With 3D TV still seen as not much more than a gimmick by the majority of consumers and a lack of content available for anything other than computer animated features and the odd sporting event, 3D gaming might be the best hope for getting people to embrace the technology. The sense of immersion offered by 3D games highlights the strengths of the technology so it isn’t surprising to see arcade machine makers bring the current generation of 3D technology into arcades to suck the coins from gamers’ pockets. Konami’s Road Fighters 3D racing game is one such machine that is already hitting arcades across Japan.

Whereas cinemas hand out reusable 3D glasses for moviegoers to enjoy 3D features that are cleaned between uses, the Road Fighters machine employs a pair of 3D glasses mounted on a swing arm for players to look through without actually “wearing” them. There’s even a second set of 3D lenses embedded in the rear of the player’s seat for interested spectators to look through and get the 3D effect. The 3D effect can also be switched off and the 3D glasses moved out of the way so players can play in regular old 2D.

In addition to a four-player co-op mode, Road Fighters also features an online multiplayer mode that lets players across the country go head to head in online tournaments. Cars included in the game include the Lancer Evolution X GRS, Audi R8, Nissan GT-R SpecV, Ford GT and MBW Mini Cooper.

Road Fighters isn’t the first 3D arcade game from Konami, which released Metal Gear Arcade 3D in Japanese arcades earlier this year. In addition to being in 3D, that game also featured head controls courtesy of a head mounted sensor that translates head movements to the game in order to let players look around.

No word on whether Road Fighters will make it to arcades outside Japan but if it does it will no doubt cost quite a bit more than the quarter required by such machines back when I was frequenting arcades in the 80's.

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