Initial D racing simulator uses real cars

Initial D, a popular manga/anime series from Japan, is bringing the world of illegal Japanese street racing into arcades — and in no small way. Instead of the usual wheel-and-pedal setup most racing arcade games use today, Initial D employs three full-body cars mounted on a motion simulator: a Mazda RX-7, a Toyota GT-APEX and a Subaru Impreza WRX. For the equivalent of $5, players can go head-to-head with one another on three different courses. Sure, $5 is a bit more than you should expect to pay for Street Fighter II Turbo, but for a full simulator like Initial D you can't really complain.

The game is playable at Sega's Joyopolis in Odaiba, Tokyo. The fight to keep arcade entertainment relevant isn't as heated in Japan, where arcades are still wildly popular, as it is in the States. The fanfare of the Initial D racing simulator's setup might just justify leaving our quad-core gaming rigs and next-gen consoles behind and hopping on the next flight over the Pacific.

Q-Taro, via Oh Gizmo!