The Puente Nuevo hosted 12 sports cars for the game's launch.
The Japanese creators of the Playstation game series ‘Gran Turismo’ last week transformed the city of Ronda into the capital of video game racing for the launch of their latest game in the series.
The steep cliff faces and narrow streets of Ronda provide the backdrop for the Ascari race track, which is one of the 37 circuits featured in ‘Gran Turismo 6’ (GT6). The game has sold over 70 million copies worldwide and has featured on every generation of the Playstation console, the first of the series being released in 1997.
The two-day event started on Monday the 2nd with the game’s unveiling at a press conference. This was followed by fireworks in the eveningwith game founder Kazunori Yamauchi and the game’s emblem projected onto the town’s famous bridge, the Puente Nuevo. The event then moved out to the Ascari race track, the Ronda circuit featured in the game.
The town has embraced its place in the game and yesterday Yamauchi, vice president of Sony in Europe James Armstrong and the mayor of Ronda María de la Paz Fernández were all present at the unveiling of GT6.
Twelve sports cars lined Puente Nuevo which overlooks the cliff faces in the El Tajo gorge for the game’s presentation. The Palacio de Exposiciones and Congresos Santo Domingo that are located adjacent to the gorge are two of the distinct buildings recreated in the game.
Game founder Yamauchi said at the event that he had “visited Ronda in my youth and enjoyed it a lot” before adding that it was always “a dream to include the locality in GT6”. In recognition of Ronda’s inclusion in the game, the town council has decided to rename one of the streets close to the Puente Nuevo ‘Paseo de Yamauchi Kazaunori’.
Vice president of Sony in Europe and delegate for Spain and Portugal, James Armstrong, explained that Ronda was chosen because the Ascari track is “a unique circuit” and that it was a good opportunity to depict a “wonderful” town.
“My team and I fought a lot in order to bring the presentation of the game to Ronda. This event in Ronda is going to help the Spanish part of the company sell GT6 to Spain and other countries,” explained Armstrong who hopes to sell over 200,000 copies of the game in Spain alone.
He went on to explain that Gran Turismo “is the most important racing game in the world”, it being one of Sony’s best selling and most acclaimed games.
The dramatic scenery in the town will compete against famous race circuits like Silverstone, Nurbürgring and Siracusa. Gamers will be able to choose between 1200 cars and 37 different race tracks with up to 70 different configurations on the cars available.
The game is out today, Friday the 6th of December, and features 28 different car makes including Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan. A special edition of the game, to be released in May, will mark the 20th anniversary of the death of racing driver Ayrton Senna and is also set to include the town of Ronda.