The Sony PlayStation launched in Europe 25 years ago today, and to mark the occasion, I interviewed the creators of WipEout, the console’s most iconic launch game. You can read the full interview on GamingBible right here, and it’s a fascinating story – particularly how the music was such a part of the game’s design from the very start.
I remember getting the PlayStation when it came out – at around £300 for just the console alone (that’s £580 in today’s money), it was the biggest birthday present I’d ever received. In fact, it ended up being a joint birthday and Christmas present, such was the extravagant expense of this new CD-based box of tricks.
WipEout and Ridge Racer were my first two games, and it’s fair to say that they absolutely blew my 16-year-old mind. The step up from the 16-bit consoles was enormous, and we’ll never see anything quite like it again. After years of playing 2D console games, the transition to 3D was phenomenally exciting – I remember thinking that I now had an actual arcade in my living room.
WipEout in particular was absolutely unlike any games before it. This was a game designed for cool twenty-somethings, with music by A-list dance acts. This was cool. And this was definitely not for kids. Suddenly, games consoles had become something more than a toy, they were almost a lifestyle accessory.
Console launches are always exciting, but I don’t think we’ll ever see anything quite as revolutionary as the PlayStation ever again. At least until we start plugging games directly into our brains.