Playseats has long been known for their line of gaming chairs – mostly for racing titles. However, they more recently released a new chair aimed at desktop pilots. Their Flight Simulator Gaming Chair is large, standing at 44 inches tall and 39 inches wide when fully assembled, weighing in at about 50 pounds. It arrived in several pieces which, at first glance, seemed a bit daunting to put together. Thankfully, the guys at Playseats have instructions that the folks at IKEA should be vehemently jealous over – they are very easy to understand and follow.
Making the task even easier, Playseats includes all of the necessary Allen wrenches, bolts, screws, and nuts necessary for the job in a baggy. Following the instructions from start to finish, I had the chair assembled in a few minutes shy of a half hour. Once all bolted together, the chair’s durability becomes readily apparent. The black-coated steel frame supports the chair and arm assemblies with easy and, even though the rear side of the chair legs is set at an acute angle, it slides very easily even across carpet.
The vinyl seat is comfortable and is of the same style as seen in the company’s other gaming chairs, with one great exception – foldability! With the pulling of a small level on the user’s right side, the seat can fold forward for easier storage or just to custom-fit their posture. On the head-rest of the chair is the Playseats logo, and I often found myself a little too comfortable when in the most-reclined position. It is not all that reclined even, the chair is just comfortable.
The chair arm assemblies are mounted onto a rail system on both sides of the base frame. Each arm nacelle is adjustable and makes it very easy for both the long and short-armed user to reach their peripherals. Attached to each arm nacelle is a plate with several mount holes on it. The chair was designed in mind with Logitech’s G940 flight system, however I was able to use Saitek’s X-65F Pro Flight System without any issue. The secret to using other peripherals lies in the two greatest assets included with the Flight Simulator Gaming Chair – zip-ties and velcro strips!
Lining the right chair arm plate with velcro, it easily supported the use of the X-65F’s flight stick, and by using the included zip-ties, I easily fastened down the throttle quadrant. Even through repeated usage over several weeks, neither peripheral felt like it was loosening its grip on the unit and that is really saying something when one considers the amount of force required to move the X-65F’s throttle quadrant!
* Fully adjustable black-coated steel construction.
* Aluminium quick releases.
* Unique positioned steering wheel column; steering wheel plate fully adjustable in depth.
* Steering plate fits almost all joysticks like steering wheels and flight sticks.
* Patented foldable and suburb comfortable Flight Seat.
* Seat upholstered with sophisticated Black Alcantara fabric or optional in Military Green.
* Compatible with PC, Xbox &amp; Xbox 360, Logitech, PS2 &amp; PS3, Wii®.
* Measurement assembled (LxWxH) 98×50×112 cm/ 39×20×44 inches.
* Net weight 24 kg/ 53 lbs.
* Maximum recommended drivers weight 112 kg/ 247 lbs.
* HS Code 9401 71.
* Small full colour box, plus brown carton protection box.
* Dimensions (LxWxH) 60×50×40 cm/ 24×20×16 inches.
* Gross Weight 26 kg/ 57 lbs.
* Manual and guarantee card included in package.
* Floor Mat in order to protect fragile or wooden floors.
In between the legs of the user is a detachable center pylon. At the end of this pylon is a plate designed for your favorite flight yoke. I utilized it as a keyboard stand, as I primarily tested out combat flight simulators with the chair. The keyboard obviously would not screw down into the plate’s provided mounting holes, so again the savior here was velcro. Velcro and this gaming chair simply go together like peas and carrots – they expand the usability of the chair immensely.
An additional use of this central pylon comes through attaching an optional steering wheel adapter to it. Once done, you will be able to utilize Logitech racing wheels! This, again, would allow the user greater flexibility as they could use it on their console and PC racers as well as the originally-intended PC flight simulations.
The biggest challenge in using the chair is getting into and out of it – especially when the center pylon is mounted. Thankfully, this pylon is detachable, but if you have a heavy or unwieldy keyboard, yoke, or wheel attached to it – it is difficult to detach. The alternative is that you have to remove the peripheral mounted to the pylon, then detach it. Either way, it is not very user-friendly. Once you are seated, however, you are golden.
Overall, Playseats has done PC sim jocks a real favor in their Flight Simulator Gaming Chair. It provides a more realistic flight experience by allowing proper placement of throttle and flight stick peripherals as well as flight yokes through the central pylon. Your PC flight simulator experience will never be quite the same once have tried out one of these seats.