WipeOut was Sony’s initial first-party exclusive for the original PlayStation when it launched back in 1995. The anti-gravity racing game was phenomenal. Now it’s abandoned. So one dedicated programmer took it upon himself to excavate the game’s leaked source code and make it playable for free in any web browser.
“Either let it be, or shut this thing down and get a real remaster going,” he told Sony in a recent blog post (via VGC). Despite the release of the PlayStation Classic, 2017’s Wipeout Omega Collection, and PS Plus adding old PS1 games to PS5 like Twisted Metal, there’s no way to play the original WipeOut on modern consoles and experience the futuristic racer’s incredible soundtrack and neo-Tokyo aesthetic in all their glory. So fans have taken it upon themselves to make the Psygnosis-developed hit accessible on PC.
In a lengthy August 10 post published on his personal blog, programmer Dominic Szablewski walked through his entire process of combing through the WipeOut source code that leaked in 2022 and trying to salvage the PlayStation version underneath tons of modified ports. “Let me paint you a picture: Even the NTSC version for the PlayStation looks like an afterthought quickly hacked into the PAL version,” he wrote.
“#ifdefs switched some physics calculations from 25 fps to 30. Later, the PC DOS release, Win95 version and finally the ATI Rage Edition were haphazardly piled on top. Each time by a different set of developers that somehow had to make sense of this mess. The code still contains many of the remains of what came before. There was never any time to clean it up.
After a lot of detective work and elbow grease, Szablewski managed to resurrect a modified playable version of the game with an uncapped framerate that looks crisp and sounds great. He still recommends two other existing PC ports over his own, WipEout Phantom Edition and an unnamed project by a user named XProger. However, those don’t come with the original source code, the legality of which he admits is “questionable at best.”
One view is that WipeOut is basically abandonware since the source code has leaked with seemingly little action by Sony and no obvious attempts by the company to remaster, port, or otherwise bring back the PS1 classic. “Sony has demonstrated a lack of interest in the original WipeOut in the past, so my money is on their continuing absence,” Szablewski wrote. “If anyone at Sony is reading this, please consider that you have (in my opinion) two equally good options: either let it be, or shut this thing down and get a real remaster going. I’d love to help!”