A feature introduced in Gran Turismo 4 is the "Photo Mode". My first impressions upon hearing about this "mode" was that it is a waste of time. However, it is an extremely clever marketing idea to increase and maintain hype about the game after its launch. Users can now easily post high-resolution images of their favourite cars, special modifications and super-cars to websites, forums and photo galleries. This influx of new images will keep interest in the game higher than normal.
I am a little disappointed with the actual photo mode itself. On the home map area you select the photo mode and then choose from a select number of locations. Each location has different areas to position both the car and the camera. Then there are tools to zoom in, tilt and rotate the camera, aswell as adding blurring, increasing brightness and colourising the image. Once this is done you take the photo which can easily be saved to the memory stick or a portable USB flash drive.
The controls to position the camera and car are pretty sensitive and can get annoying. Another disappointment is the inability to take action photos. I was expecting to be able to take still shots of replays and position the camera in a 360 degree range of the car. This would have been extremely cool for rally shots with dust flying up and for capturing battles on the race course.
This was the first opportunity I'd had to use an external device in my PS2 and it worked pretty seemlessly. I simply plugged in the USB flash drive, selected "save to USB device" and it worked. When I placed it on my PC the photos were all saved under a folder called "GT4".
My final annoyance with this mode is the contrast and brightness of the final images; they are extremely dark. I will be posting some "photos" soon.