As this is a blog of problems with the Gran Turismo 5 user experience, it seems most fitting to start with the first problem you run into, one that you encounter before the game is even loaded.
Shortly (maybe 15 seconds or so?) after you launch the game you see this screen. It’s modal, first off - this means that it blocks the interface and nothing will progress until you dismiss this dialog. This use of modal dialog will come up again.
The greater sin, though, is where it occurs and for what. It occurs somewhere in the first half of the game load (measuring to the point where the first menu screen appears). That means you can’t start the game and go get a drink of water and come back to have the game loaded. Instead, it’ll be on this screen, which you then have to dismiss, and then wait another 30 seconds or so for the loading process to complete (actually we’ll come back to this in another post).
And for what? What is so important that the game has to stop itself to warn you like this? Game saves are bad times to interrupt the console. Something every gamer since the dawn of time has known since every single game presents this information. It’s very rare these days that it blocks the interface like this - more commonly, this type of information is presented on the loading screen to read as it’s loading, not in a dialog.
Mitigation: move the dialog to the very end of loading process, or best yet: just present it on screen and not in a dialog.
Update 2011-03-02: Well, that’s interesting. Since the time I posted this, there’s been two updates and in one of them, this modal was removed, it appears.