I have been studying The Video games That Weren’t, an fascinating e-book about videogames that have been made, or partly made, but by no means noticed the sunshine of day. And I used to be intrigued to find that Namco’s Ridge Racer, one of many biggest arcade racers of all time, was initially going to have an official PC launch in 1996—till Sony determined it wished to maintain it to itself.
Within the Nineties, UK studio Psygnosis labored carefully with Sony, creating classics like WipEout and Destruction Derby for the unique PlayStation. It ported each of these video games to PC, and Ridge Racer was going to be subsequent. Though nobody, together with Video games That Weren’t writer Frank Gasking, is aware of precisely how this deal between Psygnosis, Sony, and Namco was brokered.
The workforce labored onerous to get Ridge Racer working on PC, upscaling the low-resolution textures and including PC-specific graphics and management choices. However in any other case this was a trustworthy duplicate of the PlayStation recreation—which is precisely what Psygnosis wished. Ridge Racer had been out for some time at this level, and it wished the PC model to be as genuine as potential.
In accordance with the e-book, the sport ran nice on trendy (on the time) Pentium PCs, and Psygnosis additionally optimised the code so it will be playable on older machines with out graphics acceleration. The e-book additionally notes that the port did not obtain a lot press, however PC Gamer did characteristic it in a ‘The place are they now?’ column when it did not materialise.
Sadly, it by no means made it to the end line. It appears Sony, regardless of permitting PC ports of Destruction Derby and WipEout, wished to maintain a few of its flagship video games to itself. You may emulate the PlayStation and arcade originals completely on PC these days, so it is no nice loss. However it will’ve been cool to see this smoother, sharper PC model of Ridge Racer in motion.
Thanks once more to The Video games That Weren’t, the place you may learn extra about this story, together with interviews with among the authentic devs.