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Gran Turismo 10th Anniversary Celebration at Downshift Session 2008

On October 16, 2008, in New York, New York, Polyphony Digital held a anniversary event commemorating the 10th year since the release of the “Gran Turismo” Series. Dubbed “DOWNSHIFT SESSION 2008,” the event was held at the “Classic Car Club Manhattan,” an automotive membership club in the SOHO district of lower Manhattan, and was a celebration of automotive design, music, art and gaming.

The festivities started rolling around 6PM, with celebrities, art/music lovers, and gamers alike gathering together for this celebration. One of Chicago’s leading hip-hop artists, “Kid Sister,” took the stage along with DJ Neil Armstrong to keep the party going well into the night. Additionally, guests were invited to take part in a live time trial competition which was shown live on a giant 220” screen powered by a state of the art 4K Sony SRX-S110 projector and four PlayStation 3s synchronized together to run the game at 3840x2160 resolution.

The one-night only club built for this event was decorated with massive panels tracing 10 years of “Gran Turismo” history, with a demonstration corner where guests could play all of the past Gran Turismo titles. Also on the display on the floor were two Lotus Exige cars that were prepared especially for this event. One of these cars was hand-painted by Eric Haze, a leading street graphics artist of New York. This Exige was unveiled here for the first time, then placed in a charity auction. The proceeds will go to New York’s “Studio in a School,” which is an organization who actively works to provide children with high quality artistic experiences.

Gran Turismo co-produced the event with Staple Design, a design agency that works with NIKE, Burton, Apple Computers and other global clients, with Jeff Staple, President of Staple Design, acting as MC for the event. The venue was packed with influential people from the art, design and music culture, helping make the show a big success. Additional promotional support in helping make the event a success was provided by Hawaii Mike & Jan of LTD magazine.

*Photos by Dorothy Hong, Jerry Hsiao, Suzette Lee