CES 2007 – The $15,000 Race Chair

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D-BOX, the Canadian manufacturer of high-end motion sensing home theater seats, has entered the gaming market with the new GP-100 Gaming Platform. D-BOX took their award winning motion technology and applied it to create the most realistic racing seat I have ever experienced. They even use a real Sparco racing seat!

Imaging driving racetracks all over the world; feeling the bumps on the track, the G’s in the curves, accelerating down the straights, the engine at redline, and you in the driver’s seat. That is the kind of experience the D-BOX GP-100 can deliver.

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Built by gamers (rich ones), The GP-100 is the first true racing simulator with motion, made for the home. Utilizing D-BOX actuators, the seat allow you to experience full three-axis motion; turning right and left, braking, accelerating through the gears, and even feeling the textures of the road. Future updates will allow the chair to add on first person game modules for shooting, combat, fantasy, sports, flight sims, and more.

The GP-100 works with the PC only. D-BOX does plan to make the chair work with consoles like XBox and Playstation but would not give a time line on when that might happen.

The Chair In Action

The D-BOX GP-100 is expected to ship next month with a street price of $15,000 per chair. While there are lots of rich home owners willing to pay $15,000 for a D-BOX movie chair to add their $100,000+ home theater systems, I have to wonder how many gamers are willing to shell out $15K for a game chair?

Surely D-BOX knows the gaming market and home theater market are not the same markets? If they don’t, they’re going to be in for a shock.


47 thoughts on “CES 2007 – The $15,000 Race Chair”

  1. Ryan says:

    Wow, that’s awesome. Are they really expecting to market this to a large audience? If I had an extra $15k under my bed I’d grab one, but like most gamers I don’t.

    Oh, and were you able to crash the car? I wanna know what happens when you do that. 🙂

  2. Nomar says:

    Looks Awsome !! but 15,000 dollar, thats alot of money, You can buy a decent car from that, I would never spend that much money on a toy like this.

  3. Andreas Bard says:

    Nice stuff. Would fit in my living room for sure.

    // Andreas Bard

  4. John Chow says:

    When you crash, the chair does a lot of shaking!

  5. Ryan says:

    That’s good to hear… good to know a $15k medical bill isn’t included, either.

  6. Raghu says:

    Looks good but guess I would rather prefer to just see than buy !

  7. Carl says:

    The chair seemed to do a lot of shaking, John 😉

  8. Stephen says:

    The marketing guy seemed like he’d be open to sending me one. Sweet. I stayed on the track pretty good with this chair when a lot of people couldn’t even make it around the start area. It totally ads that missing link of road feel in driving games.

  9. Gdog says:

    Seems like you were doing the shaking, not the chair, John!

  10. Aris says:

    Hm, if they can add more cars into each screen and let them compete to the final line without jumping off the track or hitting other cars, then John can put 4 or 5 chairs in a room and let the player pays to play. 🙂

  11. Ed Lau says:

    $15,000 is a small price to pay for awesomeness.

  12. Ryan says:

    Does this work with all racing games on the PC?

  13. Jeff says:

    Yeah my question was that too. How compatible is it? Is there only one specific game that supports it? Is there some kind of a plugin?

  14. Way too much money for most gamers, but then again, most exposure from this point could be free via the worlds gaming/gadget sites, and at this price just selling 1000 worldwide initially you start getting into big dollars. For fancy new tech gadgetry you’ll always be able to move quite a few worldwide, whatever the pricetag – theres plenty of people out there with more dollars than sense 😉

    Matt

  15. You get to have all the fun John! Would you pay $15k for that chair after trying it out?

    FrugalTrader
    http://www.MillionDollarJourney.com

  16. Andy says:

    Wow, thats sweet

  17. Nate W. says:

    I am hardcore into racing simulation games and I would buy this thing in a second if I had the money! This is unreal and I have been dreaming about a chair like this for years! OMGWTFBBQ!!!!11

  18. Dale says:

    I’m more into motorcycle racing when it comes to games. I wonder if they’re going to make a bike-looking contraption in the future? 😉

  19. Tyler says:

    John learn to drive! Naw just kidding.

    That chair is pretty cool, do you think my CEO will hate it if I traded in his two Bentleys for one of those chairs??

  20. Michael Kwan says:

    That looks pretty awesome. Maybe even better than those Indy cars they had at Playdium.

  21. Alex Becker says:

    $15,000 and the seat recliner is not even powered.
    Who would pay that much money just so that they can feel the bumps in the road? I though nobody wants to feel that?

  22. That chair looks like it would be quite a bit of fun as I love racing games. But as others have noted, that price tag will put it far out of my reach for a long time.

  23. Ryan says:

    Alex, I wonder if the seat is heated? For $15k I’d better be able to drive outside in the freezing could without freezing my ass of.

  24. Alex Becker says:

    Ryan I can’t tell if your being sarcastic or not. But I will tell you that I do have headed seats in my car and heated steering wheel. They are a big help when it ‘s cold outside.

  25. Ryan says:

    Well I doubt anyone would really want to play outside in the cold, but it’d be nice to have that option available. 😀

    My wife’s car has the heated seats, and they’re very nice. One day I too will join the heated seat club.

  26. Andy says:

    LOL – Playing Outside

  27. Causalien says:

    Makes me wonder, who’s going to come up with a DIY version of this car simulator. It’ll probably cost 5k for parts, but if there’s a good instruction. I’d do it.

  28. feverinlove says:

    Noone would pay that amount.

  29. HMTKSteve says:

    Didn’t someone make a $15K flight chair to be used in playing flight sims back in the 90’s? Did you ever try one of them out John?

  30. Matt says:

    That looks like great fun! It probably costs a bomb to play on though, I can image it in the arcade costing 10X the price of everything else….not that is isnt worth it

  31. Leftblank says:

    Those chairs look pretty cool, too bad they’re so expensive. Perhaps they could make a big business out of DIY-kits?

  32. Dale says:

    DIY Kits sounds like a better idea IMO especially with the tinker crowd. Plus it gives you some room to customize your own seat. 🙂

  33. Exteme-G says:

    Check out this other video clip by Popular Mechanics > http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/technology_news/4210770.html

  34. David Mackey says:

    Wow. But it can’t be too realistic – you aren’t buckled in!

  35. adrian says:

    I heard that soon they will make those types of games into exercise machines. They will put bike pedals on the floor instead of car-style pedals and make you pedal hard to get a workout.

  36. Thanks for the updates John, for those of us who don’t get to go, getting a first hand report of the happenings is nice.

    Anxiously awaiting more!

  37. Ryan says:

    Flight sim chair? Shouldn’t it be like a flight sim box? 🙂

  38. Andy says:

    So you got that on Digg for TTZ
    Congrats

  39. Jane says:

    Feeling the “G’s in the curves, accelerating down the straights, the engine at redline”…wow, sign me up!!

    Well, with that price tag, I can see them be popular amongst higher end arcades and theme parks.

  40. derrich says:

    That’s it! I’m sold. Getting one right away. 😛

  41. Michael Kwan says:

    I can see how you’d feel the bumps and jerks, but how exactly would it get you to “feel the Gs in the curves”?

  42. Michael, the idea is that the tilt tricks your brain into thinking you’re undergoing lateral acceleration. Your inner ear doesn’t know the difference if you’re seeing a flat horizon line.

    The problem with the d-box chair, I hear from other forums, is that they invert the tilt: It pitches forward when you accelerate, and tilts right when you turn right. So it gives you inverted motion cues! That’s actually a common problem with motion systems.

    Full disclosure: I run a very small company that builds a motion simulator that costs around 2x the dbox version. Ours moves a little more. 🙂 The principle is the same in either case, though.

    If dBox fixed their code (or if my forumite friend is mistaken), it could indeed work – assuming that motion range is adequate and they have good enough control over their actuators.

  43. John,

    Great site and glad I found it. Full disclosure, I build custom driving simulators that use the Playstation and Xbox platforms. This was mandatory as I am a certified Gran Turismo addict.

    The simulator field is interesting as there are many players with prices and features over a wide range, all of which are generally an improvement over driving with buttons…although some do it very well.

    Interested in hearing more of your dBox experience.
    particularly, as David noted, the virtual impressions of braking and acceleration chassis loading fx.

  44. Flow says:

    Interesting chair, still not accessible to all budget, but the cheapest up to now. I read in local news paper from here, since it was built by a company in my town, that the price will drop as soon as the production for public will start. It work for rfactor race simuation game (www.rfactor.net) and for flight simulator.

    Now i need the money…

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