Sony Protecting Gran Turismo 5?

Polyphony Digital upset a huge number of fans last week when they once again announced that Gran Turismo 5 would be delayed, and not be getting to stores on the previously advertised date. The official statement later put up on Polyphony’s website detailed that Mr Yamauchi is striving to create the perfect driving simulation experience and that he wants to apologize to fans worldwide for not sticking to the decided release day.

But there was another theory as to why GT5 suddenly couldn’t make the November release circulating on the internet. It is purely speculation and yet it would make an awful lot of sense. A little earlier this year a team of hackers created some software that Playstation 3 owners could copy onto their HDD’s to enable their consoles to support pirated versions of games. Now Sony has taken legal action against some of those responsible for the ‘jailbreak’ software as it has been named, but there are still users who are operating and developing illegal hacks.

The thinking behind the GT5 delay could be accounted for by Sony very recently strengthening the PS3 developers kit to (amongst other things) counter piracy, and that any game that was under development before this release and hence on Sony’s previous dev-kit is more vulnerable to be pirated than titles using the new package. You don’t need to be Michael Pachter to recognize that GT5 is set to be one of Sony’s biggest games this year (if not in the entire PS3 life cycle) and any threat of piracy hurting their sales is something they simply cannot afford to ignore.

Whispers have been going around that Sony alerted Polyphony that the release had to be halted, and they are going to have to push the game through their new protected dev-kit. GT5 would have already been in the factories being slapped onto Blu-rays when the delay was announced so they are most likely having to reprint all the discs as quickly as possible after ensuring GT5 is well and truly immune to any potential and skilled hackers.

An obvious as slightly worrying question arises from this and that is; does this mean all the games that have been made and released on the previous kit even this year, are dangerously vulnerable to piracy? If Sony is this worried then should publishers and developers like Activision with Call of Duty: Black Ops, or Sega with Vanquish be similarly concerned about their games? It might just be a possibility and that alone is scary enough.