Top Gear and GranTurismo4

Today I was sitting on the couch with my roommates and thinking about what I should write about for my blog post, when I started thinking about how much I like the British car TV show, Top Gear. Then I realized that in one of their episodes they did something that would be a great example of how the most advanced game productions developed over the years are still not what the reality is. They decided to race a Honda NSX over the Laguna Secca Circuit in Gran Turismo 4 on Playstation2, and then go to California with the same car to race on the track and compare their results.

The time to beat from GT4 was 1.41. Gran Turismo was always known as one of the most realistic driving games ever created. Tracks and cars in these games look almost exactly the same as in real life. The time between developers releasing new games is about two to three years because they want to make it as accurate as they can. However, Top Gear presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, had troubles to get even close to the time from the game. His best time from the track was actually over 16seconds slower than time from the game. Just to clarify his driving skills are really, really good. Since they drive a lot of different cars in this show, including actual F1 cars, the presenters have to pass a driving test that allows them to do that, something comparable to F1 drivers’ super licenses. So, the guy with great driving skills was not able to get even close the time from the game. This means that even the biggest productions out there are still not that close to the reality, as we would wish, unfortunately.

Here is the link to youtube video from this recording:

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nick Berlage
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 11:13:51

    One of the auras of video games is the ability is provides its users to do things they may not be able to do in real life, in virtual reality on their couch. While I can understand the desire to mimic real life as closely as possible I would not consider a “larger” relativistic speed discrepancy, for example, a major flaw. The actual cars you get to drive in the discussed game are incredibly accurate, and when you consider how much faster those real life F1 cars go than typical commercial cars, the “too fast” time of those video game cars are actually separated by a similar distance from your “typical” video game vehicle.

    Reply

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