Initial D Racing Arcade Game Uses Real Car
Every once in a while, somebody comes up with a new way of playing video games that is so incredibly advanced and yet so obvious. Many have theorized that one of the reasons that the Wii has sold so well is because its joystick is less complicated than that of the XBox or Playstation models.
A pragmatic solution was applied to Initial D, an arcade game based on a popular manga/anime series from Japan. Initial D is a sit-down racing game, which is really nothing new to the arcade world, really. People have been playing sit-down racing games since the early eighties debuts of Turbo and Pole Position. Unlike other sit-down racing arcade games that usually only have a wheel, gas pedal, and a gearshift (if you’re lucky), the player actually sits down in a real car.
Actually, it isn’t a real car, but it is the frame of a real car mounted upon a motion simulator. This simulator is placed in front of 90 inch television screen, and you can cruise around on one of three different courses. Not only that, you can choose from three models of cars including the Suburu Impreza WRX, the Toyota GT-APEX, and the Mazda RX-7.
As far as I know, the Initial D arcade game is only available to play at SEGA Joypolis in Odaiba, or Tokyo. You will have to pay an equivalent of 5 US Dollars for the experience. Looks like as video games advance, so does their ability to take your money. Now, instead of heading to the arcade with a wad of quarters, you’ll need a wad of Lincolns.
Adding the actual care frame adds a sense of realism that you won’t get from other racing games. I imagine that the player feels like he or she is actually in a car. It kind of reminds me of that Disneyland ride Star Tours, where you are in a hydraulic space simulator, with a big screen to make you feel like you’re actually storming the Death Star.
I’m curious whether this technology will be applied to other types of video games as well. Could this type of tech be used to make a space simulator similar to Star Tours, but with a more interactive component? I would think we would have the technology to do that. If nothing else, maybe we could saw off the cockpit of an F-16 and place it in front of a huge screen for a very high-flying video game experience.
Well, you know if I’m dreaming these ideas up, then I’m sure somebody else most certainly is. Initial D is probably only the beginning of more realistic video game interactivity.
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