For generations, the only way to get your name into a Star Wars arcade game was through hard work and high scoring. The Empire Strikes Back pinball machine was an elegant machine and the eighties were a simpler time. As of next month, anyone willing to pony up 394,400 quarters for a 360-degree, virtual Star Wars “Battle Pod” can have their name roll with the credits.
The standard edition pod will run rebel scum $37,800 while the special edition will cost a Hut's ransom of $98,600. Both versions feature a panoramic dome screen, 5.1 channel surround sound, and a vibrating seat, but only the upgraded version has leather cushions and customized credits.
“We are not sure if this is the first time, but it is definitely rare that our game, developed for use at arcades, goes on sale for private customers,” a spokesman for Bandai Namco, the manufacturer, told the Wall Street Journal.
The pod continues the franchises long tradition of putting players in the pilot’s seat of a cabinet shooter game. Just like the original 1983 Star Wars arcade release, the pod simulates space battles against the dark forces of the Empire. However, the new game lets you cycle through multiple characters and ships from Luke in his X-Wing to a young Lando Calrisian captaining the Millennium Falcon.
The game has been out since January, and while reviews have praised it as a thrill ride worthy of a theme park, the $3 entry fee is giving over-caffeinated kids pause. Apparently they think that's a lot of money.