official track data are as following:
- Course length: ~2435.7m
- Elevation difference: ~75m
- Longest straight: ~250m
Two play modes are available, Time Trial and Drift Trial once unlocked. Both modes feature an Internet ranking chart for each continent. Gran Turismo HD Concept is the first game in the franchise to support online ranking. Japanese area ranking ended on September 30, 2007 with the removal of Gran Turismo HD Concept from the local PlayStation Store.
The Replay mode is also available, each course's best 5 records per car in both Time and Drift Trial can be downloaded by users under the form of a replay file.
The game outputs analog two sound to the AV Multi out but allows Dolby Digital 5.1 channel with the S/PDIF out and LPCM 5.1ch with the HDMI out.In terms of visual quality, the game options allow the selection of 720p and 1080p HD resolutions as well as "system settings default". Version 1.0~1.2 allows 480i/p NTSC resolution, while the 2.0 version is made for 576i/p PAL resolution.