Pole position (computer game)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pole position
Pole position arcade flickr.jpg
Studio Namco
Publisher Namco
genre Racing simulation
Game mode 1 player
control Steering wheel, 2 gears, pedals
casing Standard and Sit-In
Arcade system Main CPU : Z80 (@ 3.072 MHz)
Sound CPU: 2 × Z8002 (@ 3.072 MHz)
Sound chips: Namco, Namco 52xx, Namco 54xx, Custom, Samples
monitor Raster resolution 256 × 224 (4: 3 horizontal) Color palette: 128
information 1. realistic car racing
Illustration of the complete arcade machine from Pole Position (standard version)
Pole position sit-in version (right) with Sega Line of Fire

Pole Position is a computer or arcade game that represents a racing simulation . In 1982 it was developed by Namco , the Pac-Man development studio . There were u. a. Ports for Atari 2600 , Atari 5200 , Atari XL / XE , C64 and Vectrex .

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

Game flow

The only track in the game is Fuji Speedway in Japan. First there is a female voice: Prepare to qualify (in the original version in Japanese). If the player makes the qualifying round in a certain time, he will go to the main race. There are a total of eight starting positions. The pole position is best (right at the front). There are two different gears (low and high). Beginners often confused these because the first course sounded louder. Is not switched in time, e.g. B. after an accident or before bends, you often exceed the (adjustable) time. There are also puddles of oil on the street that slow down a bit. Screeching tires can be heard when the steering wheel is turned violently.

The game was named " Arcade game of the year " in 1983 and the most successful game of 1983.

The Namco and Atari versions mainly differ in the type of advertising posters on the roadside. Pole Position was the first game with advertising within the game and the first to use a real race track.


The arcade version is available as a normal stand version and as a sit-in version for sitting down. The latter also has a brake pedal.

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

The road information is stored in three ROMs . The advertising posters are only stored in one size, zooming in is calculated mathematically. The street is only in the lower half of the screen and is created line by line (horizontally).


The first predecessor was the F-1 projection system from Atari (1976). In the same year the game Night Driver , also by Atari, appeared, which ran on a screen. This was black and white and there were only bars on the left and right as road boundaries. In return, however, it conveyed a real driving experience (mainly because of the existing curves).


The next big leap in development was Out Run ( Sega , 1986).

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

In April 2010, Pole Position 2010 by the publisher Kalypso Media appeared , which, however, cannot be compared graphically and additionally contains manager elements. This is the successor of the game Pole Position of Ascaron from the year 1996th



  1. van Burnam, Supercade S. 307
  2. Automobilemag.com / Game Informer magazine
  3. ^ Matt Fox, The Video Games Guide p. 318

Web links