Gran Turismo 5 Hides a Full Blown DSLR Photography Simulator

Gran Turismo 5 Hides a Full Blown DSLR Photography Simulator

I’m going to be writing a lot more about Gran Turismo 5, the racing/driving simulator for which we long suffering nerds have waited 7 years. It’s finally out, and I’ve been playing it for a couple of days, but I’ve not even scratched the surface of the level of intricate, obsessive, and gorgeous detail included. I can’t even call it a “game” – it’s so much more than that.

One small example: Last night, after staying up for “one more race” until WAY past my bedtime, I decided to play around with the “Photo/Travel” option. I had just purchased one of my dream cars, a 2010 Subaru WRX STi (I have an 02 WRX in real life). I’d driven it around a few of the arcade tracks, then taken it into the shop to give it some mods (high flow racing air filter, ECU tuning, high flow cats, etc.). I took it to the maintenance area and got the oil changed (no idea what this does in the game, but it’s fun) and took it to the car wash. Since it was shiny and clean, I decided to take some photos with in-game screenshot tool.

That’s when I discovered that the “screenshot tool” is SO much more than that. After choosing a location (Kyoto Gion) and positioning myself and the car, I found a complete array of DSLR-type camera controls at my fingertips. I fiddled with the lens aperture, exposure compensation, white balance, shutter speed, and ISO. I took a few snaps, including the one above (f/2.8, focused on the front of the car, +1EV). I then exported the image from GT5 to my PS3, and from there onto a USB stick.

Being a video game geek, a car geek, and a photography geek, I’m giddy that Polyphony went to the effort to put such a feature rich (yet easy to use) photo feature in a game that’s already packed with SO many other detailed types of simulation.

Gran Turismo 5 is a masterpiece – a true love letter to people who love cars (and games, and photography, and who knows what else I’ll find). I sense a lot more late nights in my future. 🙂