Seating and Cockpits
Ok, so you have your monitors and head tracking setup, so the “eyes” of the simulated experience are taken care of. What about the “body”? Nothing makes you feel like you are sitting in the cockpit or in the driver’s seat than actually sitting in a cockpit or racing seat! If you have the budget, or some ingenuity, there’s no reason to compromise on this.
For racing fans there are a few purpose built racing seats designed to affix all of your simulation peripheral and mount your monitors. Playseat made a seat explicitly for Forza Motorsport that is considered amongst the premium set assemblies out there. It of course doesn’t have to be used with Forza on the Xbox 360, and most any racing wheel, shifter, and pedal setup can be placed onto the adjustable mounts.
The Playseat Limited Edition Forza Motorsport 4 Racing Seat will cost you around $600. If you want to go one step beyond in terms of adjustability and comfort, HumanRacing produces the GT Chassis. The GT Chassis is a sweet looking setup that is fully adjustable and built to last, claiming to stay stable regardless of any force feedback mechanisms used. Available in several colors, it will set you back an amazing $1500, but it does come 90% assembled.
If all of this is way beyond your price range, then there is one simple solution often overlooked. Buy or scavenge an actual driver’s seat. Sure, it’ll involve a little elbow grease and ingenuity setting up, but you can’t say you don’t have the most authentic experience around when the cup holder from an actual Honda Civic is sitting right next to your keyboard. Taking a trip to a local scrap yard might be worth it, as seats are almost always available form a ton of models, and it’s often super cheap (sometimes only a few bucks if you do all the work of scavenging yourself)!
For flight and racing sim fans alike, Volair Sim provides an affordable cockpit solution for just under $600. It comes with adjustable seating, triple LCD screen mounts, and platforms for peripheral, mouse, and keyboard.
Of course if price is no limit, you can feel the seat come out from under you as you break your racing line and go tumbling off the track. The SimXperience GS-4 G-Seat will simulate the bumpy road for about $2000. Or, for a little over £5000 (or $8000), you can be the proud owner of a JoyRide Atomic A2 system. It is compatible with an amazingly wide array of games, and can come in a flight as well as driving configuration, as well as a setup for both!