Sony delays launch of latest "Gran Turismo" game

TOKYO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Sony Corp 6758.T has delayed the launch of "Gran Turismo 5", the latest version of the top-selling motor racing game for its PlayStation 3 console, but still plans for it to hit the market in time for the year-end shopping season.

Production difficulties were to blame for the delay, said company spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka.

The announcement marks the second delay for the much-awaited game. It was to have hit stores in the United States and Europe on Nov. 2 and Japan the following day.

The electronics giant has sold more than 56 million copies of Gran Turismo since its initial launch in 1997, and previewed 3D images of the latest version at the Tokyo Game Show in September.

Sony is trying to attract casual gamers to PlayStation ahead of the year-end with its Move motion-controlled accessories, but needs offerings like Gran Turismo to retain the loyalty of core fans. (Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)