Like every year, fans and gamers are delighted to see the new innovations from the gaming world at the E3 conference. This year we've seen a lot of big announcements from both Sony and Nintendo that got us all excited to get the games in our hands as quickly as possible! One of Nintendo's best announcements was a sequel to their first series now titled Super Mario Galaxy 2 Wii! After the huge s...
Since the earliest video games, one of the most popular genres has always been driving simulation. Atari’s Night Driver, released in the late ’70s was the first driving game, although in reality they were nothing more than white poles on the screen to indicate the edge of the road.
It wasn’t until 1983 that the first real driving game hit the arcades, it came from Atari again and this time it was the mighty Pole Position. Although incredibly simplistic by today’s standards, it set the trend for the flourishing of arcade and home computer games for the next 2 decades.
As technologies improved, game developers took advantage of them, and the slow but steady improvement of the driving genre could be seen year after year. In 1986, Sega released a game that quickly became a classic, both for the soundtrack and the game itself, and is still fondly remembered by players today – that game was Outrun. With Outrun the cars started to look like real cars, there were multiple levels and semi-realistic settings. The opposition cars were rude as expected, and the game was a massive success.
The genre continued to advance. The graphics were improved and the change from 2 dimensions to 3 dimensions allowed for more realism and cars that seemed to work as they do in the real world. Throughout the 1990s, a plethora of arcade releases took the driving game to new heights. Notable releases like Sega’s Virtua Driving and Sega Rally, and Namco’s Ridge Racer drew huge crowds and sucked up millions of teenage pocket money.
In domestic systems, the genre was equally popular. Titles like Sega Rally and Ridge Racer carried over from the arcades, but home systems allowed designers to develop games in more depth. While in the game room, a player can only play one game for 2-3 minutes, at home they can play for several hours at a time. This led to the development of games with many more tracks, “race” modes, and unlockable game features.
Notable games on home systems include the Gran Turismo series, known for its incredible realism and attention to detail, the Wipeout series for taking up the concept of sci-fi racing, and of course Nintendo’s Mario Kart, which is widely considered one of the best games. of all time, and attracts almost all types of players.
With each new console, the driving genre evolves. Driving games are as popular today as ever, and can be found on all systems from PC to Xbox, from DS to Flash. Its appeal is universal, with men and women, old and young drawn to the experience of the driving game.