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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Motorcycle Future for PD?

John B. Marine | 1:15 AM | | |
(UPDATED: June 22, 2014)

You may have seen my video about if Tourist Trophy should have a sequel. Well now, I ask a different question- where does the future of motorcycles lie among Polyphony Digital? Those who didn't like Tourist Trophy would immediately conclude that this was just another game to take time away from making Gran Turismo 5. Some others would probably think of Tourist Trophy to be more like a Gran Turismo 4 mod than a proper independent game. What COULD the motorcycle future hold for Polyphony Digital? I will express thoughts in this blog post.

Welcome to John's Gran Turismo Space!


JUN 22 2014 - edited a few details, added "Before I Begin..." section


I want you to realize this blog post regards the future of motorcycles in Gran Turismo or Tourist Trophy. This is NOT a post about futuristic motorcycles. You can look elsewhere online for any information on that topic.

--- Speculative Future of Motorcycles in Polyphony Digital Games ---

Car with Motorcycle
^ This picture either brought a unique image of the future, or a disconcerting image of the future depending on your own views. But... could it be the future for motorcycles in PD's games? (ORIGINAL PICTURE CREDIT: Sony Computer Entertainment and Polyphony Digital)

Gran Turismo HD with Motorcycles
^ from: - Shop for and tune cars AND motorcycles? Could this be the two-wheel future of motorcycles in Polyphony Digital's games?

To me, there are three possibilities in regards to the two-wheeled future of motorcycles. Follow my logic with these three possibilities:

Possibility 1: A Proper Tourist Trophy Sequel.

Polyphony Digital would have to develop Gran Turismo 6 as well as develop a GT on the side. I saw Tourist Trophy as insight into the making of Gran Turismo 5. I also thought Tourist Trophy was a great racing game even with its flaws. With PS3 power, Tourist Trophy could be something magical if PD actually considered taking Tourist Trophy further and farther into the future. Polyphony Digital didn't get to make their own F1 racing title (that honor went to Codemasters), but they can still make the best motorcycle racing game series other than the MotoGP games.

As Gran Turismo dabbled in rally racing and formula racing in subsequent versions of GT, a Tourist Trophy sequel could get people into supercross racing, motocross racing, and supermoto. How far would PD go in providing the ultimate motorcycle racing experience? We'll never know if Tourist Trophy will cease to continue...

Possibility 2: Motorcycles With Cars.

If you are a motorcycle racing fan, this is either good or bad news for you. This basically means you can race with motorcycles AND cars. You may even have your own car vs. motorcycle battles. This is what many would say is the best possibility for motorcycles in future PD games. You would have to design two different physics engines for both cars and motorcycles. Also, there is one unfortunate element of this if it were to come true- some tracks and configurations would not suit motorcycles as easily as cars. One such example is how Tsukuba and Suzuka have different configurations made for motorcycles. Also, I wouldn't be sure or confident about racing a Suzuki Hayabusa around Circuit de la Sarthe considering how bumpy the roads can be. You would also have to set up championships and single races to make provisions between if cars or motorcycles can race. It may also be possible to race with the dirt bikes around rally-type courses. The simplest way would be to set up two event series- one for cars, and one for motorcycles.

On the other hand, you can actually shop for motorcycles rather than earn them in challenges. Most motorcycles cost anywhere in the range between $7K US Dollars to maybe $20K US Dollars. If you can afford the go-kart in GT5, you can likely purchase a fairly decent motorcycle.

This is so far the most likely scenario if PD wants to continue with motorcycles.

Possibility 3: No More Tourist Trophy?

This would be PD saying that Tourist Trophy was a failed experiment and that there is no way or incentive to making another motorcycle game. Maybe we just have to enjoy playing Tourist Trophy for the PS2 and not even envision the possibility of racing motorcycles ever again in Polyphony Digital games. I personally grown to love motorcycle racing.

I say for market's sake, PD needs to continue Tourist Trophy, because what the heck else is there for motorcycle racing gamers besides the MotoGP games and the (from what I've heard) poor World Superbike games?

What scenario do you think is most possible for the two-wheeled future of Polyphony Digital? Do you think a true sequel to Tourist Trophy will materialize? Do you think Tourist Trophy will be a forgotten memory? Or... do you think that because Tourist Trophy didn't seem too successful, that a future Gran Turismo could involve being able to race/purchase/tune cars AND motorcycles in the same game? Feel free to comment away! I will be working to make more blog posts to add more diversity and keep this blog fresh. In the meanwhile, thank you for reading!

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Unknown said...

I love Tourist Trophy and it kills me that since I got rid of my PS2 I can't play it on my PS3. I have heard rumors you can hack a PS2 emulator onto the PS3 but I don't know how to do it.

Here's my greatest irritation: The motorcycle industry is beyond stupid and lacks any wisdom/vision. I had so much fun playing Tourist Trophy and it got me thinking more about bikes and riding than I would have otherwise.

That game got me buying more bikes, gloves, helmets than all dealerships and advertisements combined. I ended up going for more rides and talking more about the sport than I otherwise would have.

You would think the motorcycle industry as a whole would recognize good, effective, cheap advertising when it saw it. You would think each manufacturer represented in the game would send some money to Polyphonics to get TT3 going. They could pay a certain fee for each of their bikes in the game.

But they all seem to be blind to what is needed. Every motorcycle magazine editor whines that the baby boomer generation is getting older and that the motorcycle industry focus has moved away from America towards developing countries. They complain that young americans aren't interested in motorcycling like they used to be and spend all their time playing video games. Can't they see how they are missing a great opportunity to win the minds of the next generation?

Speaking of which: How about some more clothes to choose from from our favorite motorcycle manufacturers? Only Harley and Ducati seem to understand this. The Japanese always have a paltry selection at any given time.

What about motorcycle manufacturer apps such as games, info, etc to promote motorcycling? They are all blind to that too and the apps reflect it.

Tourist Trophy may not have been a perfect gamer's game. But for real motorcycle enthusiasts it had so much more than anything else out there.

Let's hope the manufacturer's can realize the error of their ways and get their acts together.

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