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Today in History: November 21st, 1995: Wipeout Glides onto Playstation One Showing Off 3D Gaming

When Sony launched the Playstation One (back when it was simply Playstation) they had a hell of a challenge ahead of them. Sega was coming off of a series of failed add-ons for their first succesful console, the Sega Genesis, and Nintendo was touting “SGI this” and “SGI that” where ever they could. Sony was the underdog to say the least in this trio, they were the second to launch thanks to Sega making a HUGE mistake in launching the Saturn six months early without telling anyone- um, Sega, it is called marketing- you did it so well in the later years of the Genesis, what the hell happened?

Sony was at a disadvantage, they had no recognizable, read marketable, properties to pull from. They couldn’t pull from their 16-Bit endeavors through Sony Imagesoft (who was in a similar boat with fans) and they didn’t hold any special licenses at this time. Sony needed original titles, and fast. Psygnosis was one of those companies that they took a chance with and it paid off BIG TIME.

Wipeout, or as it is known in their ads “wipE’out”, is a futuristic hover car racing game that was, until this point, capable of unheard of feats. Gamers truly never experienced anything like Wipeout on other systems and worst of all, for Sega anyhow, there was nothing close to it on Saturn either (Sega had Daytona USA as their racer early on).

The graphics were awesome, they still are quite good though they have not aged as well as some might wish. Still, the sense of speed, anger at getting knocked out by an opponent and the sense of accomplishment when you win a tough race are there and never get old.

It seems that there is a discrepency with the Playstation Network listing for Wipeout (Digital). PSN states you will need 3,930MB (about 3 gigs) free on your Memory Stick Duo to download Wipeout. The game is only one CD-ROM, I am not sure where they are coming up with over three gigs required to download it. Weird. Can anyone confirm this?

Wipeout has made the rounds over the years as this list shows:

Wipeout (original)
Wipeout PSN
Wipeout PC (DOS)
Wipeout Saturn

Wipeout 64 features some mirrored tracks from the original (and the sequel, 2097).

The only digital release available is for the original on the PSN.  Sony has done a good job in keeping newer versions of this game available on their various platforms though.

Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below.

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