Sega Accidentally Releases “Daytona USA 3” For Free

Sega Accidentally Releases “Daytona USA 3” For Free

by January 4, 2018

That’s A Big “Patch”

You may remember that last year, Sega formally announced “Daytona Championship USA” — or more collectively known simply as “Daytona USA 3.”

The game remakes content from the original 1993 Daytona USA with remastered visuals along side new tracks and vehicles, and it’s exclusive to arcades.

Or, well, it was exclusive to arcades. Daytona Championship USA runs on the “Ring” arcade hardware, which is little more than just a Windows PC bolted to the inside of a cabinet. That in itself wouldn’t really be that important, as Windows-based arcade cabinets have existed since the Taito “Type X” days nearly 15 years ago. But there’s always a twist.

It’s not uncommon for arcade machines to require some sort of update, either to fix bugs or add new features. In the old days, you’d be shipped physical microchips containing the updated ROM (the game data) and you’d have to pop the old chips off the motherboard and connect the new ones. With the advent of modern technology and now Windows-based arcade machines, updating a game to the latest version is as simple as downloading files from a website and running the installer, like any other piece of desktop software.

Which is where things have gotten hairy for Daytona Championship USA. As of this writing, anyone can visit Sega’s official arcade operator website and download a 3.8 gigabyte “update” for Daytona that actually appears to contain the full, complete game. For free.

And since the “Ring” arcade hardware is just a Windows PC, well… I’m sure you can put two and two together. Now, as some have figured out, it’s not quite as simple as just running the installer. “Ring” may just be a Windows PC, but it’s a very specific type of Windows PC. Most PC games are written with compatibility for a wide range of different system configurations, but Daytona Championship USA seems to be looking for specific hardware, meaning some users with incorrect setups are straight up out of luck.

An extra wrinkle in all of this is that even once the game is installed, it is looking for specific configuration files and a folder structure that must be matched exactly or else the game won’t boot, and all of that must be set up manually. The final layer of difficulty has to do with the game’s controls. Daytona is likely looking for a specialized driving wheel and pedal setup, one you can only find in the real arcade cabinet. Without those, even if you manage to load into a race, your vehicle will be unresponsive.

With all of those roadblocks in the way, users in an arcade-focused community have conspired to get the game working on a standard Xbox-360-compatible controller. After more than a week of research into how the game handles input, a patch was produced today that finally renders the game fully controllable without needing to own an expensive arcade cabinet. However, it is TSSZ policy not to link to areas that could be perceived to promote piracy — despite Sega’s link distributing Daytona remaining active as of the time of this article’s publication (please view our site policies section for more information on the handling of sensitive materials such as these). Still, TSSZ can confirm other members of that forum have successfully applied the patch and can control Daytona Championship USA on their PCs using third-party controllers.

It may not be totally user-friendly to get Daytona Championship USA up and running on a standard Windows PC, but it’s easy enough that maybe Sega should think about altering how they distribute this patch.