Happy Back To the Future Day – a day where we look at the present with more nostalgia for the 80s, when the ambition was more ‘a spaceship in every home’ than ‘a computer in every pocket’ (although the latter was on the minds of some engineers). Funny how that works.
Speaking of the 80s, that was a time when arcades were still busy experimenting with radical new ideas, particularly when it came to simulating a real world activity. Yes this had been done to a lesser extent in the 70s but when millions played games like Atari Games’ Hard Drivin and the sequels, that led to a flurry of developments in the simulator/entertainment field. Beyond Atari, companies like Taito, Namco, Konami and Sega all created simulators, a trend that continued into the 90s. In the past 15 years, that had diminished but it didn’t completely disappear.
Enter a new development by Bandai Namco Amusements called Real Drive. Using their dome screen technology that has proven popular in games from Gundam to Mach Storm to the Star Wars Battle Pod, this is the first time I have seen them combine the dome screen with a racing/driving style game. It was officially unveiled this week as a part of the Tokyo Motor Show (pretty good venue for debuting a simulator) and as you can tell from the photo below, it also features a motion seat:
Always hard to tell from a still shot but the graphics also look pretty good:
UPDATE: Here’s a picture of the game from inside the cabinet:
I have been describing Star Wars Battle Pod as a Star Wars or an X-Wing simulator to people that ask about “what the game is like” so with Real Drive it shouldn’t be difficult to get the point across. Whether or not this will be made available for Western audiences remains to be seen but given the push to provide FECs with top-of-the-line content, I would not be surprised if this shows up at a Dave & Busters or Round1USA sometime next year. It would be a nice surprise to find at IAAPA 2015 which is less than a month from now.
What are your thoughts about this?