Every Sunday, we bring you an article from our archive - and this week, to celebrate the original PlayStation's 20th birthday, we present the story of the studio behind one of the console's most iconic games.
Sony Liverpool was working on two PlayStation 4 launch titles, Eurogamer has been told by a reliable source.
UPDATE 3: Sony Liverpool has bid a tearful farewell to WipEout, the sci-fi racing series that defined a generation and helped PlayStation achieve its wonderful mainstream success.
WipEout developer Sony Liverpool's after a senior designer to work on a "high profile, futuristic racing franchise". Whatever could that be?
PSP title WipEout Pulse has been in development for PlayStation 2 for some time, Eurogamer has been told by a source close to Sony, but a statement from the publisher this week suggests it may no longer appear.
It's all aboard the shame train at Sony HQ as this week's PSN Store update is almost entirely devoid of interesting new goodies. Choo-choo.
Sony has said it will be releasing fresh tracks and craft for WipEout Pulse every week throughout February.
Sky Diving is the GBP 3.49 downloadable game star of this week's PlayStation Store update on PS3, while PSP owners can download the WipEout Pulse Mirage Pack if they fork out GBP 3.49 on the PSP Store for PC.
Later on today PSP owners in Europe will be able to download a playable demo of WipEout Pulse from the PSP Store for the PC.
If in doubt, buy your parents something you want and reclaim at a later date - a useful mantra handed down from generation to generation. I once bought my sister a CD that will remain nameless for shame purposes, even though she had no flashy machinery to play it on. But I did. So, when I suggested she hand the disc to me and keep the cassette recording I had selflessly made for herself, I was expecting nothing but cooperation. Bloody witch didn't see it like that though, did she? Threw a right strop. Ungrateful. But looking back at my foolish youth of yester-year I can see how much I have changed. She lives in China for a start, so no need to get her anything. Present for sister: tick.
According to those splendid websites that go around counting all the review scores, WipEout Pure is the second best game on the PSP. Ever. That's not bad for the seventh game in a clubby racing series that's definitely had its uppers and downers. Lucky number eight, due out for Christmas, remembers to drink lots of water and has a jolly old time too.
At its core, it's still the same old WipEout: pilot your fragile ship around very fast courses over and over again until you know where all the boost pads are and you've worked out how to air-brake through the tight corners without scraping the sides. But thanks to a cleverly reworked single-player game, it's a lot easier to get on with.
The campaign is split into a series of "grids", which are basically Blockbusters boards of hexagons, where each hexagon is an event. Every time you complete one, it unlocks the hexagons adjacent to it, giving you lots of options. Complete most of the events in a grid to a decent standard and you unlock the next grid. Can I have an 'E' please, Bob?
It'll be almost two and a half years since WipEout Pure by the time the latest PSP incarnation of Sony's Liverpool-borne future racer hovers into view. In an industry increasingly built on yearly sequels, that's a dangerous gap. Thankfully, based on an excessive amount of time spent hammering around the solo mode, it looks like Pulse continues the series tradition of franchise refinement rather than total reboot.
WipEout Pure was among the first games released for PSP, and remains one of the best, so naturally we were very keen to talk to the people working on the follow-up. Which is what we're doing here, obviously. In this case it's Clark Davies, introduced to us as "WipEout designer". Which probably looks nice on a business card. In light of the game's announcement just over a month ago and the first screenshots, we flung queries his way about how the game will improve on Pure, and how the new features - like the "Mag-Strip" sections - have been put to use by the development team.
Sony has announced that a new WipEout game for PSP will be released this September, courtesy of our old pals Studio Liverpool.