Atari 2600 Plus

Pac Man’s Track-Scorching Sibling? “Pole Position” is compatible with the Atari 2600 Plus

Blockbuster racing sims are now more popular than ever, with competitors forming massive leagues and competing for cash. Even professional drivers use these very cool tools to hone their skills. These methods of practicing are very complex and modern, and don’t overlook a single feature. Pole Position featured on Atari 2600 Plus provides a visit to a simpler and easier time

“Pole Position” is Compatible With the Atari 2600 Plus 

The Atari 2600 Plus will bring the nostalgia of the 80s to living rooms nationwide. It comes preloaded with ten fun classics for direct plug-and-play action. Since it is also compatible with nearly all of the original cartridges, it’s time to look through the attic for one of our favorites! “Pole Positionis one of the famed titles responsible for the driving game phenomenon. 

The Cruise-Lover’s Cabinet of Choice:

As eager youth with handfuls of quarters jammed arcades worldwide, there were a few tried-and-true favorites. Titles are disputed among various publications for the highest-grossing game in 1983. Along with Ms Pacman, Pole Position resided at the top of the joystick-touting food chain. It nabbed a staggering $9.5 million in quarters every week! This simple yet appealing rendering of the Fuji Raceway was quite iconic in allowing players to experience the thrill of the track.

Home versions of the game were not quite as graphically sophisticated. The thrill of owning a cartridge to play for hours still appealed to hundreds of thousands. Pole Position was launched two years after the lovable and pellet-chomping Pac-Man. Tesla owners enjoyed access to Pole Position on their screens for a short time in 2018. Since the Namco namesake still exists, the rights were not properly secured.

“Not Xbox 360, but Still Very Rad”: Stepping up to the 7800

If you have spent a few awesome hours enjoying the original, there’s another great game to hunt for while you’re at it! The Atari 2600 Plus also is compatible with 7800 cartridges. The Car and Driver staff confirmed this week that the Pole Position II cartridge from the 7800 does work in this system as well. The graphics are beefed up a bit, and there are a total of 3 additional circuits to try your hand at.

The 7800 boasted nearly the processing speed of the original Nintendo system released in 1986. However, the release of games was too slow to generate sufficient interest. The 7800 is hailed by retro fans for its capability, but it unfortunately suffered a vital year of lag. It was supposed to be released in 1985., A right-payout battle then ensued involving its primary developer.  

Early Computer Chips + Primed Checkered Flags:

Pole Position began its pavement-rich journey by first becoming the highest-grossing game in Japan. The year was then 1982, and players were also loving classics such as Dig Dug and Donkey Kong. Pole Position was so popular that a Saturday morning cartoon was created in its likeness! After completing a qualifying run, you then get to race against 7 other drivers on the famous Fuji racetrack.

Atari had claimed in advertisements that the game featured an amazing sense of realism. Many avid players’ first impression of Pole Position was that it was great at simulating forward movement into the distance. Two 16-bit processors were needed to take on this then-daunting game engineering challenge. This is also a very well-rendered example of product placement within a video game. As you are racing by, billboards from various companies are visible in this early “virtual raceway.”

What are Some Other Sweet Driving Games From the 80s?

Pole Position was billed as “The most important driving game” of the time because it achieved so many firsts in the genre. After it set the tone for games to come, many other awesome titles hit the arcades. Out Run was made by Sega and offered a then-mind-blowing 3D landscape. (Who doesn’t want to cruise in a red car with a beautiful woman?) Super Sprint was incredibly engrossing for a game that offered just a stationary overhead view. 

Super Hang-On was a wildly popular game by Sega that used a simulated motorcycle cabinet. With 14 challenging courses, it was a groundbreaking game allowing for many different choices. Roadblasters was a thrilling Sega classic that was excellent at introducing the element of combat to racing. Super Off Road was easily one of the most addictive multiplayer titles ever. Here you can add nitrous and other “power boosts” to your truck after claiming the win. 

Why are Players so Obsessed With Retro Games?

As anyone confirms their dreaded entry into adulthood, they realize the hefty amount of responsibilities heaped on them. Opening a new console on Christmas during the 80s was simply epic! The look and the feel of retro games are a bit simpler and comforting. These delightful and warm games evoke a sense of nostalgia that resonates like a classic Coke or old-school Pizza Hut tablecloth!

What are Your Thoughts on This Lead-Footed Classic?

Have you ever sat down at your favorite console and played Pole Position? Or, is it a bit dated for your style? It holds quite a draw for a large percentage of players, but we understand if you need the sharpest graphics around to be entertained. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or check out another article about some of the best video games to play in the car.

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Jon Weirman
I am a freelance writer in the Midwest who specializes in vehicles built for expert-level off-roading, and anything with a staggering amount of horsepower. In my first life I worked in broadcasting for Starz Network and Discovery Channel. I also love retro video games and sci-fi movies. Everything from the loud and burly muscle cars of the late 1970s to new crossover SUVs with futuristic tech features have populated my inbox!

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