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Ultimate Virtual Reality Racing Competition

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and Polyphony Digital Inc., in partnership with Nissan North America, announced today the opportunity of a lifetime for gaming and racing enthusiasts - the debut of the GT Academy in the U.S. Starting December 15th, fans can compete in Gran Turismo® 5 exclusively on the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) for a chance to make dreams of becoming a race driver with a professional team a reality. Registration for the GT Academy competition begins on December 1st, and fans who think they have what it takes can find more information about the program at: http://us.gran-turismo.com/.

GT Academy will challenge gamers and racing fans alike across the U.S. to compete in a series of online time trials in pre-selected Nissan vehicles in Gran Turismo 5. Throughout the course of the competition, participants will earn free digital content just for playing, as well as have an opportunity to win prizes for winning regional time trials. The top 32 virtual racers in the country will compete in the live national finals event scheduled for March 2011 to become one of 16 GT Academy finalists. The 16 finalists will compete against each other in a series of challenges, including behind the wheel of real Nissan race cars, for a chance to become a professional race car driver as the GT Academy winner for the U.S. The winner will have the opportunity to train with elite race car drivers at international tracks and race as part of a professional team.

Available only on PS3 on November 24, 2010, Gran Turismo 5 features realistic driving physics and graphics that set new standards in the Gran Turismo franchise. Gran Turismo 5 will deliver the most realistic and comprehensive racing experience available, including more than 1,000 licensed cars, a Course Maker, and a robust online racing community. Additionally, Gran Turismo 5 integrates Stereoscopic 3D technology, bringing a new layer of realism to racing fans.

"With the upcoming launch of Gran Turismo 5, it's a very exciting time to team with Nissan to announce GT Academy," said Scott A. Steinberg, VP of Product Marketing, SCEA. "With the realistic racing experience that only Gran Turismo 5 provides, GT Academy will identify someone who truly has the skills to become a pro race car driver, providing the chance of a lifetime to win the ultimate prize."

"This is a great opportunity for Nissan to bring GT Academy to the U.S. and support the launch of Gran Turismo 5" said Jon Brancheau, Vice President Marketing, Nissan. "Gran Turismo 5 provides an amazingly realistic racing experience and we're taking that to the next level by putting 16 finalists behind the wheel of a Nissan race car with the chance to become a race driver with a professional team. Nissan vehicles are known for innovation and performance, so this is a perfect way to demonstrate and deliver on that promise."

The competitors' road to victory will be documented in a multi-episode reality show airing exclusively on SPEED channel in 2011. The reality show series will start filming in March 2011 from the GT Academy finals through training as a pro race driver.

The overall competition will run as follows:

Phase One
Racing enthusiasts will put their racing and gaming skills to the test as they compete in various regional online ladders playing Gran Turismo 5 on the PlayStation®Network. Finalists will then participate in a live head-to-head competition.

Phase Two
16 lucky finalists emerge from the live event and go behind the wheel of real cars, including the Nissan 370Z and GT-R, at a comprehensive GT Academy "boot camp". The "boot camp" will be featured as part of a multi-episode reality show to air on SPEED.

Phase Three
The 2011 U.S. Winner will train to become a professional driver in preparation for competing as part of a professional team at a major race event.

For full terms and conditions and more information about GT Academy please visit: http://us.gran-turismo.com/us/

About Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® systems, the PlayStation®2 system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, the ground-breaking PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system and its online and network services the PlayStation®Network and PlayStation®Store.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one, PlayStation 2, PSP and PS3 systems for the North American market. Based in Foster City, California, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

About Gran Turismo®
With more than 57 million units sold worldwide, the award-winning Gran Turismo® franchise for the PlayStation®, PlayStation®2 and PLAYSTATION®3 is regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulation ever created due to its true-to-life graphics, physics and real-life cars and tracks. Since the inception of the Gran Turismo franchise, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the gamer with the most true-to-life driving simulation within the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products.

About Nissan
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan also sells racing and performance parts through its Nissan Motorsports and NISMO parts line. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com.

Source:
http://nissannews.com/newsrelease.do?id=2086&mid=