Pole Position may return with the Ataribox

Car Culture

Classic racing game Pole Position could find its way back onto our screens with Atari’s new console

Longstanding developer Atari is releasing a new console, the Ataribox, and that could herald the return of formative racing game Pole Position.

Released in 1982, Pole Position became the highest-grossing racing game in North America, with 21,000 arcade cabinets sold, each grossing £360 per week within a year of its release.

Seen as the forerunner to many of the latest racing games, Pole Position gained glowing reviews from critics, with realistic (for the time) full-colour graphics. The player would drive a Formula 1 car on Fuji, in either a time-trial or race mode against the computer. It was also one of the first games to feature product placement, though Martini and Marlboro wouldn’t go on to feature in the North American release. 

While the Ataribox is a fully fledged, modern console, it will launch with a host of classic games which will be revealed at a later date, and here’s hoping Pole Position will be included.

“With Ataribox, we wanted to create an open system, a killer product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible. Atari games and content will be available as well as games and content from other providers,” said Fred Chesnais, Atari CEO. “We also wanted to launch Ataribox with our community, and reward our fans with exclusive early access, special editions, and include them as active participants in the product rollout.”

“People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Ataribox is an open system, and while our user interface will be easy to use, people will also be free to access and customize the underlying OS,” added Feargal Mac, Atari general manager.

The console’s open-source nature means that even if Pole Position doesn’t feature at launch, it could be ported onto the console on a later date. Pre-orders for the Ataribox will start soon, at around £190, on Indiegogo.

Related: If we made gaming wheels…

You may also like