Back in 1990, Namco had begun to dive into the development of 3D graphics and motion simulator technology. As their way of showing that they had the expertise to compete in these fields, they developed Galaxian 3. This was an early example of the 4D motion theater. The smaller “Theater 6” model did make it’s way to the West; a Dave & Busters I visited in South Florida had converted one over to a Beachhead (Nick at Arcade Hunters said it was probably Air Raid…my memory is fuzzy :P). But before the Theater 6 model there was a Japan-only Galaxian 3 ride. This was an impressive machine – it was built in a cylindrical room with a projected image that wrapped around the wall. Up to 28 players could ride at a time, blasting aliens to their leisure.
Since this exact ride was never released to the West (as far as I am aware), Western audiences don’t know much about it. Thanks to this new video produced by Bandai Namco, we get to see a little bit of “behind-the-scenes” from 1990. That includes the development studio and a glimpse at the enormous PCB cage that housed all of the game hardware. The cool space-themed entry that would have fit in with any amusement park as a ride.
It would be interesting to see Bandai Namco do a Galaxian 4 concept that uses newer technology to offer a motion theater for today. What do you think?