Pole Position (video game)

Pole Position is a computer or arcade game, which is a racing simulation. 1982, developed by Namco, the creator of Pac -Man. There was, inter alia ports for Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari XL / XE, C64 and Vectrex.

Pole Position was the first realistic racing simulation with 3D graphics.

Game play

The only section of the game is the Fuji Speedway in Japan. Preliminary, there is a female voice: Prepare to Qualify ( in the original version in Japanese). If the player manages the qualification round in a certain time, he comes into the main race. There are a total of eight starting positions. The best is the pole position ( at the front ). There are two different gears ( low and high ). Beginners often mistook this as the first course sounded louder. If not connected in time, such as after an accident or before curves, one often exceeds the ( adjustable ) time. On the road there are also oil puddles, slow down a bit. In case of heavy steering movements sound screeching tires; emulations but this could not be implemented due to a lack of chips, as well as lack of explosion noises.

The game was in 1983 referred to as " arcade game of the year" and as the most successful game of the year 1983.

The Namco and Atari version differ mainly in the type of advertising posters on the roadside. Pole Position was the first game with advertising within the game and the first that uses a real existing track.


The arcade version is available as a stand- normal version and a sit-in version for placing therein. The latter has an additional brake pedal.

A main processor (CPU ) of the Zilog Z80 is used. The stereo sound is reproduced by a 6-channel sound chip from Namco, which is controlled by two Zilog Z8002 processors.

The road information is stored in the three ROMs. The promotional posters are stored in only one size, the Zoom is calculated mathematically. The road is located only in the lower half of the screen and line by line (horizontal) created.


Predecessors first projection system F-1 by Atari (1976). In the same year the game Night Driver appeared, also by Atari, which ran on a screen. This was black and white and there was a road limitations only bars left and right. For this, however, it switched ( primarily because of existing curves ) a real driving experience.


  • Pole Position II ( 1984)
  • Final Lap (1987 )
  • TX -1 ( Tatsumi, 1984) has 3 screens that slightly angled next to each other are. Sit -in version ( See also Buggy Boy)
  • TX -1 V8

The next major development was jump Out Run ( Sega, 1986).

Pole Position II also offers slightly improved graphics ( background objects, archways and crash animation), and four different routes to choose from.

Appeared Pole Position 2010 publisher Kalypso Media, which however can not be compared graphically and in addition contains elements Manager in April 2010. This is the successor of the game pole position by Ascaron from the year 1996.


  • Atari 2600 and 7800
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 400/800/XL/XE
  • Commodore 64
  • DOS
  • Intellivision
  • TI-99/4A
  • Vectrex
  • VC 20
  • ZX Spectrum
  • As part of Namco Museum for Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PS2, X-Box and PC Windows
  • On the Ipod Classic 5G
  • On the iPhone and iPod