XL is sold out on Newegg, but is available on Amazon for $20 (and has been for sometime). It's still a bargain at that price for a game that has hundreds of hours of gameplay if you enjoy sim racing.
A few important caveats, however:
First, the loading times in GT5 are horrendous. Even with the game installed to the hard drive it takes up to 10 seconds just to load from one menu screen to another. However, I've read that Spec 2.0 might have improved this a bit, so it's possible that it's slightly better now.
Second, this game was really designed with use of a wheel & pedals in mind. I tried playing it briefly with the DS3, but it's hard to control the cars with the precision you want in a sim racer and the triggers are poorly designed for racing games. As far as controlling racing games with controllers are concerned, Forza 4 does that much, much better (it basically smooths everything out so that you aren't constantly over-correcting with the thumbstick).
That said, with a wheel & pedals, GT5 is the king of console sim racing (IMO, of course, although I've tried them all). And the Logitech Driving Force GT is a great wheel for its price, and will be instantly recognized by GT5.
The game is probably still quite fun without a wheel, but you'll need most or all of the assists turned on and will have to master nudging the stick just right. It's quite literally 10x better with a wheel, and the force feedback is second to none among console racers.
I have a wheel I use to play iRacing on my PC, but am considering buying a PS3 just to run through the rest of GT5 XL's campaign (I played it back when it first came out on my former roommate's PS3). There are a few PC sims that have better physics and force feedback, but none that have the lengthy career and breadth of production cars to drive that GT5 offers. The only thing holding me back is the bad memory of those god-awful loading times. Lots of console games have poor loading times, but GT5 was up there with the 360 version of Oblivion in long load times.
Edit: Another thing about the wheels is that almost all of the major ones, whether it be from Logitech, Fanatec, or even the pricier Thrustmaster ones, are fully compatible with the PS3 and PC -- so if you want to have a go at iRacing you can use the same wheel. Presumably Sony's open policy towards USB controller compatibility will continue with the PS4 and all of these wheels will be compatible with it as well.
Sadly, Microsoft is not so kind with third-party controllers and the 360 requires a license, which significantly drives up the price of wheels that are compatible with it. For instance, the equivalent Fanatec wheel set that is compatible with the 360 is $100 more expensive than the one that is only compatible with PC & PS3.
I have to say I use a DS3 (don't have room to set up my logitech wheel) and I haven't had any issues. The only assists I have on is ABS level 1 and racing line. You think it might be your sensitivity settings?
Not sure if it's the upgraded HDD or game updates, but load times are a lot better than when I first installed the game. It's really not bad at all for me anymore.
Anyone know if there's any reason to buy the XL version if I already own GT5? I bought it when it first came out from Newegg for $48 IIRC.
As far as I know I thought the XL gives you codes for the DLC content that was released.
No they don't. Brand new prices for Drake's Deception are around $20+--same with GT5XL. I didn't bother checking the rest, but they're likely comparable. Even if you're buying used, the price will be about the same as you're paying here.
I wouldn't say this except that games and technology diminish in value with time... Especially after the PS4 is announced an coming out in the same calendar year
On Amazon around cyber Monday during the lightning deals I got:
Gran Turismo 5 XL for $10
Drakes Deception for $15
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