Yamauchi: In terms of quality and features of the game, and in terms of functionality, GT5 Prologue will ultimately reach an equivalent level to GT5. I think the major difference between Prologue and GT5 will be the number of cars and courses that will be included within the game, in that there will be many more.
The GT series is now in its fifth iteration and running on ultra-high-performance hardware. How close would you say GT5 is to real life now?
Yamauchi: That's a really difficult question to answer, because there are so many more fun aspects of a car that's not just limited to driving. I hope that we've covered maybe half of the attractions of a real car, but there's still so much more to it.
Driving games strive for realism, but when they are as real as they are today, where do you see driving games going from here?
Yamauchi: We work within the PS3's hardware structure, and even that still limits what we can do - there are restrictions. There are still a ton of things that we can do as long as the hardware keeps catching up to us.
There are also other advancements that can be made, like within GT5 we have the museum and GT TV modes, which widen the view, from the players' point of view, into the automobile world.
What have been the greatest challenges in developing GT5 for the PS3?
Yamauchi: PS3 development itself is not so difficult. It's just that the level of quality that you can achieve on the PS3 is so high that the amount of data you have to prepare for that is massive. It just takes a lot of time and work.
It was actually surprising to us; the level of detail you can put into the cars and the detail on the screen - you can almost feel it in tangible form. And that's what drove us to be even more precise with the data that we put into the game - that's the loop we got caught in. Although at first, we didn't think it would take this long to make.
A lot of the delay, you have said in the past, is due to making all those cars as detailed as they are. How do you go about making a car in the game look and feel similar to the real thing?
Yamauchi: There are various ways that we do this. We sometimes use photographs, and there are also times when a designer carves out a car, as if he were doing a play model or a statue. And then there are times when we actually get the real car and make precise measurements of the car itself.
We try to simulate the handling of the car as closely as possible. All of the movements of a car are based on computer calculations. It's fairly rare that we actually get into a car and do real life comparisons. It comes out close enough just from our simulations.
Have you been impressed by any other racing games in recent times?
Yamauchi: When new games are released, of course we look at them. But it's not like I play them through thoroughly. So I can't really say... (Laughs) I just kind of look at it, play it a little bit and then pass it on.