NASCAR returns to video games with Gran Turismo 5

As an avid video gamer, I've always had to have the latest NASCAR game and I have been terribly disappointed with EA Sports' next-generation NASCAR titles.

Heck, disappointed may be an understatement. NASCAR 08 and 09 have been so bad that when I need a virtual NASCAR fix, I fire up my old XBox and play NASCAR 07.

EA tried to make the game more realistic, and while they succeeded from a graphics standpoint, driving the car was almost impossible without the right setup and a $100 wheel instead of a controller. And when you did hit the setup correctly, you were competitive when racing online, but if you wanted to race against the computer, you were way too fast.

And let's face it, we want our NASCAR games to be realistic, but at the same time, a lot of us just want to spend the majority of our time actually, you know, driving the car instead of trying to figure out if another half round on the trackbar is going to keep the car stable on the exit of turn two at Texas Motor Speedway. (Sure, you could use the same general setup at every track on NASCAR 07 and have fun, but at the same time, you couldn't blow the field away unless you used Tony Stewart-the best driver in the game-and got his adrenaline meter or whatever it was called up to 100%)

So when it was announced that EA wouldn't be producing another NASCAR game, part of me was disappointed, but at the same time I was ready for someone else to take a swing at it as it couldn't be too difficult to beat EA, right?

Well, enter Polyphony Digital.

You probably haven't heard of them, but they're the creators of Gran Turismo, and according to that blog post and accompanying video, it looks like the long-awaited Gran Turismo 5 will have a Sprint Cup simulation and if the video and past Gran Turismos are any indication, it could be fantastic:

However, the market will be a little limited as Sony produces Gran Turismo, so it will only be available on the PlayStation 3. I've been a lifelong Xbox loyalist, but when Gran Turismo 5 finally comes out, I'm probably going to get a PlayStation 3. If nothing else, it'll make a great Blu-Ray player.

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