Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has announced that cumulative worldwide shipments of the Gran Turismo franchise have, as of April 30, 2008, reached 50 million units.

"Initially, "Gran Turismo" was an "alternative" racing game, kind of an outsider in the genre," said Kazunori Yamauchi, Producer of Gran Turismo. "And we made it thinking that it would be okay as long as it reached out to "the select few who would agree with us". So this figure, 50 million units - is simply astounding."

The first Gran Turismo title was released for the PlayStation in December 1997, with the most recent, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, debuting in Japan in December 2007. To date more than two million units of GT5: Prologue have been shipped worldwide.

Kazunori Yamauchi added: "I would really like to thank all the fans who have supported the Gran Turismo series over the years, for all their passion and love of the game. We'd like to continue making every effort to create cutting edge, high quality games, so that we don't disappoint anyone's expectations."

Gran Turismo 5 is expected to be released on PlayStation 3 in 2009.