Hands on: Acer unveils Thronos, a beastly haptic gaming cockpit
Among a bevy of announcements from Acer's IFA press event, the largest, in literal terms alone, has to be its beastly Thronos gaming chair – nay, cockpit. Supporting up to three 27-in displays and Acer's Predator range of gaming devices, Thronos features a motorized cockpit and feedback vibration. Of course there was no hesitation in going hands on…
Playing 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider and being only moderately hampered by my unfamiliarity with PC controls, I was nevertheless able to get some idea of what Thronos is all about, which, in a word, is immersion.
As you take a seat in the chair, you press a button to lower your bank of displays – should you have more than one, that is. And let's face it, if you have money to burn on one of these things, you very possibly do. A separate button pivots the entire setup back (up to an angle of 140 degrees) and forth so, if you like, you can face towards the ceiling for a pseudo-out-of-body sort of feeling.
Most of the force feedback I experienced came through my lumber region, which throbbed in time with the atmospheric music while I swung haplessly from a rope (seriously, how do you jump in the PC version?)
Thronos looks the part – if the part you're looking for is gamer bro, that is. It's lit up like your proverbial LED Christmas tree, and replete with black faux-leather and metal.
Truth be told, I was a touch disappointed by both the graphics and the sound. That's not Thronos' fault, as it's doubtless compatible and future-proof so far as headphones, displays and graphic cards go – but I'm not sure Acer did all it could to sell the experience. That said, pushing graphics to three displays at 60 frames per second is no mean feat – I just hoped for more.
All in all it's a comfortable way to play, thanks to its nicely padded chair and foot rest. If you have the room for it (in your own private amusement arcade, for example), and you like a bit of me-time, we can see this being a decent addition to an already over-priced and outlandish setup. Needless to say, it's not going to turn a bad game into a good one, though.
Release date and price is yet to be confirmed.
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