Virtua Formula

From Sega Retro


Virtua Formula
System(s): Sega Model 1
Genre: Racing

Number of players: 1-4
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade (Model 1)
¥? ?
Arcade (Model 1)
$? ?
Arcade (Model 1)
£250,000 ?

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Virtua Formula (バーチャフォーミュラ) is an expanded version of the 1992 Sega Model 1 arcade game, Virtua Racing.


Virtua Formula consists of a much larger setup to standard editions of Virtua Racing, where players are seated in life-size car-shaped cabinets, watching large screens and racing against nearby players. At the time of release, it was one of the most complex racing configurations ever seen in an arcade environment, and would go on to inspire several other "bigger" adaptions of Sega racers,

Virtua Formula comes in four-player and eight-player variants; though theoretically any number between two and eight cabinets can be linked together (and indeed, one cabinet can act as a (costly) single-player experience). A further Model 1 board is used to drive a screen for spectators, showing the action from different camera angles. Extra stand-alone lights can also be linked up to show the start of a race. There is also a pseudo-commentary by "Virt McPolygon", although this essentially consists of an animated 3D model with text sometimes reflecting what is happening in the race.

From a gameplay front, however, Virtua Formula is identical to Virtua Racing, although eight possible cabinets means eight possible colours for the player's vehicle. Attract sequences are completely different in Virtua Formula and can span multiple screens.



The 4-player Virtua Formula deluxe cabinet cost £250,000 for arcade operators, and £3 per play for players.More...[2]


Virtua Formula cabinets are rare, not just because as medium-scale attractions they typically require more space than the average arcade cabinet, but because as technology improved over the course of the 1990s, Virtua Formula cabinets became less desirable (particularly when compared to the eight-player Daytona USA setups).

Many Virtua Formula cabinets were later converted into eight-player Indy 500 ones.

Photo gallery


Virtua Racing series of games
Virtua Racing (1992) | Virtua Formula (1993)
Sega Mega Drive
Virtua Racing (1994)
Sega 32X
Virtua Racing Deluxe (1994)
Sega Saturn
Time Warner Interactive's VR Virtua Racing (1995)
Sony PlayStation 2
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 8: Virtua Racing FlatOut (2004)
Nintendo Switch
Sega Ages Virtua Racing (2019)
Virtua Racing related media
Virtua Racing & OutRunners (1993) | Yu Suzuki Produce G-LOC/R360/Virtua Racing (1998)
Virtua Racing: Official Racing Guide (1994) | Virtua Racing Hisshou Kouryaku-hou (199x)