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Gran Turismo 4 slips past Christmas in Japan

Polyphony Digital's long-awaited PS2 racing title Gran Turismo 4 has suffered yet another setback, with its release date being pushed back to after Christmas in Japan due to unfinished error fixing.

Polyphony Digital's long-awaited PS2 racing title Gran Turismo 4 has suffered yet another setback, with its release date being pushed back to after Christmas in Japan due to unfinished error fixing.

A terse statement from publisher Sony Computer Entertainment Japan today explained that the game - and its associated limited edition packs and themed peripherals - has been pushed back to December 28th.

The short explanation for the delay is couched in obscure corporate-speak - not least, presumably, because the firm is somewhat embarrassed to be announcing yet another delay after holding a high profile party to celebrate the game's completion last week - but essentially boils down to the fact that final bug fixing on the game is taking longer than expected.

While this is unlikely to have a massive effect on sales of the game in Japan, where preorders for the game are already high and the Christmas market is significantly less important than it is in the west (with much present-giving being done over the New Year period rather than at Christmas), the knock-on effect on the US could be severe.

With the game still not ready for its Japanese release - which was planned for December 3rd - it seems highly unlikely that the title will make it out in 2004 in North America, where it is meant to launch on December 12th.

Sony has already given up the ghost on a European launch for 2004, conceding that localisation would take too long and pushing the title back into next year; it may now be forced to do so in America as well.

The slippage past Christmas is doubly embarrassing for the firm, since back in September it ripped out the game's much-hyped online component in order to ensure that the product made it in time for the holiday sales season.

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Rob Fahey avatar
Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.