The anticipated launch of Gran Turismo 5 for the Sony PlayStation 3 will not occur as originally scheduled on November 2nd. The early November launch was optimal for the holiday shopping season, but the game developers still expect to launch the title in time for Christmas.
The game title missed its production window by three days, and an SDK firmware update also led to the game being delayed — but the latest setback should only be temporary.
Unconfirmed reports indicate the GT5 release delay is related to piracy. Sony has mandated the requirement that all PS3 games with post-October launch dates are finalized using the PS3 firmware 3.50 SDK libraries. Sony wants to try and prevent PS3 owners who have used the PSJailbreak and similar hacks from being able to play backed up or pirated versions of new games.
“We sincerely apologize to GT fans for the delay, however, creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make certain they are creating the perfect racing experience, and we are confident that this ambitious game will exceed expectations when it launches,” Sony confirmed in a PlayStation Blog post.
Video game piracy is a major problem among PC and console game developers, with cracked games still readily available. However, the PSJailbreak’s launch helped force Sony into a tight corner, even though the Japanese electronics giant quickly dealt with the PSJailbreak hacks using court orders and firmware updates.
There is already concern GT5 will become the console version of Duke Nukem Forever, as the video game has been delayed on several occasions. Assuming the delay is more related to anti-piracy than gameplay issues, then GT5 will be released and should still be popular among PS3 gamers. Some PS3 gamers are expecting the title to sell around 10-11 million copies globally after launch — assuming the game won’t be delayed too long past its expected November 2nd launch date.
Requiring the latest firmwares to play new PS3 games really puts modders in a tight spot. They can stick with their old firmware and continue on with their backup and homebrew functionality without being able to player newer PS3 titles, or they can update their firmware and loose all their modding capabilities in exchange for the ability to play new games. Sony is definitely be aggressive towards PS3 hackers.