Gran Turismo Academy 2012 Clock Ticking to June 25th Deadline
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 21st Jun 2012
Gamers wanting to get their chance at qualifying for the regional finals -- and their reward cars and Avatar kit -- have four more days to download the GT Academy 2012 client and get their races in before it is all over for another year! . Click here to get started.
Each entry in Sony's epic Gran Turismo racing game series comes in two basic modes -- single-player offline (or story/career), and multi-player online -- with the former being the most popular mode, while the latter has, in addition to allowing gamers to pit their skills against their best mates, has traditionally featured special events as a foundation element in its online game play. The online special events range from organized one-off races with special prizes, to organized racing series -- also with special prizes -- but the most interesting and popular of the special events are usually the ones that are sponsored by real-life auto and racing-related companies.
In addition to the official events there are a large number of unofficial events, most of which are created by gamers who happen to be fans of the GT series and who organize events in order to make the game -- and its play -- more interesting for others. These include ongoing events like GT Saturdays Weekly Event, the Juarez Sports Car Challenge, and the SeeTheAir.com NASCAR Series just to name a few.
Examples of sponsored special events of the past include the AMG Driving Academy, sponsored by Mercedes Benz, races in the Manufacturer series, and Seasonal Events, but the event that almost every GT driver/gamer has been looking forward to and eagerly awaiting since it was established last year is the Gran Turismo Academy -- or GT Academy 2012 for short -- a standalone FREE event that does not even actually require players to own a copy of one of the GT games!
Gamers and aspiring racers who wish to participate need simply to download the GT Academy Client App from PSN, and then log in on their PSN ID and begin playing! You can read more and get started by following this link.
-- GT Academy 2012 hits 1-Million Racers --
The fact that it is free, and that it was created to assist GT fans and gamers in improving their racing skills makes this a very popular event indeed, so it should come as no surprise that this year's edition of the Academy quickly hit and surpassed the 1-million racer mark shortly after it became available via PSN.
In a series of Tweets on June 19th, Kazunori Yamauchi, one of the creators of the Gran Turismo series, shared the statistics about the downloads impact, with the current numbers showing that:
-- Over 1,000,000 unique PSN ID's are playing;
-- Over 10,000,000 gold trophies have been attained so far;
-- More than 174,000,000 player retries have been logged;
-- 111,240,000 miles / 178,980,000 km have been driven!
Simple math tells us that the miles driven are enough to drive from the Earth to the Sun and almost a fifth of the distance back again!
With four more days left to go until the first phase of GT Academy 2012 closes (on June 25th), there is still time for interested gamers to download the client and register so that they can obtain a qualifying time and take part in the competition!
Not only is there time to register and play before the June 25th cutoff (bear in mind that the game demo is 3GB so you will want to set that up as an overnight download, right?) but there is also time for gamers to play the different levels and obtain the Gold Trophies that are required in order to earn the bonus gifts in Gran Turismo 5! And how cool is that?
In addition to scoring some highly desirable rewards -- including a GT Academy outfit and kit for your Avatar -- registered players from eligible countries who score high enough will be selected for their regional finals, which are based upon their Round 8-5 times -- which means that you still have time to become a champion for your region!
GT Academy 2012 on TV
The popularity of Gran Turismo Academy has grown to the point that some of the races from it are now being featured on Twitch.tv, with its own official channel on Twitch -- http://www.twitch.tv/gtacademy -- where recorded races can be watched when no live races are being covered.
Second European GT Academy Wildcard Event
In addition to the regular qualifying levels in GT Academy, there are special events such as the Second European GT Academy Wildcard Event. The GT Academy Wild Card Challenge, which will be played out in Gran Turismo 5, will take place on Friday June 22nd, Saturday June 23rd and Sunday June 24th, with the best virtual drivers from each day securing their place at the UK GT Academy National Finals.
The Wild Card competition will be hosted each day between 12.00 noon and 20.00 hrs. Players can pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the date and time they would like to secure a Wild Card slot, with the pre-registration closing at 12.00 noon on Friday 22 June, so you will want to act fast! Alternatively, you can simply turn up to the location within The London Piazza at The O2, opposite the Sony Consumer Electronics Entertainment Experience and the Nissan Innovation Station.
Get Registered, Get the Download, and Get Some!
As there are still four days for you to get'r'done, gamers are encouraged to fire up their PS3's and hit PSN to download the free GT Academy App/Game, and then register for play (that requires your PSN ID) and finally agree to the rules ( which you can read here ) before getting out there and running the levels to officially register your qualifying score/times.
Even if you do not manage to put in a time that qualifies you for the finals, running the levels is still a good idea since in addition for a chance to race in the regional and national finals, you also have the chance to score some most excellent rewards that you can use in Gran Turismo 5 and on your PS Avatar!
GT Academy 2012 Rewards
When you clear all 5 events within a round at Gold Trophy Level, you will receive a special car that you can use in Gran Turismo 5 -- and when you clear all of the rounds with a Bronze Trophy or better, you will receive a special set of racing kit for your PlayStation Avatar, which they can wear that will set them apart as a GT Academy Grad!
These prizes will be distributed one week after all GT Academy 2012 events have ended, on or after July 4th, and to add the items to your game, all that you will need to do is start your copy of Gran Turismo 5 and the items will be automagically added to your game at that point! How cool is that? Note that gamers who do not actually own a copy of GT5 can still claim the Avatar items -- and if/when they do load a copy of GT5 (assuming it is before the final cut-off date next January) they should still receive their prizes.
-- How to Receive Your Prizes --
Connect your PlayStation 3 system to the Internet and then sign into the PlayStation Network using the PSN ID you used for your participation in the GT Academy 2012 races. From the Top-Level Menu of the game, select "GT Mode > Community > Gift" and your prizes will appear in the top right of the screen, where you can then choose and collect them. Once selected and claimed, each of the prizes will move to the left side of the screen in the items list located there.
You can begin collecting your prizes on or after July 4th, 2012, but you MUST have collected them BEFORE January 25th, 2013, after which they will no longer be available to you.
The prizes for GT Academy 2012 include (but are not limited to) the following:
-- Round 1: Nissan Leaf (GT Academy) 11 (Car)
-- Round 2: Nissan Silvia spec-R AERO (GT Academy) 02 (Car)
-- Round 3: Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec II (GT Academy) 94 (Car)
-- Round 4: Nissan 370Z (GT Academy) 08 (Car)
-- Round 5: Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec II Nür (GT Academy) 02 (Car)
-- Round 6: Nissan GT-R Black Edition (GT Academy) 12 (Car)
-- Round 7: Nissan GT-R Black Edition Tuned Car (GT Academy) 12 (Car)
-- Round 8: Nissan 370Z Tuned Car (GT Academy) 08 (Car)
Drivers who clear all eight rounds of the competition with a Bronze Trophy or better will receive the special GT Academy 2012 racing gear pictured below: