For those of you gamers who feel the need to get some exercise or work on real life skills other than your hand-eye coordination, Qmotions brings us gaming equipment to augment our home arcades. Whatever the season outside, inside you can snowboard, skateboard, bike, golf, or play baseball.
The Xboard, available for under $100, is compatible with your PC, PS2 or Xbox, and works with boarding games such as SSX, Amped, and the Tony Hawk games. It works by measuring the shifting weight and foot movement in its board-shaped platform, while other moves are taken care of by the use of a controller. They were demonstrating the game on the E3 floor with SSX, and it worked really well, although you still need to hold a controller and press button combos to pull of trick moves, which is an issue that has always plagued these interfaces. But for a general "cruising" experience, it was a lot of fun. They said they were working on models where you were able to adjust the height for beginners or kids to make the learning curve a little less...well...steep. We also had on our wish list the ability to be able to put down the controller for games like Tony Hawk and do more complicated tricks through hand-grabs on the board or sensors on the sides, but this is farther down the line. The Xboard was really good for working on your balance and strengthening the legs and those pesky core muscles.
The next item was the "Fun-Fitness" recumbent bike. It also retails for under $100, and comes with a complimentary controller. You can use it with PC, PS2, or Xbox games in most car, bike, or jet ski racing games. The faster you pedal, the faster you go in-game. The nice thing about the bike was that it has all the sorts of features you'd want on any exercise equipment (along with the gaming element) and it was at an affordable price point.
The last two items were perfect for the general sports enthusiast. The Qmotions-Baseball uses a full-motion sensor located in an electronic sleeve, which fits over any standard baseball bat or the foam bat that comes with the product. Your own physics controls how well you do when you're swinging for that home run. There are control buttons on the plate-shaped floor pad to allow for different game commands, like base running and swing selection. It retails at $149.99, and works with your PS2 and Xbox baseball games (the one they demonstrated was EA Sports MVP Baseball '05).
Finally, if you have some discretionary income you need to get rid of, for $249 you can get the Qmotions-Golf system. It is compatible with Windows and Xbox, and works with 2004-06 versions of Tiger Woods PGA Golf. You use a real golf club to drive, chip, or putt a tethered golf ball which is attached to a very sensitive swing arm.
So if you are looking for an "out of chair" experience to add to your gaming, or you just want to get in shape and the world outside isn't cooperating, you can pick up these Qmotions products at selected retailers or online at http://www.qmotions.com