Los Angeles (CA) – Most of E3 was pretty ho hum, but D-BOX, a small company from Quebec, showed us what can only be described as "rocking chairs on stereoids". D-BOX is not the first company to offer interactive racing or flying seats, but products we tested offered quite a compelling experience.
Key of success is their hydraulic pump which stays cool after hours and hours of operation. As you can see in our gallery, we were able to touch the metal of the chair at 3PM, after whole day of grueling torture (80% effect strength is enough to rock your body left and right, up and down). This is a sheer contrast to their competitors, which often have parts that heat up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Best part of the chair is the fact that this device is detected as USB device, and it shows up in "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" section in Device Manager.
D-BOX is not focusing on racing or flying games, but is the first manufacturer that supports different gaming types and more importantly, movies. The company has hired many software engineers that are analyzing and placing ‘Motion Code’ inside movies and according to company representatives, there are more than 700 movies on the market with D-BOX logo on the box.
We got the opportunity to test how the new mainstream-oriented chair reacted in movies such as The Incredibles, Live Free or Die Hard, Jumper and games like Live for Speed, rFactor and Battlefield 2. Surprisingly, we were impressed with Battlefield 2, and not in driving/flying mode, but actual running and fighting. There are more than 150 different weapon profiles, and the kick given to us by chair reminded yours truly of shooting a real M-16.
These chairs are aimed at those with deep pockets. In fact, if you're looking at $10.000 PCs such as just launched 4.8 GHz 8-core monster from Biohazard, you should definitely complete the setup with one of these.
The mainstream chair is planned for market entry before the end of the year, but D-BOX has no idea about the retail price. According to current bill of materials, price should be in a range of 3500 USD, but since production is still far away, final bill may bring the price down.
Ultimately, D-BOX wants to create a $999 product that would enable impressive immersion into different content, and that is the magic price point that would bring mainstream adoption.