Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Gran Turismo: Game Not Included

Russ Pitts | 22 Sep 2006 16:31
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Gran Turismo for the PS3 to ship without any online-playable cars or tracks.

Shawn Andrich and I were talking a while back about the recent hullabaloo over additional Chromehounds content being offered over Xbox Live. We came down on opposite sides of the debate (as usual). He was of the opinion that it didn't really matter. Me? I was sick about it.

The gist of that story was that From Software had decided to make a certain number of weapons and various other parts available for a small fee to players of the game. While in most cases none of the parts offered could potentially break the game, or were any more powerful than parts already included with the game, the move opened the door for that possibility in the future. And that's what had me riled up about the whole thing. I hated Julius Caesar. Yeah, he hadn't done anything wrong yet, but he was gonna. And so are these guys. Antony can bite me.

Imagine spending the required $60 bucks for a retail game, hopping online and discovering that you'll need to pony up additional cash merely to stay competitive. Those who play sports or pursue other competitive hobbies may be used to this already. The price of athletic gear or car parts can often put those without sufficient financial means on the sidelines while those who are better off take home the trophies, but gaming has been mostly free of such capitalist intrusions.

Until now.

According to Ars Technica, the maker of Gran Turismo has announced that their next installment for the upcoming PS3 console will ship without any online-playable cars or tracks, and that users can purchase cars for ¥50-100 (about $0.45 to $0.85) and tracks for ¥200-500 ($1.70 to $4.30). There will be a total of 750 cars and 50 tracks available.

Do the math. I'll wait.

Yes, that puts the total cost of owning all cars and tracks for the game at well over $400. For something that used to be free. Of course, to make this work, Sony is going to have to get that PS3 online service thing working, so we might just be safe after all.

Still, I think it's now fair to say that the people behind the new Sony console have completely lost their minds and that the madness is spreading. I say it's time to seal the borders lest this madness cross the Pacific and we find ourselves being charged for water in restaurants or extra towels at hotels. Let's take off and nuke the PS3 from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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