By Jan Wagner
If you enjoy car racing and realistic video games, check out GRAN TURISMO 6 – “The Real Driving Simulator” for the PlayStation 3. Celebrating the 15
thanniversary of the long-running GRAN TURISMO series, this is the newest and most advanced installment yet.
No matter what cars you’d like to race, GT6 has you covered with over 1,200 choices, including 120 that are new. They range from sporty economy cars which are well suited to learning how to race, to vintage and current sportscars, GT racers, NASCAR stock cars, exotics and many more, including more than 28 concept cars designed specifically for GT6 by actual carmakers to be released via online download over the course of a year. One such car is the breathtaking Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept, of which one was actually built and put on display at the Mercedes-Benz exhibit at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show (see AutoMatters #308).
The selection of racetracks is equally impressive. There are 37 (with 100 layouts), from classic European tracks including the Nurburgring and Silverstone, to Willow Springs Raceway – a great racetrack right here in Southern California.
You can drive the tracks on your own or race against others – in-person or online.
The realistic graphics are absolutely breathtaking, from the clouds in the sky to the highly detailed race circuits to the cars, complete with crash damage and tire smoke. You’ll be able to experience weather changes and the changing light conditions from morning to night – including location-specific constellations in the night sky (from Le Mans 2013).
Considering the vast number of available choices and since I have not played video games in a long time, I wondered how I would learn what I needed to know. As you will see, GT6 has that covered – even for novice video gamers, so we can begin to enjoy this game right away.
For me the most difficult part was installing the game on my PS3 system. It has not been used for gaming in well over a year, so it needed to be updated. Fortunately my PS3 was already connected to the Internet.
The hard part came when I tried to actually start playing the game. I don’t like steering with a joystick so a few years ago I’d bought a steering wheel and pedals assembly, and a video gamer’s racing seat attached to a frame, for my old PlayStation 2. Try as I might, I couldn’t get that contraption to fully communicate with GRAN TURISMO 6.
Since my steering wheel and pedals assembly was lacking some of the buttons that I needed for input, next I also connected a Sony DUALSHOCK 3 controller to my PS3 console. The result was that each of the controllers would work partially but neither would work completely, so I still couldn’t play the game.
Frustrated, I finally did what I often do when I have a computer problem that I am unable to solve myself. I did Google searches, posting questions that described the problems that I was having. Even though I could not find answers that directly addressed my particular situation, I did read that incompatible game controllers had caused some people’s difficulties. That clue was enough to put me on the right track. After some trial and error I finally discovered that I needed to disconnect that old steering wheel and pedal assembly and then – and this was critical to making this work, I needed to shut down the PS3 and restart it. All of a sudden my DUALSHOCK 3 controller worked fully and allowed me to enter all of the responses that GT6 was looking for. If you have trouble, make sure that you are using a compatible controller.
While the DUALSHOCK 3 does work, I’d still rather steer with a steering wheel and use my feet for acceleration and braking. I will be buying a PS3 steering wheel and pedals.
Here’s what you’ll find when the game begins. An opening video will play. Watch it. You’ll be blown away by the realistic locations and the sampling of the wide variety of cars that you’ll eventually be able to choose from.
Next you’ll see on-screen, step-by-step suggestions that will show you the basics of racing, watching instant replays, shopping at a dealership for cars, and making the many choices for modifying and fine-tuning them for racing. Follow those suggestions and you’ll be racing in no time.
with your comments and suggestions.
Copyright © 2014 by Jan Wagner – #320r2