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high performance cars in the middle of a city in gran turismo sport

Gran Turismo Sport is racing toward the launch finish line, but before it can get there, it's going to need to make a hard left turn into a closed beta period. That's where you excited players come in. In less than a week, Polyphony Digital will be asking select players to kick the wheels and take the latest Gran Turismo game for a test drive.

The Gran Turismo series is a staple of the PlayStation brand, winning over millions of players with its extreme attention to detail and tight simulation driving mechanics. Gran TurismoSport is going to loosen things up when it finally arrives on the PlayStation 4, and folks will be able to see how things are shaping up when it enters a closed beta phase on March 17.

Word went out this week over the PlayStation Blog concerning the upcoming Gran Turismo beta, where players will have a different selection of cars and trucks to select from each day. Even cooler is the fact that the game's new Driver Profile system will already be at play in the beta. If you've played other modern racing games like Forza, then you know exactly how this feature works. The Driver Profile will keep track of the behavior of your fellow drivers and create AI for them that behaves in a similar manner. If Gearhead127 likes to stay on the course and keep from getting too rough with the competition, that's how his Driver Profile will behave when he's not available to race, too.

For the closed beta, it looks like we're seeing competitions restricted to region, though it will open up to worldwide events once the game is ready. It sounds like tracks will vary on a daily basis during the beta, with Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi promising a good variety of vehicle and race classes in order to make sure participants get to sample a little bit of everything.

As is explained in the announcement, there's no way to actually sign up for this closed beta. Sometime around March 17, a group of PSN IDs will be selected and offered a chance to take the new Gran Turismo for a spin. As the beta keeps rolling, Polyphony will invite more and more players in to stress test their systems and servers. It'll actually be more limited than your average beta in the early goings, with participation limited to specific times throughout the day. It seems like a super cautious approach but, if it means the game launches ready to roll, then we have zero complaints.

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