When you're going to sit for a long period of time, whether it be during a real life activity or during a sim session, you're going to want a comfortable seat. Yes there are some great ergonomic office chairs on the market, but how about one for the simming community?
At the recent E3 conference in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to see the Playseat in action. It was being demonstrated in both the Flight Sim and Racing Sim configurations. Since I'm active in both of these genres it was only fitting that AVSIM review this piece of simming hardware.
The arrival of a "small" box was a surprise considering the overall size of the assembled chair. When I opened it I was surprised to see that the seat actually folds over on to itself, not only for shipping, but for storage when not in use.
My wife will tell you that I'm not the most mechanically inclined person (my degree is in electrical engineering) as I usually have "spare parts" left over when putting items together. However after following the easy instruction, which are all pictures and no words and using the tools provided (IKEA comes to mind), I had my Playseat assembled in about 40 minutes.
This chair is fantastic. It is made with an extra strong, lightweight, powder coated tubular steel frame with high-tension spring and wire system. The features of having adjustable/removeable side wings and centre column makes the chair not only usable during your sim activities but can actually double as an office chair (without the rolling capability). Its bucket seat design and hand controlled adjustable back angle makes this perfect for long periods of sitting. The seat will confortably fit up to a 42-inch waist.
The chair can be configured to your personal use during flight operations. Flying with a yoke and throttle control? No problem, use the side wings and centre column. Flying a fighter? Take out the centre column nad use the side wings for your HOTAS set-up. Left handed? Playseat has you covered there as well as you can place your controls on the side of your choice.
The sliding side wings are adjustable to the perfect height to suit your stature, as well as being able to slide back and forth so that your controls are within reach. Having used another seat for a while, the lateral adjustment is a great feature over a previous chair I reviewed.
I race on the X-Box 360. Playseat has a bracket assembly to hook the X-Box racing wheel directly to the centre column platform to prevent the wheel sliding around as can happen when using the "pressure screw" that comes with the wheel. It's quick to assemble and remove to change between sim genres.
At around $500 I think this is a good investment if you are going to spend a good amount of time flying (or racing). Its overall weight, feel, adjustability and comfort will satisfy all sizes of simmers. Not only is it versatile for different genres of simming, it can also be used as a general purpose gaming chair. My wife uses it to play her other X-box games and uses the side wings to hold her beverage.
The PlaySeat is the best gaming chair I have used to date. Though it is seemingly quite simple in design it has everything you need for simming or general game play and everything is well built and completely functional. Would I recommend this product? Absolutely, while it won’t be for everyone it is one of the best choices, in my opinion, for anyone looking for a multi-functional simming/gaming chair. For those who use their PC for other tasks, the ability to fold the chair when not in use allows you to put it "away" and return your office chair to your desk when not flying.
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