Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi may be busy working on Gran Turismo 7 (which was delayed to 2022 after originally being planned for this year) for PlayStation 5, but he made time to participate in a lengthy interview with KPMG about digital twins and how technology can make society better.
In this interesting chat, Yamauchi-san expressed his wish to create a virtual world that somehow feels more real than reality itself.
Well, I intend to continue Gran Turismo going forward, which will be in the same boat as the car culture and automobile industry. At the same time, I would like to also do something different.
I think that one of the missions of video games is to realize digital twins by connecting the real and digital worlds. On the other hand, I also think that “the reality that can be felt by humans may not necessarily be felt from something real,” and I intend to confront this question for sure. I would like to take on the challenge of creating a world where people feel more reality than the real thing, whether this is through Gran Turismo or not.
[...] I am a firm believer that only technology can change society and make people happy. That’s why I hope that our future will be one where technology is used to make people happy.
This, for instance, is associated with my origin. In the 1970s, mountain foothills and flat land, very much like the world of Totoro, extended in my hometown Kashiwa City. As I liked to collect insects and climb mountains from when I was a child, I used to spend all day in the forest or played in the river. I think these experiences are extremely important in life.
However, this is probably not possible in Japan now. In that case, why not create some kind of digital nature and convey the complexity and severeness of the world when we get out into nature and the feeling that things do not work out as one expects. This is what I am fantasizing about.
I would be happy if we could offer the experience we learned from nature when we were children such as “breathlessly observing what is occurring before our eyes, and making a hypothesis, understanding and acting based on this observation” through video games. I believe that this is my mission.
Beyond Gran Turismo, Yamauchi has only ever made other racing games like Motor Toon Grand Prix and Tourist Trophy. If he was to follow this dream, chances are he'd have to dive into an entirely different genre of games, such as adventure and/or RPG. We'd certainly love to see his take, though.