Long before they became a platform-agnostic third party, Sega was a powerhouse arcade racing game developer with a string of classic titles: Outrun, Virtua Racing, Sega Rally, and more. Now, one of the true jewels in Sega’s arcade racing crown appears ready to make the trip to current home consoles. Daytona USA has been assigned a “G” rating by the Austrailian Ratings Board, most likely in advance of a digital release on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.

Daytona USA, like Virtua Racing before it, was developed by the legendary AM2 under the leadership of Yu Suzuki, arguably Sega’s greatest game designer. Versions of the game appeared both on Sega’s ill-fated Saturn and fondly-remembered Dreamcast. Indeed, the major question surrounding a contemporary re-release of Daytona USA is: which version of the game will it be? A straight port of the arcade original would certainly earn nostalgia points, though it may prove to be too light on content for today’s console gamers.

Given Sega’s recent propensity for releasing both downloadable (Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi) and disc-based (The Dreamcast Collection) versions of its Dreamcast titles, the expanded Dreamcast iteration of Daytona USA stands out as the most likely candidate. The Dreamcast game, incidentally, supported online play — a feature that would be most welcome in whatever version of Daytona USA Sega has in store for us.

The Australian Ratings Board entry for the game lists its version simply as “original.”  That would seem to preclude both the kind of HD updating lavished on Outrun Online Arcade and the built-from-the-ground-up approach used for the recent Sega Rally Online Arcade.

So far, Sega hasn’t said a word about its intentions for Daytona USA, though with the Australian Ratings Board info out and about, look for that to change soon. It’s shaping up to be a great Fall for Sega, particularly thanks to the fantastic-looking Sonic Generations. Adding some classic arcade racing to their holiday lineup can only make things that much better.

Ranters, what would you want from a re-release of Daytona USA — HD graphics? Online play? Let us know in the comments below.

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Source: Australian Ratings Board

tags: PS3, PSN, Sega, Xbox, Xbox Live