A special demo of Gran Turismo 6 with fully integrated motion simulation was shown to the public at Fuji Speedway in Japan, during the latest round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The game was running in a triple-monitor configuration on the SimCraft APEX3 GT motion simulation rig, allowing attendees to drive the Toyota TS030.
As most readers will realize, this is very unusual. Although other “motion rigs” have been used with GT games before, they were custom-built, one-off implementations, or generated motion feedback from controller inputs, like the Subaru Simulator running GT4 or the Audi motion rigs used at European game shows.
To find out if that was the case here, I reached out to SimCraft and learned the technology behind this demo is much more interesting, and the company has been working closely with Polyphony Digital for quite some time to refine the motion feedback:
“We’re pulling physics data out of the PlayStation; we have a full motion interface with Gran Turismo 6 that allows us to pull the physics files that we need in order to control pitch, roll, and yaw,” said SimCraft brand manager Sean Yoder. “It’s running real-time chassis dynamics and terrain dynamics, so what you’re seeing there is actually the race surface as it is in the game.”
To be clear, this does not indicate motion simulation for consumers is coming to Gran Turismo any time soon, but it is a positive sign things are moving in that direction.
Although motion simulators are currently too expensive for most people (the APEX3 rig in the video above starts at $30,000 USD), Sean confirmed that SimCraft is hard at work developing a significantly lower-priced platform, designed to bring motion simulation to mass-market consumers.
If SimCraft can pull that off – and Polyphony Digital decides to support motion simulators – the next few years could see a rapid evolution in console driving games.