OutRun and Virtua Tennis developer Sumo Digital is working on a "bleeding edge" game for a "big hardware company", Eurogamer has learned.
Sony has updated the PlayStation Store with OutRun Online Arcade, Hercules for PSone and a downloadable PSP version of Need for Speed Most Wanted.
OutRun's GBP 7.99 / EUR 9.99, Hercules GBP 3.99 / EUR 4.99, and Need for Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0 costs GBP 15.99 / EUR 19.99.
There's also a raft of downloadable content: the PixelJunk Eden Encore pack for GBP 2.39 / EUR 2.99, Vehicle Pack 1 for Midnight Club: Los Angeles - South Central, which is GBP 2.39 / EUR 2.99, the free Toy Soldiers update for F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, and a GBP 2.39 / EUR 2.99 booster pack for Magic Ball.
OutRun never ends. This is, of course, a lie. It does end, inevitably so: somewhere either side of the five-minute mark, as you finish the fifth stage of its multiple-choice, point-to-point odyssey of speed in a howling handbrake turn under blue skies, bright banners and confetti, as the crowd cheers and the girl in the passenger seat squeals in delight.
But in your imagination and in the game's timeless iconography, OutRun is endless. It's a one-way street, a winding ribbon of sun-scorched tarmac that surges ever forward, never back, disappearing into the vanishing point. It's a constant cascade of choice, of multiplying possibilities, every beautiful adventure ending in two more as the generous freeways open and split. It's the drift that lasts forever, your gleaming red Ferrari poised in a never-ending spiral of virtuous oversteer, as elegant as an ice-skater, as impossible to stop or deviate from its course as a freight train. It's one of the most optimistic and joyful videogames ever conceived.
It's appropriate, then, that SEGA seems determined to keep OutRun alive forever. This Xbox Live Arcade and PSN downloadable is the latest in a long series of arcade and home versions of OutRun 2 that spans the last six years. Fair enough: the second-generation OutRun is an evergreen classic, and a rare example of a perfectly faithful and successful update to a canonical eighties arcade game. It deserves to have its time in the sun stretched out indefinitely, not least because it might end up being the last truly great game Yu Suzuki ever made.
SEGA has confirmed that OutRun Online Arcade will be released on the PlayStation Network on Thursday this week, just one day after it arrives on Xbox Live Arcade - but in Europe only.
The game will cost 10 euros on PSN, and 800 Microsoft Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60 ) on XBLA. North American PS3 owners will just have to go without.
OutRun Online Arcade is the latest in a long series of arcade and home versions of SEGA AM2's classic 2003 racer, OutRun 2. In this case, it's a fairly straight port of the 2004 OutRun 2 SP arcade game (which appeared on home consoles as part of OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, are you still with us?) with an added online multiplayer mode and high-definition graphics. As with the previous home versions, the port was handled by the UK's Sumo Digital.
Microsoft has confirmed, via Xbox Live's Days of Arcade feature, that SEGA's OutRun Online Arcade will be released on Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday 15th April.
For a company that apparently lost faith in the Saturn within two years of launching it in the West, and ditched its entire console hardware business when things went wrong next time around, SEGA's been remarkably persistent with its sixth-gen OutRun reboot. Despite middling sales of every previous home version of OutRun2 and its immediate follow-up, OutRun2 SP, this year marks another return, once again under the control of conversion supremos SUMO Digital and this time on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, where consumers may be more at ease with the game's singular focus: five minutes of threading Ferraris sideways along perilous one-way motorways amidst improbably condensed abstract background details.
SEGA has announced that a Sumo Digital-developed OutRun game is on its way to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in "early 2009".
OutRun Online Arcade invites you to "rediscover the 15 glorious OutRun courses" in ten licensed Ferraris, while the initial screenshots and trailer point to a game very similar to, if not entirely based upon Sumo's previous work with the series on Xbox, PS2, PC and PSP, with elements like slipstream visible.
In addition to a single-player mode, there's also Time Attack and Heart Attack, where you gather hearts by satisfying quickie objectives like "Don't crash!" and "Go through the gate!", and elsewhere there's online multiplayer for six people.