Gran Turismo 5 set for 2009 release?

It seems like we can expect Gran Turismo 5 to be with us by next Christmas, if Sony Europe's James Armstrong is to be believed.

He told a Spanish financial site that the popular racer will be with us before the end of next year, which falls in line with talk from Sony US in March that the game was "about a year away".

Polyphony Digital boss Kazunori Yamauchi has also said both Gran Turismo 5 and Gran Turismo PSP were "moving forward", adding that GT5 cars had reached the "target level" of detail, and that their efforts would now be concentrated on environments and crowds.

Gran Turismo 5 is said to have cost 50 times more than the 1997 PlayStation One original, with around 150 people working on the game over the past four years.

We did of course see Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in March which got pretty good reviews all round. Here's hoping GT5 will be worth the wait.

Sony UK has yet to comment on Armstrong's claims - we'll get anything we hear straight to you.