Your home computer can really be fun to use and play with

Monday, February 28th 2005, 1:45 pm
By: News On 6

Home computers can balance your checkbook, pay your bills, and help with research, but they can also be fun. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, News on 6 anchor Casey Norton found the latest gadgets that can get your pulse racing.

The latest in video games is about to knock you on your seat. Instead of just playing the game, you can immerse yourself in it with surround sound you can feel. For about $300, you can slide into the Hot Seat. Jay LeBoff with Hotseat: "The Hot Seat Chassis is a surround sound Video and gaming chassis designed for kids rooms so they can play video games, watch TV and movies in Dolby 5.1 surround sound." The seat adjusts to fit adults, and the volume is at your fingertips.

You supply the game console, and just plug it in. Damian Romanov: "The next step for this is that we have an add-on that will convert it into a race car."

Several steps up and several hundred dollars more is the RX2 Media Chair. The speakers are hidden behind the upholstery, and the sub woofer is in the seat cushion. "So while you're sitting in there, you have the sounds racing all around you. So you can feel the movie or the game you're playing."

For gamers who really want to get into the experience, there's the Kilowatt. The stand-up contraption replaces your ordinary thumb controller. You push pull and sway the podium to move through any adventure or sports game. Phil Feldman: "Video gaming can be like sports where the rest of your body is completely involved in what your mind is doing. Rather than sitting on the couch playing with your thumbs, you are involved in this full, physical demanding thing that just sucks you in and makes the game so much more intense."

For golfers, forget the mouse and get the launch pad. It works with any PC golf game, so you can play pebble beach with your real swing, and get real results. You can also head to the range and take those much-needed lessons. Shawn Clement with Launch Pad Golf: "we have our own proprietary software that will give you club head speed in miles per hour. Club face angle, how many degrees open or closed. It gives you spin rate. The whole works."

Or you can get into the swing of things with The Singing Coach. Color-coded bars grade how often you hit the pitch. Ken Spiegel with Carry-A-Tune: "This is a completely objective way to see if you can sing or not. And see what you need to do in order to be able to sing.”

Most of those products are on sale on the Internet and in stores. The Singing Coach is less than $50 and it comes with a microphone. The RX2 Media Chair costs about $2,000, depending on the fabric you choose.