Gran Turismo 5 finally launched

After six years in development, and more delays than a volcano-stricken airport, Gran Turismo 5 has finally made it off of the starting grid.

Sony's photo-realistic racer has stalled more times than a 30-year-old Trabant over the past few years but it seems like GT fans have stuck to their guns, and have grabbed the game in such numbers as to make Sony's on-line servers blow a gasket.

The Playstation 3-exclusive game has seen so much on-line traffic that the servers are currently gridlocked, and not just for those players wanting to compete with other on-line racers.

Apparently, GT5 is constantly phoning home which means that even single-player games and the software's much-touted social features are causing gridlock.

"Because GT5 performs on-line access not only when participating in online races and using community features, but also when starting the game and during the various screen displays in GT Mode, unfortunately this on-line congestion is also affecting standard gameplay," wrote Sony on an in-game news feed.

We're hearing that some users are experiencing delays of several minutes even loading the game but Sony has a simple solution to the problem: Turn t'Internet off.

Sony says it is working on several different solutions to improve the network status, but once the initial rush is over things are likely to settle down on their own.

Perhaps it's time companies like Sony stopped trying to generate free publicity by announcing Big Bang simultaneous worldwide launches, and then panicking because everyone wants to play the game at exactly the same time.

The exact same same thing happened most recently with Halo Reach and historically with just about every other blockbuster game with an on-line game-play element you'd care to mention.

As far as reviews go, GT5's reception has been a mixed bag, with our favourite quote so far coming from IGN: "Gran Turismo 5 is a 10/10 simulator wrapped up in a 5/10 game... its brilliance on the track is matched by its sloppiness off it, and there’s a lack of polish that would at one time have seemed sacrilegious to the series." Pah!