Pole Position Atari 2600
Image: Atari

Hamster Corp has announced that Namco's influential arcade racer Pole Position will be heading to the Nintendo Switch & PS4 on July 6th as part of Arcade Archives (thanks Gosokkyu!).

Originally released in arcades in 1982, Pole Position was a formula-one-themed game that took inspiration from the company's previous electro-mechanical machines like 1976's F-1 (which featured small plastic cars racing around a miniature course). It was created by the Galaxian designer Kazunori Sawano, fellow Namco designer Shinichiro Okamoto, and Sho Osugi (who actually worked on many of Namco's electro-mechanical machines from the 1970s). It also notably took advantage of a (then) revolutionary 16-bit Z8000 CPU, which helped it achieve its incredible graphics.

When it launched, Pole Position was one of the first-ever racing games to use a third-person perspective and had its players physically step behind the wheel inside a cockpit at their local arcade to control the vehicle onscreen. It also famously featured some of the earliest examples of real-world advertising, with people being able to spot billboards promoting Pepsi, Canon cameras, and Marlboro cigarettes, alongside many other non-fictional products.

The game was a tremendous hit in both Japan and the West upon release and later spawned a sequel called Pole Position II in 1983, as well as a large number of ports for home computers and consoles over the years, and even an animated TV show in 1984.

If you want to pick the game up, you should head over to the Nintendo Switch eShop or PlayStation store on July 6th.

[source twitter.com]