Summer of Digital Love: Arcade Racer Road Trip!

Summer of Digital Love: Arcade racing road trip!

This post is part of our Summer of Digital Love series, where we chill by the pool while chatting about our favourite hardware, magazines, websites, creative assets and digital esoteria!

If ever there was a gaming genre to get our pulses racing, it’s the classic ‘arcade’ racer! We’ve been addicted ever since finding a stand-up OUTRUN cabinet at a local arcade in 1987! We’ve raided our archives to take you on a selective road trip, narrowing our destinations down to bring you our FAB FOUR PS2 RACERS! Let’s weave our way from 2002 to 2006!

1: SHOX (PS2, 2002)

Here’s one that almost got away! While shortlisting for this post we chanced across a SHOX packshot, and memories of hectic multiplayer evenings gathered within wired distance of the PS2 came racing back 🙂

Can you remember each and every car available in the game? Here are official marketing renders! (Tap to open in lightbox):

Next, we have press shots for the jungle course and the snow course. Sega Rally, anyone? (Yes, these images are shown full size!):

The ONLY way to play SHOX was in four-player splitscreen! There is a littttle bit of slowdown as you can see below, but this was in the days before digital foundry turned pixel (and framerate) peeping into a science!

2: MASHED (PS2, 2004)

We’ve been suckers for competitive multiplayer since Micro Machines Turbo Tournament and its four-player ‘J cart‘ slotted into our Megadrive in 1996. MASHED takes single-screen multiplayer and offers up high-octane racing as you attempt not to fall off the ‘bottom’ of the screen!

MASHED PS2 packshot

Who WOULDN’T have wanted to attend the MASHED game release party!? These thumbnails cannot be expanded, preserving the identities of the attendees who included these images in their press pack!

MASHED launch party!

Ready to play? Check this out PS2 footage…

3: BURNOUT 3: TAKEDOWN (PS2, 2004)

No retrospective can be bonafide without a member of the BURNOUT family wheel-spinning into view. In terms of hours, we spent the most time playing Burnout 2, but it’s successor was arguably the pinnacle of the series. Here are two original release teaser trailers from our press archive, in their glorious 640×480 pixel glory. It’s easy to underestimate just how impressive this game looked in 2004!

4: Outrun 2006 (PS2, 2006)

It would be a tragedy to not include an Outrun entry in this post 🙂 We spent a little too much time finding our flow in the superlative Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast. Most of our time was lost to the PSP version, but it also served up PS2 driving excellence.

Just for you, here’s a car render from the original press pack. We’re not sure where the magenta stripe has come from – It wasn’t there when we saved the file back in 2006!

Ferrari, OUTRUN 2006 style!

Here’s the full press release from December 2005:



OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast Drifts Onto PSP, PlayStation 2 And PC

Ferrari License Brings 12-car Line-up to Classic Arcade Racer


LONDON & SAN FRANCISCO (December 8th, 2005) – SEGA Europe Ltd. and SEGA of America, Inc. can exclusively announce OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, the latest instalment in the iconic OutRun series, will appear on the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and PSPTM portable entertainment system for the very first time! OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast is set for release in March 2006 giving a new legion of gamers the opportunity to experience the thrills of this hugely popular franchise.

The enchanting draw of the open road has never been so appealing with the choice of one of 12 fully licensed Ferrari models, featuring the all-new F430 and the dazzling Superamerica. Gamers will feel the throaty whine and that distinctive Ferrari exhaust tone as they power their way across 30 glorious stages from the best of the OutRun2 original, and the new OutRun2 SP arcade experience. Race from coast to glorious coast with a fresh new mission structure, a license mode and online play with up to 6 players for a thrilling head-to-head journey.

SHOX suffered slowdown in four-player splitscreen, but that’s how we played it!

“Amazing Ferraris, incredible courses, beautiful girls – and all available on Sony’s PSP and PlayStation 2,” commented Matt Woodley, Creative Director of SEGA. “The only thing you’ll be asking for is another go!”

With platform specific missions, the player will also be able to unlock PSP exclusive content by connecting with the PS2 version, and vice versa. Stack up the OutRun miles from the sun-drenched sands of Palm Beach to the charms of Cape Way to unlock new tracks, cars and much more! With a girlfriend by your side and open country before you, which route will you take?

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is being developed by UK developers, Sumo Digital Ltd, the team responsible for the critically acclaimed OutRun 2. OutRun 2006: Coast-2-Coast is scheduled for release in March 2006 for PS2/PSP/PC. For more information on these and other SEGA titles, please visit

What do you mean, you’ve never seen it in action?

We hope you’ve enjoyed our FAB 4 ‘arcade’ racers! You can find out more about the ‘best’ PS2 racers at the links below:


This post is part of our Summer of Digital Love series. Watch for more as we raid our archives (and attics) to celebrate the best in digital creativity, past and present!