As you know, we are celebrating the 15th Year Anniversary of Gran Turismo & as part of that, we’ve put together a documentary called KAZ: Pushing the Virtual Divide. This film is about drive. It’s about the passion and creative drive of Kazunori Yamauchi, the architect behind Gran Turismo’s birth and breath-taking fifteen-year evolution. This film will trace his relentless willingness to challenge himself, to hold none of his past achievements sacred, and push beyond the virtual divide in his pursuit of perfection.
This weekend, at the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours, two former GT Academy Champions, Lucas Ordoñez and Jann Mardenborough, both raced in a Nissan-powered LMP2 car recording an impressive 4th place finish in class. Ordoñez and Mardenborough are among the elite band of Nismo Athletes who have successfully challenged the traditional route into motorsport as graduates of GT Academy – a unique collaboration that leverages the virtual world of the Gran Turismo game to unearth real-world racing talent for Nissan’s race team.
A little over 15 years ago, what was then a small Japanese studio (headed up by Kazunori Yamauchi) embarked upon on a journey that would enrich the lives of many millions of gamers. The journey that the team undertook set new benchmarks in graphics, game physics and sheer entertainment factor.
After seven months, 400,000 competitors, and a six-week television series that captured every challenge and human drama of an intense week of racing boot camp, Steven Doherty of Plainfield, IL defeated the rest of the top 16 to win the coveted title of 2012 GT Academy US Champion.
The 29-year old mechanic actually competed in the first US GT Academy competition in 2011, but during the National Finals he missed the final 16 for Silverstone by just six tenths of a second. So in 2012, Steve came back with a vengeance and trained incredibly hard, both mentally and physically, to be a top contender at Silverstone. In the end, Steve came away victorious in the final “Winner Take All” race — and set an all-time track record amongst all previous GT Academy contestants in the process.
November is quickly becoming the month of Gran Turismo as we celebrate two key milestones for the franchise – the 10th Annual GT Awards, and securing a place in the top 15 best-selling video game franchises of all time, as the series has now topped 67.8 million copies shipped.
The 10th Annual GT Awards was hosted at the SEMA (Speciality Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas, with a headlining performance by hip hop icon Snoop Dogg (AKA Snoop Lion).
The judging process started with Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital visiting all of the individual category winners, including…
Nearly 400,000 gamers across the United States entered the second iteration of Nissan and PlayStation’s innovative gamer-to-racer competition this year. The top 32 gamers faced off in July at the National Finals at Comic-Con in San Diego, and only 16 advanced to Silverstone Circuit in August for the one-week challenge at GT Academy Race Camp. After seven days of intense challenges, racing Nissan 370Z and GT-R race cars, a new U.S. Champion now joins the ranks of the 2011 GT Academy Champion, Bryan Heitkotter.
Want to know which of the top 16 is the new 2012 GT Academy Champion? Be sure to tune into Spike TV starting November 1st, as every moment of the week-long competition will be aired as a six-part reality show. Be sure to keep your eyes glued to the official GT Academy Facebook page, as we’ll have daily updates on GT Academy Race Camp — including behind-the scenes videos of various challenges — and interviews with the Top 16.
Congratulations to our Top 32 competitors, who beat out a field of nearly 400,000 participants to compete in this year’s GT Academy 2012 National Finals. The 32 finalists (pending eligibility confirmation) will take part in a live head-to-head competition at the GT Academy National Finals event on Friday and Saturday, July 13th and 14th, at the Jolt’n Joe’s Gaslamp – a short distance away from the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con.
Introducing a new twist in this year’s competition, PlayStation and Nissan are backing up our “Victory Is Anyone’s” message by allowing any gamer to show up and secure one spot in the National Finals to compete against the top 32 finalists.
Back for its 9th year, the Gran Turismo Awards is ready to crown a new performance vehicle with the honor of being digitally recreated in a future edition of the Gran Turismo franchise. The awards ceremony will be held this Thursday evening, November 3rd at 9:00pm (PST) at Marquee Nightclub, located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel. In addition to the awards presentation, guests will be treated to a musical performance by Stone Temple Pilots to celebrate the evening in style.
The Gran Turismo Awards recognizes the best vehicles at the SEMA SHOW (Specialty Equipment Market Association) in five different categories: Best Hot Rod, Best Asian Import, Best European Import, Best Domestic Automobile, and Best Truck/SUV. After the five category winners are judged, one winner from each category is selected on performance and style by leading automotive media.
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