As a person who games, I am always in for enhancing the way I play. That is why whenever we get any fancy new headset, mouse, keyboard, or even a mouse pad, I am on it and probably get myself involved in a review.
Gaming chairs also have been of particular interest of mine, but since we have never got one for review, and its price and the possible inconvenience of bringing it home always discouraged me to get one.
When Geekay Games trollied in 4Gamers’ new Interactive Gaming Chair (IGC), I knew I had to get a look. I had seen it demoed around local events like GAMES12, and on paper the IGC’s 2.1 stereo system, rumble support, provisions for USB, and all the neat little bells and whistles around it looked rather impressive. Here’s what I think about it after using it extensively.
The Interactive Gaming Chair is more of a seat than a proper chair. It is expected to be used with a setup that’s on a lower platform, so keeping in mind your own setup to maintain a comfortable level is important.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="This is a PR shot. I in no way look like Chris Hemsworth look-a-like."]
Shaped like someone gave the letter ‘C’ an uppercut, the IGC is designed to be a cradle that you just plop yourself in and ease into it. You can rock a little but not too much before it starts to creak and you dangerously hover on the potential of breaking the fancy quad motor vibration system (QMVS) beneath you.
It’s covered in thin layers of soft velour cloth and leatherette fabrics, and its black styling is supposed to match that of the PlayStation 3 (it also bears the logo of it on the headrest). But thanks to the red piping and general inviting look, the IGC doesn’t look too ‘branded’ or ‘focused’ and goes pretty well with a nice gaming setup (which I am assuming is black…what else could it be?).
Being a gaming chair, 4Gamers has provided enough provisions around it so you never to have to move away from it, unless of course for changing the disc or something as laborious (you can store your games in the side pockets to compensate for that). On the right, you have the control panel from which you can do a number of things. There are knobs to control the sound and bass levels, and the effectiveness of the motor system. Two USB slots are provided for controller recharge purposes and an audio-in jack and headphone jack that connects to the built-in 2.1 stereo speaker system.
The speakers are located on the sides with the woofer protruding from the back. I will talk about the speaker’s performance in the coming section, but it’s sufficed to say that they do the job well enough.
I should start off by saying that I am a heavy-set big boned of a man, so my comfort level on the IGC may vary from an average person, although I believe the comfort will vary on the person’s height than breadth.
4Gamers claim the IGC is “30% larger than conventional models” and a tip of the hat to them for knowing their target audience well. I don’t know how large other gaming chairs are, but I fit right in on the IGC, which for my size is telling how spacious it is, and should accommodate anyone quite easily.
Unfortunately, the IGC is merely comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. The problem here is that it encourages you to sit ‘lazily’, slightly slumped into the curve of the seat to get back and head support on the designated areas. Sitting in that position is not entirely ideal, probably even health wise, and as we all have at some point participated in such, erm, ungentlemanly posture, we know it gets painful really fast.
Even adjusting to another (upright) position means no headrest support, and with the headrest boring in on your back due to its unnecessary length, it’s still not quite comfortable enough.
I would think someone with a shorter height (I am 5’ 8”) would fit right in properly and comfortably, but that’s just my guess.
Speakers and Quads
The biggest issue I assumed with the 2.1 speaker system would be that it would always feel that the sound was coming from the back of my head than sounding more central and natural, as they are located on the sides of the seat. Thankfully, 4Gamers hasn’t gimped on installing a good speaker system, and they do a good job of not only creating a large soundscape, but also deliver, upto an extent, on surround sound production.
The speakers are not top of the range, by no means, but they are sufficient enough to never warrant a separate set of speakers if you are on a budget. If you already have a dedicated speaker setup, however, then that would definitely give you better sound than the IGC’s.
Coming to the quad motor vibration system, I would say it’s definitely fun to have it on not only for games but for movies as well. The QMVS picks up on sound vibrations and rumbles accordingly. This works perfectly for games, since they are designed to work with the controllers, but the QMVS also does its part for movies and enhances the experience a bit. I watched Battleship with the QMVS on and it would deliver pitch-perfect, erm, rumbling experience during fights or whenever one of those large alien ships would emerge out of the water. However, the QMVS also rumbled whenever Liam Neeson spoke, which leads me to believe that it might not be ideal to have it on for all movies. But it’s a nice little addition if you are watching action movies.
It’s a shame that the Interactive Gaming Chair is not comfortable enough. It’s a very convenient solution for gamers where they have sound control, USB support, and headphone jacks all stuffed into one easy to reach control panel, while also keeping it fun with quad motor vibration system that works for games and movies, as well. For AED 1099, 4Gamers’ gaming chair is a decent purchase if you are looking for one, though it is recommended that you give it an extended try at the store before popping down the reds.