The upcoming Le Mans Ultimate game will be on PC only, via Steam, at least initially.
The official title of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and World Endurance Championsip, will feature the official cars, teams and tracks of the 2023 season, across the Hypercar, LMP2 and GTE categories.
It will also use the baseline technology from the simulation platform rFactor 2, which is over 10 years old and dedicated to PC devices. The upcoming Studio 397-developed product will build upon that platform, with enhanced visuals and further changes to the physics, AI and a new native ranked online multiplayer system.
Currently, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are not part of the development plan, but that doesn’t mean they are jettisoned entirely.
“Our focus is the PC at this stage, we know that PCs have been traditionally the only platform that can run our physics engine to a great degree, however, the latest generation consoles can also now do it,” explains studio lead Dom Duhan.
While some of the rFactor-related code has been previously used on console devices, the full tyre model – which recreates wear, temperature, pressure, track conditions and flat spots – hasn’t, due in part to its resource-intensive structure.
“The tyre model is incredibly complicated, for instance, it takes 24 hours for our machines to compute the tyre output for one tyre alone – the level of complexity in the model is profound,” continues Duham.
“We have had many comments about delivering on console and it could be an option at some stage depending on how well the game does.
In the ten years since rFactor 2 existed early access and beta phases, not only has console power increased, but a slew of direct drive wheel bases are now also compatible. There’s an ecosystem worthy of a simulator title, proven by the continued support of Assetto Corsa Competizione on such devices.
It seems that if enough people purchase Le Mans Ultimate on PC, that could convince owners Motorsport Games to port the game across to further devices. The title is set for a December 2023 launch, and then evolve over time, so even if the decision is made, don’t expect it anytime soon.
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