Pole Position [Upright model]

A 36-year-old Arcade Video Game by Atari, Inc.

Emulated in MAME !

Information for the following ROM(s): poleposa1 poleposa2


Pole Position © 1982 Atari, Incorporated.

Export version by Atari for North America. Game developed in Japan by Namco. For more information about the game itself, please see the original Japanese version entry.
Goodies for Pole Position [Upright model]
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[Upright model]
The upright version of Pole Position came in a standard Atari cabinet (similar to the "Asteroids"/"Lunar Lander" cabinet), with an altered control panel area. The side art consisted of red, white, blue, and grey striped paint job, with an Atari logo, and a square sticker showing a race scene. While the marquee had a Pole Position logo superimposed over a view of several race cars coming directly at you. The control panel was done up in the same colors as the side, and featured an analog steering wheel and a two-position shifter. The upright version had a gas pedal, but no brake pedal.


Pole Position was released in November 1982 in North America by Atari under license from Namco.

This game was one of the choices presented to Bally/Midway from Namco for sub-licensing. Bally/Midway chose Mappy while Atari was left with Pole Position. Pole Position went on to become the biggest game of 1983.

20,400 units were produced by Atari (17,250 Uprights and 3,150 Cockpits).

Differences between Namco and Atari versions :

* Non-Japanese versions contain an extra dip switch setting (Speed Unit) that allows the user to toggle between using the English system and the metric system to measure the distance of one lap around the track (as shown on the title screen) and the speed of the player's car (as shown on the upper-right corner of the screen during game play). The original Japanese version does not have this dip and uses the metric system only.

* On the title screen, the distance of one complete lap around the track is displayed. In non-Japanese versions, if the 'Speed Unit' dip is set to using the metric system (km/h), the distance is expressed in kilometers and thousandths of a kilometer ('1LAP 4.359 km'). If it is set to using the English system (mph) the distance is expressed in miles and thousandths of a mile ('1LAP 2.709mi.'). The Japanese version displays this distance in meters (1LAP 4539M).

* In the Atari version, at the start of the game, a blimp with the word 'Atari' carries a white banner with the words 'PREPARE TO QUALIFY' across the screen (A female announcer can be heard saying 'Prepare to qualify!' as the blimp and banner fly across the screen). In the Namco versions, a Goodyear blimp carries the message. In the world version, the message is displayed in a different font from the Atari version. In the Japanese version, the banner's message is in Japanese, and the voiceover announcer speaks in Japanese.

* If the racer qualifies in non-Japanese versions, the blimp will fly across the screen again, only this time carrying new white banner with the words 'PREPARE TO RACE'; also the announcer will say, 'Great driving. You qualified to race'.

* There are billboards for "Dig Dug", "Centipede", and Pole Position in the Atari versions and 'Pepsi', 'Marlboro', 'Martini', and 'Champion' in all Namco versions.

* When the player completes a lap, the sign above the cars at the start/finish line says "Fuji" in the Atari version and "Namco" in all Namco versions.
Goodies for Pole Position [Upright model]
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(members only)


[US] Atari 2600 (1983) "Pole Position [Model CX2694]"
[US] Atari 5200 (1983) "Pole Position [Model CX5217]"
Atari XEGS
[US] GCE Vectrex (1983) "Pole Position [Model 3206]"
[US] Mattel Intellivision (1988) "Pole Position [Model 9004]"
[US] Sony PlayStation (jul.31, 1996) "Namco Museum Vol.1 [Model SLUS-00215]"
[US] Nintendo 64 (oct.31, 1999) "Namco Museum 64 [Model NUS-NNME-USA]"
[US] Sega Dreamcast (june.25, 2000) "Namco Museum [Model T-1403N]"
[US] Sony PS2 (dec.4, 2001) "Namco Museum [Model SLUS-20273]"
[US] Microsoft XBOX (oct.9, 2002) "Namco Museum"
[US] Nintendo GameCube (oct.9, 2002) "Namco Museum [Model DOL-GNME-USA]"
[US] Microsoft XBOX (aug.30, 2005) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary [Model NMO-2201A-NM]"
[US] Nintendo GameCube (aug.30, 2005) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary [Model DOL-G5NE-USA]"
[US] Sony PS2 (aug.30, 2005) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary [Model SLUS-21164]"
Microsoft XBOX 360 [US] (nov.4, 2008) "Namco Museum - Virtual Arcade [Model 21022]"

[US] Nintendo GBA (june.10, 2001) "Namco Museum [Model AGB-ANME-USA]"

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A [US] (1982) "Pole Position [Model RX8534]"
[US] Atari 800 (1983) "Pole Position [Model RX8034]"
Commodore VIC-20 [US] (1983)
[US] Commodore C64 (1984) "Pole Position [Model RX8536]"
PC [MS-DOS] [US] (1986) by Datasoft
PC [MS Windows, 3.5"] [US] (mar.31, 1996) "Microsoft Return of Arcade"
[US] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2000) "Microsoft Return of Arcade Anniversary Edition"
[US] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (oct.25, 2005) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary"

Ms. Pac-Man TV Game [US] (2004) by Jakks Pacific
Ms. Pac-Man TV Game Wireless Version [US] (2005) by Jakks Pacific
Apple iPhone/iPod [US] (2008) "Pole Position Remix [Model 290895945]" : Features updated graphics, music, and all of the tracks from "Pole Position II", plus a new track.
Retro Arcade featuring Pac-Man [US] (2008) by Jakks Pacific

Game's ROM.