F1 2010 sees the long-awaited return of Formula 1 to consoles with a bulging feature set including, a dynamically changing track, a dastardly weather system and a deep Career Mode.
We sat down with Lead Designer Stuart Hood and Senior Producer Paul Jeal to discuss the eagerly awaited racer and its and competition.
The thing everyone's going to compare it to is Gran Turismo because of the high-end graphics and the depth of simulation, obviously. That's got to be your main competition hasn't it?
SH: I think so but we were actually saying earlier, when Gran Turismo announced this release date, this version, people were saying aren't you worried about them coming out at the same time? But we've always said that they can kind of sit on the shelf alongside eachother.
I mean Paul's got a PS3 and he's going to be buying Gran Turismo and will have F1 as well, because I think they offer something different.
I think Gran Turismo has been built up over the years, people love the idea of Gran Turismo, let's face it it's a system seller for PlayStation, always has been.
But I think Formula 1 offers something different and a little bit of variety. If you love Formula 1, there's only one Formula 1 game to buy anyway.
Fortunately this year it'll be a good one, but beyond that you can have teams like Ferrari, you've got the pit-stops, you've got the weather system that you don't really get in games like Gran Turismo.
They offer a different experience but at the same time a high quality one so I see no reason why you can't have both.
PJ: Yeah I mean I'd echo his comments really. I've got a lot of friends who are proper hardcore Gran Turismo fans and I think when we want to jump online and have a series of quicker races, rubbing a bit of paint, shouting abuse at eachother, those are going to be the type of events we do.
I think F1's...When you've got a little bit more time on your hands you want to do those slightly longer distance races.
It's hard to explain to people - qualifiers are quite interesting because it's been dull for so long and you haven't had to do it because you can just gain those positions from the start.
But the fact that the track rubs in and gets faster, it's just such a great mechanic.
Already me and Steve have got completely different race strategies. I tend to do the old school go like a rocket out of the line-up. I've got the soft tyres on I've got my engine revs up, I'm attacking that first corner, high risk, really trying to rag the limits of my car during that first stint and then do my pit-stop, then perhaps ease back.
Whereas Steve will take a completely different approach, which I didn't even think of early on. He'll go on the prime tyres and perhaps dial his engine down for the first lap to avoid all the mayhem and carnage but his race was then trying to maintain a gap with the leaders.
He knew he wasn't necessarily going to be challenging them because he wasn't in full attack mode but then after he'd done his stop later in the race he could then attack towards the closing stages, which was interesting when you're already on slightly worn prime tyres and he's coming attacking on express rubber.
It's really weird when you're on some racing games and you have some carnage on the first corner and everyone leaves the race, our race tends to have their own story on how it all unfolds, you know, "How on Earth did you take me on that last lap?"
SH: And you can tell it's a different style of playing games now because interestingly what I do is, when people have all got headsets on, what I say to people - because I'm on a different set of tyres and I need to know when they're going to be pitting - I say to people, "So when are you going to pit?" And they'll go, "I'm going to pit on the next lap" and I'll say, "Well thanks very much, I'm going to try and catch up."