Remember the 1990s? Because Sega sure does. Sega recently announced that their old Daytona racing series would be returning to arcades – yeah, arcades still exist – for the first time in nearly two decades.
Now we have some footage of the game in action thanks to Polygon and the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, Florida.
Back when us old kids were first getting into video games, a perfect arcade port was one of the holy grails of gaming. While we played games like Street Fighter II Turbo, a serviceable but still very different experience from the arcade, the few with deep wallets had NeoGeo consoles. They looked absolutely gorgeous, and the NeoGeo cost something like $600 even from used game shops. Some years later, when the Dreamcast hit, Soul Calibur was considered a near-perfect arcade port. Shortly after, the internet became a thing, consoles became leaps and bounds more powerful, and arcade culture quickly started to die off. The idea of an arcade port disappeared completely.
Well, that wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
I tell you all that because Daytona 3 Championship USA looks like a pile of junk, and the idea of an arcade port being out of reach of game consoles is laughable. But then, that might be just what fans of the series ordered. Everything from the bright world to cheesy music smacks of old-school arcade racing. This is nostalgia made physical. With that said, an arcade cabinet’s job is to attract people to it. That video sequence that plays when no one is using an arcade game is even called attract mode. I’m not sure how many plays a dated-looking game like this one is going to pull in.
Daytona 3 Championship USA features three new tracks and recreations of the original three from the old games. The cabinets also feature live face cameras that let you see your opponents as you race. If we manage to find one in the wild someday, we’ll tell you all about it. This is an arcade-only title, though, so don’t expect to see it on consoles or Steam.