Pole Position

GCE Vectrex 1983 GCE / Namco Ltd.
Pole Position is an arcade racing video game released in 1982. It was designed by Namco and manufactured worldwide by Namco, except in the United States, where it was manufactured by Atari, Inc. It was the most popular coin-op arcade game of 1983. Pole Position was released in two configurations: an upright cabinet, and an environmental/cockpit cabinet. Both versions feature a steering wheel and a gear shifter for low and high gears. The environmental/cockpit cabinet featured both an accelerator and brake pedal, while the upright cabinet had only an accelerator pedal.

By 1983, it had become the highest-grossing arcade game that year in North America, where it had sold over 21,000 machines for $61 million, equivalent to $140 million in 2012. It was the most successful racing game of the classic era, spawning ports, sequels, and a Saturday morning cartoon. The game established the conventions of the racing game genre and its success inspired numerous imitators. Pole Position is thus regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time and "arguably the most important racing game ever made."

In this game, the player controls a Formula One race car. The player completes a time trial lap within a certain amount of time to qualify for an F1 race at the Fuji Racetrack. After qualifying, the player races against other cars in a championship race..

Pole Position was the first racing video game to feature a track based on a real racing circuit. It was also the first game to feature a qualifying lap, requiring the player to complete a time trial before they can compete in Grand Prix races. Once the player has qualified, they must complete the race in the time allowed, avoiding collisions with CPU-controlled opponents and objects along the sides of the track. The game's publisher Atari publicized the game for its "unbelievable driving realism" in providing a Formula 1 experience behind a racing wheel.The game's graphics featured full-colour landscapes with scaling sprites, including race cars and other signs, and a perspective view of the track, with its vanishing point swaying side to side as the player approaches corners, accurately simulating forward movement into the distance.
Pole Position

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Contenu de la ROM :


  • maincpu M6809 (@ 1 Mhz)
  • DAC
  • AY-3-8912A (@ 1 Mhz)
  • Orientation Tate
  • Résolution 0 x 0
  • Fréquence 60 Hz
  • Nombre de joueurs 2
  • Nombre de boutons 5
  • Type de contrôle
    1. stick
    2. stick
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Screenshots de Pole Position

Pole Position - Screen 1
Pole Position - Screen 2
Pole Position - Screen 3
Pole Position - Screen 4
Pole Position - Screen 5

Les clones de Pole Position


For release in the United States, Namco approached Bally Midway with a choice of two games in 1982. Bally Midway chose Mappy while Atari was left to publish Pole Position, which turned out to be the most popular game of 1983.


The game was an early example of product placement within a video game, with billboards around the track advertising actual companies. However, some billboards were specific to the two versions such as Pepsi and Canon in the Japanese version, or 7-Eleven, Dentyne, or Centipede in the Atari version, which replaced such billboards as that of Marlboro and Martini & Rossi, who although were prominent motorsport sponsors at the time, would be found inappropriate in the American market for a game aimed towards children. Other billboards did appear in both versions.

Reception and legacy


Pole Position was ported to a number of home computers and consoles by Atarisoft in the early 1980s. In the mid-1990s Pole Position made a comeback on Windows PCs when it was included as part of Microsoft Return of Arcade. It later appeared on the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast systems in a game collection named Namco Museum. Since then, Pole Position has been included in most Namco Museum releases, such as on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Xbox. Fuji Speedway was renamed Namco Speedway in the Museum releases and the Plug and Play versions except Namco Museum Virtual Arcade which renamed it Blue Speedway and the 2004 JAKKS NAMCO MS. PAC-MAN (plug-n-play game) that includes 5 games where it's listed as "Pole Position"

A Pole Position (Puffer Version) was created—but not published— that used the Puffer exercise bike controller.

A version of Pole Position was released for iPod on January 21, 2008. On September 14, 2008, a version of Pole Position was released for iOS devices called Pole Position: Remix. The game features upgraded graphics and several different control methods, but remains similar in content to the original. The version of Pole Position also has tracks from Pole Position II and new track called Misaki Point.


Pole Position II was released in 1983, and adding three additional courses along with the original Fuji track. It features slightly improved graphics, as well as a different starting tune.

While many considered the three-screened racer TX-1, released in 1984 by Atari and designed by Tatsumi to be a sequel to Pole Position II, the true sequel arrived in 1987 with the release of Final Lap, which may be considered an unofficial Pole Position III.Final Lap itself spawned a racing-RPG spin-off for the TurboGrafx-16 video game console called Final Lap Twin in 1989.

There is also Pole Position Remix for iPod and iPhone which has updated graphics, music, and all of the courses for Pole Position II plus a new course.

Other media

The title spawned a cartoon of the same name, despite there being very little in common between the two.

Pole Position is played by the characters Daryl and Turtle in the motion picture "D.A.R.Y.L. and is one of the first times in the film where Daryl—a seemingly normal boy who is actually an android—displays some of his super-human abilities by earning an amazingly high score in the game.
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