Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCE Australia) has today announced a very exciting development for Australian motor racing and gaming with the news that Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, due for release for PlayStation 2 in the winter of 2001, will feature the Australian Ford Tickford Racing Team Falcon.
This announcement comes after months of negotiation between SCE Australia and Ford Tickford Racing and is a first for the successful Gran Turismo franchise.
Gran Turismo has been the most popular game franchise on PlayStation¨ ever, exceeding sales of over 490,000 units in the Australian territory alone and well over 16 million sales worldwide.
Building upon the winning formula that made its successors such a hit, Gran Turismo 3: A-spec has been developed and produced by Polyphony Digital.
Featuring vehicles from leading car manufactures, Gran Turismo 3: A-spec will include around 150 of the world's best cars, each modelled with crystal clarity, including new and well-known models from Europe, Japan and the US, in addition to the Australian Ford Tickford Racing Team Falcon.
Michael Ephraim, Managing Director of SCE Australia comments, "We are excited to be able to bring this unique feature not only to the Australian version of the game but globally.
"SCE Australia has been striving to have games localised for the Australian market for some time and Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec presented us with the ideal opportunity to localise the game and in doing so include one of Australia's most loved racing cars," he said
Ford Tickford Racing (FTR) was established in January 1999 as part of the official face of Ford in Australian motorsport through the V8 Supercar category. The team represents a marketing venture between Ford Australia, special vehicles partner Tickford Vehicle.
In commenting on the announcement, Managing Director of Tickford Engineering Australia, David Flint says, "We are extremely excited about our association with Sony Computer Entertainment and their Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec game.
"Late last year they came to us with the concept and we were very keen to be involved. We are also excited about being able to give PlayStation fans the chance to use one of our cars in the game."
Ford Tickford Racing V8 Supercar star Glenn Seton says the realism of graphics and sound gets you as close to the real thing as possible.
"From a standing start it's just like the real car without the G-Forces pushing you back in the seat. The sights, the sounds are fantastic."
"It is truly exciting to have my FTR Falcon featured in all worldwide markets of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec. I love it," Seton said.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec features sophisticated car physics and meticulous environment mapping which creates broadcast qualify graphics that blur the line between gaming and reality.
The game will hit the Australian market in winter of this year and will set new banchmarks in gameplay and driving simulation.