Let me tell you a story of woe. Its a common adage that sometimes the things we love are the things that do us the most harm. This is true of smoking, alcohol and bear-baiting. I love Gran Turismo 5. A slow burning relationship which started coolly, but has recently flared to a fiery and passionate affair, mainly due to the hard work of Jedi Junkie with our community gaming nights. During one such gaming night which, though great fun, proved to be very frustrating for yours truly, I kept getting disconnected from races, mid-race. Sometimes, with an almost wicked coincidence, this would happen just before the finish line. This might make a wonderful excuse for not winning, were it not for the fact it happened too regularly.
I decided to investigate this. In my household I am responsible for fixing all the technical problems. It’s a great responsibility because it means in the great domestic balance sheet, my wife has to clean the bathroom. I delved onto the Internet to consult the enormous resource that is the community forums to find a solution. What I found was a more deep-rooted problem. GT5 was not only causing problems in-game, but actually outside the game too, on my console. Even when I wasn’t playing it.
Worse, it was even affecting the rest of my home network when my console wasn’t even turned on. Obviously I didn’t discover this until later, but I had to do a lot of detective work to find this out. Initially I placed the blame on the GT servers. Certainly a lot of other people were having similar problems, and it is generally quite easy to blame server issues. This is because generally it is the fault of the server. Unfortunately all the recommended solutions didn’t seem to work. Some people were blaming wireless issues, but I use my PS3 with a wired connection. Looking at a lot of complaints it was pretty easy to see many problems were caused by shonky routers. Then I came upon one particular forum. One clever individual suggested the following,
“happens to me all time.
I do this everytime i wanna play online.”
This seemed even stranger. Why would a game have this sort of functionality? Further delving uncovered an even stranger fact. One forum member declared that GT5 is actually an independent operating system. An operating system. Polyphony Digital have done an interesting thing. Their CEO, Kazunori Yamauchi, remarked, back in November 2009 before the release of GT5, that there was a definite reason for this, and a very good reason, if it’s true. Future proofing for the next iteration of Gran Turismo.
“You won’t have to wait as long as you did for GT5. GT5 was basically the creation of a whole new operating system, and developing GT6 will be like adding new applications that run on that new operating system.” (source http://www.GTPlanet.net)
It’s very exciting to hear this (especially if existing users can pay a smaller premium to upgrade. Windows GT6 anyone?), but it’s still not much use if their present product isn’t working. So I cleared my cache and tried going online to play. Still no luck. I have to admit I was pretty downbeat at this stage. More research ensued. I was also noticing none of my Sony devices were logging successfully into PSN, neither Playstation or Vita. My broadband speed was slow too, even when the consoles were switched off. After phone calls to my ISP (I normally have very good broadband) and more gnashing of teeth, I took Jedi’s advice and removed GT5 from the system and re-installed it. Guess what? No connectivity issues, I could sign into PSN quickly and I had fast broadband once more. I still have no idea why this fixed it. Perhaps there was a corrupt save file from a cloud save? I do a lot of transferring of saved files between my PS3s. Who knows? Ironically the oldest technique in the book fixed it. There were no problems following the most recent Gamer night. And, no, it didn’t help me win any more races than normal either.
Jon ‘Darth Nutclench’ Evans