Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (グランツーリスモ5 プロローグ, Guran Tsūrisumo 5 Purorōgu) is racing video game developed by Polyphony Digital and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue was a precursor and sampling of Gran Turismo 5, and replaced Gran Turismo HD Concept. The "Prologue" suffix is a self-reference to Gran Turismo 4 Prologue which was released one year before the full version of Gran Turismo 4.
In October 2008, the game was renamed as Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III. Since its release, the game has sold 5.09 million copies worldwide; making it the second highest selling PlayStation 3 exclusive title of all time being beaten by its successor, Gran Turismo 5.
An upgraded version dubbed "spec II", also available as a patch for the original version, was released on the PlayStation Store on March 27, 2008 in Australia, then in Europe on March 28. The latest update, entitled "Spec III" added new cars and further improvements to the gameplay. A separate disc was also released in Japan that included all updates, including Spec III.
New to the Gran Turismo series is the ability to race with up to 16 cars at once. According to game developer Polyphony Digital, the NPC's AI has also improved from previous Gran Turismo games.
Also new to the series is the realistic in-car view feature. It includes functioning speedometers and odometers, reflecting rear-view mirrors, wing mirrors and real time in-car lighting effects (cast shadows). Players driving with both the control pad or the steering wheel have the ability to look left and right in the cockpit of the car by using the D-pad. This function can be mapped to other buttons on the controller if preferred. Any PlayStation 3 compatible steering wheel works with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. The engine also sounds different according to which view is selected among the available four. Back view is also specific with the in-car views with also the windshield.
Spec II update brings Drift Mode (similar to that of Gran Turismo HD Concept), car tuning adjustments, and head to head two-player racing offline.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is the first mass-produced Gran Turismo game to feature online multiplayer. Up to 16 players can play online at once in GT5 Prologue. Since Gran Turismo 5's development cycle is so long, GT5 Prologue's servers are no longer available after two years of being online and the gaming only serving as a prologue. Gran Turismo 4 for the PlayStation 2 was intended to be an online game but this feature was pulled prior to the game's release to avoid further delays; a beta of GT4 online was even released. Gran Turismo HD Concept also featured an online feature but only on a Time Trial basis.