Sony NZ rolled out the big guns to promote the launch of Gran Turismo PSP this week. Media were shepherded into an underground dream car garage full of Porsches, Audis and Astons (also known as Giltrap Prestige in Grey Lynn) to get some hands-on time with the game which released on Thursday.

Kiwi A1GP racing star Jonny Reid and Porsche GT3 Cup drivers Timmy Martin and Jono Lester were at the event, offering to play the handheld Gran Turismo in ad-hoc multiplayer mode with anyone who fancied themselves a bit of a speed demon -- or anyone who just wanted a good thrashing.

Gran Turismo's first attack at portable racing is a lot of fun, even if it does feel understandably simplified compared with the console versions. True to form, it has a huge roster of cars to buy and tracks to drive, and each car is faithfully modeled with complete specs and description. The graphics are nothing spectacular, but on the PSP's small screen it looks crisp and runs at a solid framerate. Gameplay feels somewhat less than "a real driving simulator" however, with the lack of any damage modeling allowing us to "wall steer" around one of the tighter city circuits. The physics model can be switched from regular to 'professional' mode, though, which we didn't get a chance to test.

Some photos from the event are below. Watch out for our full review of Gran Turismo PSP soon.