Toyota Exec: Realistic Video Games Make Cars Unnecessary

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Car sales are down in Japan, and young adults are less interested in automobiles. Instead of blaming that on a grim economy or even good public transportation, Toyota has apparently found another culprit: video games.


In a piece in the evening edition of Osaka's Mainichi Newspaper, there's an editorial on the "date car" by journalist Masahiro Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi talks about how the slide in new car sales started in the 1990s and even connects the current decline in population to the car apathy that exists among young men. "Guys used to work hard at their job so they could get a stylish, cool car for girl's to ride in."

Even more interesting than that connection is what Kawaguchi quotes a Toyota exec as saying: "Home game machines are no good. Playing something that realistic makes the need for cars disappear."

Really? Video games make the need to go from Point A to Point B disappear? Next thing we know video games will be blamed for violent crime!

That's such an odd thing for Toyota to say, especially considering how many game tie-ins the company has, such as having its FT-86 Concept car appear in Gran Turismo 5 — which is playable at the Tokyo Motor Show. It makes us wonder if that was simply some off-handed, throw away remark that obviously wasn't not thought through before uttering. Maybe!

Kawaguchi finishes his article by talking about the next generation of sports cars and hybrid cars. Vroom vroom.

憂楽帳:デートカー [毎日新聞 はちま起稿] [Pic]



I think I see what they were trying to say. Not that they're making Cars in general unnecessary, but they're making Big Fast Expensive Cars unnecessary (well More Unnecessary).

I think they were thinking that some people may think

"I can experience driving a Fast, Powerful and beautiful Car for the Price of a video game console, TV, and video game, which costs a fraction of the cost of the actual car. Why bother buying the actual car? I'll just get a cheap and serviceable (perhaps even second hand) car for travelling instead of anything expensive."

Which is a load of bull of course. The experience of driving, or even being driven in, a fast, powerful and beautiful car is light years ahead of playing a realistic driving game. Anyone who would substitute a game for driving the real thing isn't going to buy the real thing if the realistic video games didn't exist, they're not going to buy the real thing at all because they can't afford them. And people who can afford to buy the real things, are not going to not buy the real thing because they can get video games for a fraction of the cost, it'll be for some other reason. #granturismo5