Well this is a pleasant surprise.
A couple of weeks ago, SEGA teased that Daytona USA is returning to arcades in a new sequel – the first game in the series since Daytona USA 2 hit arcades in 1999 (we're not counting the underwhelming Daytona USA 2001 on Dreamcast).
Revealed as Daytona 3 Championship USA (doesn't roll of the tongue as nicely as Daytona USA, does it?), the arcade-only sequel takes its cues from the 1994 original, adopting its trademark colourful aesthetic, six tracks including the classic Daytona International Speedway, a link up option for up to eight players and a Live TV option allowing onlookers to witness key moments from other player's races.
Today a work in progress version of of Daytona 3 Championship USA was shown for the first time at IAAPA – you can see the first footage of it in action in the official teaser trailer below.
Fans of the original will certainly find Daytona 3 Championship USA familar, with its SEGA-saturated colours, similar locations and of course that infectious theme tune. The main difference however is that the car models have been updated to resemble modern-day NASCAR machines.
Arcade Heroes went hands-on with Daytona 3 Championship USA, noting that it runs on PC hardware with improved lighting and reflections to meet modern-day standards and has a sequential shifter rather than a traditional gateshift like the original – this could change however as it's a pre-production cabinet.
Daytona 3 Championship USA will be launching in arcades next spring. Unfortunately there are currently no plans for a home console version, but if you can't wait until then you can always buy the HD PSN release of Daytona USA for £6.49 which was a surprisingly faithful port of the original.
Coincidentally, Alan recently stumbled across an old Daytona USA arcade cabinet on his travels which had probably seen better days.
Oh the memories – they don't make them like they used to.