Mike Stevens | Jun 4, 2009

IT'S ALL ABOUT the racers at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in the US, with the hotly anticipated Turn 10 developed XBOX 360 racer Forza Motorsport 3 revealed yesterday, and now Gran Turismo 5 and Need For Speed: Shift trailers unveiled since.

Unfortunately, the GT5 presentation offered little more than the trailer and some details (you’d think we’d get a playable demo by now).

While the video is believed to be in-game footage, developers Polyphony Digital declined to confirm or deny that report, so the possibility exists that it was simply a pre-rendered video to keep GT5 in the news, and not a true indication of what’s to come.

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One nifty detail to come out of the GT5 presentation is that, as shown in the video, visible damage will appear for the first time in the Gran Turismo franchise. However, as the video only shows damage in the rally scenes, it’s not impossible that visible damage will only be offered in WRC stages.

On the topic of WRC, Sony confirmed that GT5 is licenced to feature the full World Rally Championship stages and official cars, as well as a NASCAR circuit with accompanying stock cars.

Sony and Polyphony Digital have still yet to reveal a shelf date for GT5 – a fact that will likely surprise few – but it seems we can rest easy on the question of whether the latest installment in the GT series will be worth playing.

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A version of the game developed for Sony’s new portable PSP Go – called Gran Turismo Mobile - was also revealed, and it looks as though it’ll be the most in-depth mobile racer we’ve seen yet, with over 800 cars, 35 tracks and a selection of racing modes, including wi-fi championships.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the hall, legendary game publishers Electronic Arts unveiled a new trailer for its upcoming Need For Speed: Shift, touted as a revolutionary new take on the NFS franchise.

"Need for Speed: Shift is about the intense power and emotion of being behind the wheel, and this carefully selected list of cars and tracks was chosen to give players the ultimate driving moment," said Patrick Soderlund, senior vice president of EA Games Europe.

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With 65 vehicles to choose from (considerably less than GT5 and FM3, but this ought to prove irrelevant) and 18 tracks to kick them around on, the new racing simulator/arcade-racer will feature all the favourites, including a hat-tip to fans of classic Japanese cars: the original 1972 Nissan Skyline ‘hakosuka’ 2000 GT-R.

Tracks to feature in Need for Speed: Shift include Ebisu Circuit, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and finally, Nurburgring Nordschleife.

[via gamekyo.com, gtplanet.com, motorauthority.com]

Thanks, Shane!

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