Sad, but also kind of comforting — because you know Kaz Yamauchi (Polyphony honcho) and his team will be working tirelessly right up to the minute the game has to be shipped to make this the best racing game since sliced bread. In many ways, this is Polyphony's life; they live their passion and they do it best. In many instances, we don't expect Gran Turismo will ever truly be finished, we imagine Kaz and his team could work forever on the game and still not be done. Still, fans want to play the game and they'll finally get to do that this coming March in Japan. But what about the rest of the world? Kaz says that's still to be decided; "I don't think it's going to be that different for US and Europe," Joystiq report from Kaz's GT event in Japan, "Marketing is still discussing their issues." The issues being that God Of War III is due to release in the very same month; something Sony would love to spread about.
Still, Kaz has been on hand to talk about the game's features. And well, there's a lot to be excited for. Firstly the single player; GT mode returns with the garage, tuning shop and license tests. Sweet. What about the new though? There's a new physics model with realtime damage for all the "normal" cars. Hybrid and electric cars are to be added to the game's roster, filling out a mammoth 950 vehicle selection pool. There will also be 70 tracks spanning 20 different locations - perhaps a little thin but there's always the promise of DLC in the future.
It's the online that will see the most expansion though, with support for lobbies, private rooms and text/voice chat. There'll also be online photo albums, replays with the ability to export to Youtube and an improved Gran Turismo TV. Not to mention the game also now features head-tracking via the Playstation Eye.
So basically, it's got everything but the kitchen sink. And rightly it should too, it's been in development for nearly 5 years. Now is the time to hush down on the Gran Turismo hype and let Kaz and his team finish it. They'll let us know when it's time to take notice.
Update @ 19:06 - Stop press! Polyphony have just reiterated that Gran Turismo 5 will indeed feature night/day cycles and weather; the latter of which accurately effecting your tires, for example in the rain.