We've never met anyone who actually owns one of these chairs. You know the type — the ones that rumble all over, have speakers pointed directly at your head and generally don't ever achieve mass market penetration because they're expensive, the full body rumble is off-putting and take up a heck of a lot of space. It has the advantage of not making you look like an idiot, unlike the old Aura Interactor-style rumble backpacks that have been peddled since the Sega MegaDrive days.
Therapeutic devices re-purposed as something else (or sometimes in reverse) have always made us cautious; however, the only thing a vibrating game chair is likely to hurt is your high scores, and in some cases, your reputation.
This one, known as the "Renegade Game Chair", apparently "gives the most authentic shakes and rumbles, out-shaking even the washing machine cycle", which we can't help but think may be slightly distracting to those of you wanting precision control in a game. It also features "ground effects lighting" (whatever that means), has a headphone jack, massage settings, a compartment for storing games extras and a drink/remote holder, the press release claiming breathlessly that "you need never get up again!".
It's listed as being compatible with the Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 1, 2 and 3, Wii and GameCube. The PC, PSP, DS and MP3 players are also mentioned, although we certainly don't remember rumble features in any of those. Either it's talking about those super noggin-focused speakers again, or a crazy-clever vibrating algorithm that calculates rumble from sound. If this is the case, don't put on any Barry White, the subsonic rumble might kill you.
The Renegade sells for AU$649, and will be available in June. If you're keen to have your teeth rattled, you can pre-order it at The Gaming Collection.