What’s next for Microsoft’s big racing series?
Officially, Forza Motorsport 7 hasn’ t even been announced yet, but there have been slips of the tongue and veiled statements that have heavily suggested that the next entry in Microsoft’s long-running racing sim will be announced on stage at E3 2017 next month and then released before the end of the year.
Despite the game’s unofficial existence, we can already guess that Forza Motorsport 7 will heavily feature Lamborghinis, run in 4K on Project Scorpio, and bring proper support for driving wheels.
Even without leaks or dropped hints from Microsoft, we can guess that the game will feature a multitude of new tracks and hundreds of cars – after all, Forza Motorsport 6 launched with 460.
Ahead of its speculative release later this year we’ ve gathered all the news, rumours and info about the game into one place. Gear up motor head, this is everything you need to know about Turn 10’s rubber-burning sequel.
What with Forza Motorsport 7 not having actually been announced there aren’ t exactly a plethora of trailers or images of the game (although, search it on Youtube and there are more than a few hopeful channels passing off Project Cars trailers as Forza footage) .
There is, however, one video from Turn 10 where it teases its next game:
The video was released during the Geneva Motor Show, which Xbox’s Phil Spencer attended. The video pays homage to Lamborghini and suggests that many of the manufacturer’s back catalogue will make an appearance.
Again, with the game not having been announced an actual release date might be too much to hope for, but, the reason people think it’s due out this year is that Forza Motorsport games have been released every other year since the first game back in 2005.
For the last six years the games have all come out towards the end of the year in October/November time, so it seems a safe bet that the same will be true of this year, especially considering it may only be officially revealed at E3 next month and Microsoft will want a few months for word of the game to spread.
The Forza series are the best looking games on the Xbox One, with last year’s Forza Horizon 3 setting a particularly high bar.
It makes sense that with Microsoft spooling up to release the Scorpio at the end of this year, around the time that we expect Forza Motorsport 7 to come out, that Turn 10 Studios would have been working on some Scorpio-specific upgrades.
A recent Digital Foundry video heavily implied that Forza Motorsport 7 would make its way to the console. The video confirmed that the Forza engine had been ported to the new hardware, and a screenshot from a Forza game was used to show off the detail possible at Ultra HD.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft ended up leaning heavily on Forza Motorsport 7 to promote its new hardware.
With the game not yet announced you’ d think a section on confirmed features would be pretty short— and you’ d be right.
Not so fast, there is one thing that Microsoft has openly said about the next game in the Forza series (that we think is Forza Motorsport 7) .
At last year’s Geneva Motor Show, during which the trailer above was released, Phil Spencer took to the stage to say:
„We’re excited to continue our long history of working with Lamborghini and to be part of their 100-year anniversary by celebrating the Centenario as the featured cover car of the next Forza game. It’s an honour to announce our partnership at one of the world’s biggest automotive shows, and we look forward to unveiling the game at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.“
So, Ford is taking a back seat from its normal position up front on the cover of the series.
We’ re on firmer ground with rumours of new features or upgrades in Forza Motorsport 7, thanks largely to loose lips.
With Forza Motorsport 7 likely to release across both Xbox One, Scorpio, and PC, proper support for high-end third party wheels will be a godsend. Thankfully it seems high on Turn 10’s priorities.
Back in November last year, the CEO of wheel maker Fanatic, Thomas Jackermeier, took to his company’s forums to ask customers for any issues they want Turn 10 to address in Forza Motorsport 7:
“Please tell me any wheel/pedal/shifter related issues you have in FM6 and let us know what new features you would like to see supported in FM7.”
Rather than delete the post, having inadvertently revealed the sequel’s existence, Jackermeier updated the post after the meeting to say “I am happy to report that there is a good chance that a lot of things will change for the better in upcoming FM titles. There is a new person who is responsible for physics and force feedback and this is a “wheel guy”. He is a real world racer with car engineering background and very familiar with PC simracing. The PC market seems very important for them and they are aware that this market is dominated by wheel users. “
Sounds wheel good to us.
There have been rumours since January that Forza Motorsport 7 and Crackdown 3 will be the first-party titles that showcase what the Scorpio is capable of.
We said what that likely means above but it may also mean we’ ll see Forza Motorsport 7 bundled with the console at launch.
Now entering its 12th year, there are still lots of features we’ d like to see make it into Forza.
Come now, Turn 10 Studios, we’ ve waited long enough. You can’ t proudly bear the name ‘motorsport’ and not include vehicles of the two wheel variety. We’ d love to see superbikes join the fray (and, if we were being greedy, dirt bikes, too)
Codemasters has done great work with RaceNet, its online community system that ties all its games together. It would be great to see Forza Motorsport 7 develop its own community further, providing tools to run race seasons, stream the races for spectators on Twitch, and provide tools for commentary. More tools for recording in-game footage and editing it together would also be much appreciated.
Back in 2015 with Forza Motorsport 6, Microsoft made a big deal about drivatar, the cloud-based system that built an AI racer based on your style and ability which could race against your friends.
It was a neat idea but we’ d like to see what else Turn 10 can do with the idea and how it can develop the feature.
What’s next for Microsoft’s big racing series?