FOSTER CITY, Calif., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and Polyphony Digital Inc., in collaboration with Nissan North America, announced the final 16 contestants moving on to the last round of GT Academy, ready to compete for the opportunity to become a part of a professional race team. The 16 finalists emerged from a group of more than 53,000 registrants as the top racers from the National Finals Event held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort on March 22-23. They will now travel to the well-known Silverstone racing circuit in the UK to participate in a week-long boot camp in June. The top driver will become the official GT Academy winner for the U.S. and will have the opportunity to train with elite race car drivers and compete as part of a professional Nissan racing team in an undisclosed race.
"Leveraging the power of the PlayStation®3 (PS3™), along with the precision and realism of Gran Turismo 5, we have narrowed the field to the nation's top 16 drivers and it has been a fierce race for the finish," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Product Marketing, SCEA. "We look forward to getting our finalists behind the wheel at the Silverstone circuit as we get one step closer to crowning our first GT Academy winner for the United States."
"The competition for the final 16 spots was exciting and intense. It has resulted some outstanding candidates for boot camp," said Jon Brancheau, Vice President Marketing, Nissan. "The success of this competition reinforces our commitment to innovative promotions like this and we look forward to more programs like this in the future."
At the Silverstone racing circuit, the 16 finalists will face a week-long series of grueling physical and mental challenges, in addition to going behind the wheel of actual Nissan race cars to show-off their driving skills. Participants will be judged and eliminated by an expert panel of racing professionals based on each competitor's skills, performance and overall aptitude for the requirements of a professional racer.
With features to suit newcomers, automotive enthusiasts and seasoned fans, Gran Turismo 5, available exclusively for the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system, has raised the bar on the franchise's quality of design, physics and technology. Players are treated to an ultra-realistic driving experience with unparalleled visuals and lifelike graphics that are difficult to distinguish from a live race. Gran Turismo 5 features a brand new physics engine for an improved and more realistic, and responsive, driving feel, as well as real-time vehicle damage and wear, with adaptive and accurate car deformation based on point of impact and velocity.
About Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® systems, the PlayStation®2 system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, the ground-breaking PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system and its online and network services the PlayStation®Network and PlayStation®Store.
Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one, PlayStation 2, PSP and PS3 systems for the North American market. Based in Foster City, California, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Visit us on the Web at http://www.us.playstation.com
About Gran Turismo®
With more than 56 million units sold worldwide, the award-winning Gran Turismo® franchise for the PlayStation®, PlayStation®2 and PLAYSTATION®3 is regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulation ever created due to its true-to-life graphics, physics and real-life cars and tracks. Since the inception of the Gran Turismo franchise, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the gamer with the most true-to-life driving simulation within the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products.
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan also sells racing and performance parts through its Nissan Motorsports and NISMO parts line. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and http://www.nissandriven.com/www.InfinitiUSA.com.
SOURCE Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC