It's been a long, long time coming, but Gran Turismo 5 is almost upon us. Or, at least, so we thought.

Originally expected to come out in 2009, Sony finally set a release date of 3 November 2010 for the latest and, perhaps, greatest in its flagship PS3 driving franchise, but now that deadline is going to come and go without even a whiff of the game hitting the streets.

Its creator, though, has taken the unprecedented step of apologising for the delay, and explaining why the game has been put back again. Posting on his Twitter page, Kazunori Yamauchi stated, "Apologies for the delay".

Games' site Kotaku also translated further tweets:

"It's because time and labor were spent ironing the kinks out of [the game's] complex system. I'm really sorry. Everyone, it's inexcusable... Wait a little longer".

However, GT5 is not expected to be delayed too long this time. Yamauchi thinks it'll hit the stores before the end of 2010. When quizzed by a fan on whether this will be a stealth delay until 2011, he stated, "I believe we won't keep you waiting until then".

Also confirming that the game will be released in 2010, SCEE released the following statement for Europe:

"We are sorry to say that Gran Turismo 5 will not be available on the previously announced release date of November 3rd, but the game will be released before Christmas".

"We sincerely apologise to GT fans for the delay, however creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make certain they are creating a racing experience of the highest quality. We are confident that this ambitious game will exceed expectations when it launches later this year. We'll have more information for you in the near future".

It'd better be good. Oooo... The anticipation.

What do you think? How long have you been waiting for the new instalment? Are you willing to wait a bit longer? Let us know in the comments below...

Gran Turismo 5 UK release date confirmed, Japan gets Blue PS3 bundle

- VIDEO: Gran Turismo 5 trailer