We can reveal today that Sega will show Outrun 2 for console next week. A carefully orchestrated global unveiling will see the emergence of the oft-rumoured console port of the dazzling Chihiro arcade game from AM2.
High ranking Sega insiders have revealed that the lid will be lifted on Monday or Tuesday in all territories, with an emphasis on hype-building in the run up to next month's E3 in Los Angeles.
We are led to believe that the game will be shown for Xbox. No-one we have spoken to during our months-long investigation mentioned PC or GameCube versions. However, Chihiro is basically a beefed-up Xbox, and the Xbox is essentially a PC. These factors combined with Sammy's expanding interest in the PC market makes a PC version at least a possibility.
The home versions of Outrun 2 will be significantly enhanced versions of the coin-operated original and will include everything from the beloved Chihiro cabinet game, augmented with additional tracks and what was described to us as "...a massive challenge mode. Think of what was put into Crazy Taxi 2 for Dreamcast and you should get the idea."
Although online functions will feature, we were unable to glean much precise information. Feel free to speculate on our behalf.
Sega's fiercely loyal fanbase were concerned about the possibility of a demise in Sega's freedom of expression after Sammy became involved in the company last year. It is likely that Sega's studios will be encouraged to take a much more pragmatic approach to projects from a financial point of view. This might actually be Sega's advantage, and though we may never see Shenmue reach its natural conclusion, we may see a healthier, more robust company emerge.
It is not clear, however, whether Sammy were involved in the decisions surrounding Outrun 2.
As ever, expect all breaking Sega news, right here, before anywhere else.