Last Updated: 12/10/04
Details are light at the moment, but the current information indicates Pure will feature all-new environments and race craft plus a pumping soundtrack specially created for the game by a range of top artists (I am seriously hoping to see Chemical Brothers and Canada sign on and offer some tracks). Players will also be able to post launch downloads, granting you you access to extra circuits, new craft, personalised skins and additional music. Plus, what undoubtedly will be a huge hit with fans -- wireless gaming, supporting 8-player tournament play. I can't wait to experience what that's like in action -- hopefully that opportunity will present itself at E3 2005.
We'll keep you posted on new developments as they become available. In the meantime, check out the recent Q/A session with WipEout Pure designer, Colin Berry.
Q: Is this created by the same team that worked on the previous games?
A: For the most part no, only a handful of the team has worked on any of the previous iterations. Having said that, everyone on the team knows Wipeout, knows its history and what the game is all about. It's a good mix – we have a lot of fresh ideas and approaches, coupled with an overall mentality and aim that involves retaining the essence of Wipeout. Indeed the title itself Wipeout Pure was born of the desire to return to the pure elements which made the early versions of Wipeout so popular.
Q: Are there many major differences in the development for a software title for PSP?
A: Initially we thought there would be, when the project was first started we thought that we would not need a huge team and that development would not take so long. However as time has gone on the size of the team has grown to rival the team that worked on Wipeout Fusion. The machine might be small, but it's powerful, and content-wise there is so much in this game we found we needed more people than we had first expected.
Q: Tell us more about the WiFi elements in the game.
A: There are two sides to the WiFi features in the game. The first is the main area and that is the WiFi gaming itself – current plans allow for up to eight players to compete against each other in either a single race, a league or a time trial race.
The second side allows players to swap ghost data and to compare and sync their records via WiFi. Players will be able to compete against their friends' times and ghost ships. Of course players will not lose record of their own times once they have synchronised data – they will still be able to view their personal best on a track should they so desire.
Q: Are you going to include any downloadables that can be used to enhance the title at a later date?
A: Absolutely, this is a big part of what we have planned for the game, and is one reason why the team has grown to a large size. Players are going to be able to download new tracks to race, new ships, new skins for the front end and new music tracks as well. This is a feature that is unique in the PSP and allows for a new delivery method for content, adding extra value after launch for its titles.
Q: As a developer, what is the most exciting element of working on software for PSP?
A: It's a new format, which is always exciting if a little daunting at first. Not only that, it is also the first handheld Sony has made and we are bringing a well known franchise to it, which adds weight to the pressure and expectancy, but it's a nice kind of pressure. The PSP is allowing us to do things that were not feasible on PS2, for example, the downloaded content. Eight player WiFi gaming is also pretty exciting.
Q: What features has the game got that takes into consideration the fact that the PSP is portable?
A: One thing that has had a fair bit of attention is the controls and feel of the game, the PSP does not have as many buttons as a PlayStation 2 pad so we have had to be imaginative when considering how the game plays and feels. It has not been restrictive but it has required some thought to get the best results.
WipEout Pure footage
Interview courtesy of SCEE