In a shock announcement, Bizarre Creations, the developer of the much anticipated Xbox 360 race 'em-up, Project Gotham Racing 3, have confessed to lying about the polygon count of the in-game car models.

In previous interviews, Bizarre Creations have claimed that each car in Project Gotham Racing 3 is made up of approximately 80,000 polygons. This was met with some scepticism, as each car in PGR2 was only about 10,000 polygons each. With the exact pixel-pushing power of Xbox 360 still unknown, many gamers found this figure hard to swallow.

This is not the first time the in-game graphics of PGR3 have been called into question. When Bizarre release some screenshots showing the detailed trackside buildings back in July, some gamers refused to believe they were in-game captures, while others confused them for real photos. The confusion prompted the developer to release wireframe versions of the same scenes to prove they were rendered by the game engine.

Under pressure to come clean with some real figures, Bizarre's webmaster Ben has come clean. "I took it upon myself to head over to the car artists, and found out for myself exactly how many polys we were pushing per car," he said. "The results were surprising... therefore I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to all gamers who were expecting 80,000 triangles in PGR3. I can conclusively reveal that in fact we do NOT have 80,000 polygons on average per car."

The actual average number of polygons per car model is closer to 96,000!

Ben continued, "Some cars have around 85,000 polygons, but many go as high as 105,000. The McLaren F1 LM (my favourite PGR3 car!) clocked in at over 100,000. Obviously these counts include the car interiors as well as the exteriors, but they don't include the extra geometry to display car damage, which can add between 10,000 and 20,000 more triangles per car."

Impressive stuff, especially considering the pixel shaders and other techniques used in addition to raw geometry to produce the detailed graphics. For those still sceptical about this new claim, just check out these new screenshots, captured directly from the monitor of a Bizarre Creations car artist.

click for full size

For those curious what difference all these extra polygons make to the interior, just check out the videos from a recent Press Day at Bizarre's offices. The quality is pretty ropey, but the detail is still quite impressive. Less impressive are reports from the recent X05 event that the game suffers from a rather variable frame rate and distracting textures pop-ups. Let's hope Bizarre are able to iron out these issues before the game is released this Christmas.

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