Do you remember the Super FX chip for the SNES? It was a little chipset placed inside of the cartridges select games that gave the 16-bit SNES a boost in power in order to render actual 3D polygons. These Super FX titles were revolutionary back in the day since it was still the beginning of the 3D age, but they certainly haven’t aged well by today’s standards. For one, all of these titles ran at incredibly low framerates. Still, it was considered amazing because the SNES was clearly not built with that functionality in mind, yet Nintendo found a way to get it to work. But, of course, the poor performance of the Super FX games doesn’t matter much to retro fans. That’s why the folks over at Elite Systems are now planning to release a physical version of a previously canceled SNES racing game that utilized the SuperFX chip. That game is PowerSlide. Nintendo Life recently published a pretty cool story with the game’s creators at Elite Systems, detailing a bit of the studio’s history and its plans to revive the lost near the three-decade-old game.
PowerSlide is a racing game derived from Elite’s other Super FX racing project called Dirt Racer. The latter focused on arcadey off-road racing, while PowerSlide was created to provide a more hardcore, realistic racing experience. You can think of it like how the Forza series today is seperated between the simulator-oriented Motorsport titles and the arcadey open-world Horizon games. Dirt Racer did actually see a release on the SNES back in 1995, but it was not well-received due to it looking less impressive than how it was portrayed in promotional materials prior to release. Still, Elite Systems wants to complete the pair and is now planning to release the lost PowerSlide on an actual SNES cartridge.
But, since PowerSlide is still a Super FX game, how on earth can it be produced if the chip has been obsolete for decades? Elite is considering alternative methods like hardware emulation. The team is also willing to handle the manufacturing and publishing of the game all their own. It will be interesting to see how this passion project comes together, but it’s definitely impressive that the creators are still bent on getting the game out despite its age.
Honestly, I think it would be cool if they tried recreating it for modern platforms. After all, the Switch still doesn’t have a huge amount of racing games, so that alone would give Elite a good excuse. But, purists might disagree with that. If you have a SNES laying around, then this should be a good pickup.
There aren’t yet any specific release dates, but hopefully Elite will be able to get everything figured out soon. In the meantime, you can check out a 3D0 version of the game. PowerSlide wasn’t exclusive to the SNES, as versions for the 3D0 and PC wee also proposed. All three versions were ultimately canned, but the lost 3D0 version was uncovered and footage was released on YouTube back in late 2016.