Miss trolling used-car dealerships in the hope you’ll find a rare 1983 Mazda RX-7 GT Turbo, or still feel you’ve got a couple of tenths around the Autumn Ring in a worked Toyota Supra SZ-R up your sleeve, and looking for a way to pass the time until the all-new Gran Turismo 7 arrives on the PlayStation 5 next year?
Obviously, you do. We all do.
When it was released in 1997 on the original PlayStation console (feel old yet?), Gran Turismo changed the game (pun intended) in terms of realism for car fans.
A huge garage of true-to-life cars, that could be collected, modified and raced in a reasonably realistic way, was positively groundbreaking for a gaming platform. Gran Turismo has since spawned more than 10 sequels on different platforms, with the latest and greatest version set to launch next year.
But what to do until then?
It might come as a surprise, but the Playstation was originally released in 1994, and the amount of computing power contained within, although impressive at the time, is simply crushed by any modern computer.
Want some numbers? A PS1 had a 33.7MHz 32bit RISC processor, where my laptop, which isn’t new, runs a 2.6GHz hexa-core 64bit CPU. On the face of it, the MacBook runs 77x faster, but it can also handle multiple instructions and processes at the same time. Simply put, it is around 2500x the power of the little white gaming box from the '90s.
And now all that power can be used for good, to play the original Gran Turismo (and Gran Turismo 2) on your laptop, quite probably while you do other things.
Download the free OpenEMU emulator software which allows your computer to pretend to be a historic gaming console.
You’ll then need the Gran Turismo ROM, which you can find quickly by literally Googling it. These ROM packs are like the old black-surface CD-ROM discs the Playstation games were stored on.
Finally, you’ll need to download the OpenEMU BIOS pack, which is the software that was built into the Playstation hardware.
Unpack all the files into a folder on your hard drive, and when prompted, link to the BIOS files and add the Gran Turismo game to your library.
Playing is hard on a keyboard, but you can remap the keys to suit your preference, or even spring for a USB-compatible gaming controller to make life easier.
Get things moving and the memories will come rushing back as fast as a stage-3 turbo equipped R32 GT-R on Deep Forest Raceway.
The ROM version I’m using seems to be a North American one as my speeds are in MPH, but a more thorough search should yield some other versions. To be honest, I just wanted to start playing and get my hands on that juicy, juicy Mazda 121 Demio A-Spec we all know and love.
Casting a memory back, I recall the first time around I bought a black S13 Silvia K’s (with the CA18DET engine) to begin my campaign, and then under the guise of a new memory card, went the rotary route with a red FC RX-7.
Now, I’m back with Nissan in a red Silvia, and can almost taste the prize cars.
So what is your strategy?
Wind the clock back over two decades, grab a carton of Carlton Cold, and settle in for some 4:3 aspect ratio big-pixel memories. Let us know your favourite car and track of the original Gran Turismo series!
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