Virtua Racing was released in October 1992 in Japan.
Sega went to General Electric Aerospace (who made the first 3-D simulators for NASA in the 1960s) in 1991-92 for assistance to develop a CG platform architecture for their new experimental 3-D system, which later became known as the Sega Model 1 hardware. Virtua Racer was the game being written to find out how viable hardware 3-D games were, it was never designed to be released, but it was such a success internally they decided to actually release it.
The first AM-2 polygon race game. The game features many epoch-making ideas : changing the point of view freely, feeling the hardness of the steering, the seat interacting with the gravity.
In true Sega fashion, their 'Virtua' prefix was used on a variety of other products such as "Virtua Fighter
", "Virtua Cop
", "Virtua Striker
" and "Virtua Tennis".
Toshiba EMI released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Virtua Racing & Out Runners - TYCY-5365, 5366) on 15/12/1993.
Michael Jackson used to own this game (Wide Vision model, serial number: 00461579). It was sold at the official Michael Jackson Auction on Apr. 24th, 2009.