The Average Gamer

WipEout Quantum Levitation Video – Why It’s Fake

I recently posted about the Controlled Quantum Levitation on a Wipe’Out Track video that appeared on YouTube over the Christmas period which I think signalled the start of Sony’s advertising campaign for wipEout 2048 on the PS Vita. I asked our resident graphics expert who has worked in the videogames industry for 13 years to comment on the video.

Expert Opinion:

I had seen convincing footage of quantum levitation a previous YouTube video which was doing the rounds in 2011 so I wasn’t initially suspicous of this being fake at all. Also being a big fan of the wipEout games I really wanted this to be real. But there were a number of triggers that broke the illusion for me:

  1. The grey track – The way this was shadowed was a dead give-away. Anyone who has rendered grey objects in a 3D modelling program with ambient occlusion would recognise the way the shadows look. In some shots you can see white trim to track edge against the shadows below. This is probably a compositing issue where theres a gap in the alpha, with the white colour of the table showing through.
  2. wipEout Quantum - White Track Rim

    Look for the white rim around the outside of the track

  3. The smoke – It can be seen to render on top of track parts that it should be under at certain times. For example, at 0.51 the smoke goes over archway. At 1.02 the smoke is on top of track wall and at 1:14 again on corner, smoke under the wall appears over it.
    wipEout Quantum - Smoke Through Walls

    The smoke trail goes right through the track

  4. WipEout font – At 0:12 there is a great cross section drawing of the track which had the words wipeout:quantum at the bottom using the wipeout font. This isn’t a standard font you have lying around on your computer.
  5. wipEout Quantum - wipEout Font

    Here is the wipEout font

  6. Ship placement – At 0.45 the way the ship is placed on the track looked very weird.
  7. wipEout Quantum - Ship Placement

    It's like he's not really holding the ship

If you get really picky then there are lots of other clues in the video to show that this is not real. There is some poor fake `Engrish` which doesn’t match how a Japanese speaking person would normally misspell english. Why were the nametags blurred out? That doesn’t really make sense. Also why is someone taking notes on a clipboard while the track piece is being shown? Were they trying to make it look all sciencey.

One thing I really did like was the seemingly hand-drawn wipEout text on the table, that was a very nice touch. Still, it’s a lot of fun and a great idea for a toy one day once they really work out how to do it. Based on this video, that might not be too far away.

There you go. Lots more evidence pointing to the fact that the video is fake. Adweek also thinks it’s fake. Still, I can’t wait to play wipEout 2048 on the PS Vita next month.

I also chatted with some of the wipEout 2048 developers on twitter about the video. You can read their responses here.

Update 21st Jan 2012: This video has now been confirmed as fake on the WipEout 2048 Facebook page.

WipEout 2048 is released on the 22nd Feb 2012 in US and Europe and on the 19th Jan 2012 in Japan for the PS Vita.


  1. Flashback_Jack

    6th Jan, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Fake or not, Nick, given your gushing Youtube gameplay videos, we already know you’ll fulfill the unspoken prime directive of the “fake” quantum levitation video:


  2. Flashback_Jack

    6th Jan, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    By the way, Nethack is the greatest game ever made. :)

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  4. Husnain

    7th Jan, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    lol you cant ell its fake just by how smooth it all is, and it just generally looks like a fake 3d model. And why would scientists bother to create replicas of wipeout cars etc….why not just use a coin or something. instead of wasting time making replica cars.

    • aldark

      14th Jan, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      @Husnain: Rule Of Cool. Thats why. Even scientists know it.
      @Nick: As for this article, was it really necissary to mention the font? I mean its not hard to find a wipeout font on the net you know. Fans have made plenty and they just need to type in ‘wipeout font’, download the first link, and then type it up on their video. It’s called ‘editing for fun’. Kind of a waste of time on your part, to note that at all.
      The rest of your points might be valid as far as this video is concerned, but this technology has been shown in person at many science conventions. It is ofcourse not worthy of using for a REAL wipeout race car for people to pilot, but its cool to see, in person, nonetheless. You should go find a convention thats displaying it some time.

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  6. greyfox

    14th Jan, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    If its viral advertising for the new PS vita game, why would they recreate the Moa Therma track from Wipeout pulse/HD? Why make little Feisar and EG-r Wipeout Pulse/HD craft? The crossplay with the PS3 isnt that big of a drawcard to do that… Superconductors can have anti-gravity like properties at a supercooled state, hence the liquid nitrogen being injected. Plus the track is an electromagnet a little similar to a maglev train. Of course there will be ‘Engrish’ in the video, its japanese and its not their native language (They spell search as saerch in the anime GITS 2)… Its amusing that this is the same rhetoric described in the manual of the first Wipeout game before the prototype shot off past the reporters:P

  7. Kristofer

    2nd Feb, 2012 at 12:59 am

    How does the wipeout font make the video fake? :P