I don't think I have known anyone gamer or non gamer that doesn't enjoy playing a racing game every once in a while. While I was growing up I spent any time I could in the arcade playing Ridge Racer and Nascar racing games. Playing racing games on my 52 inch HD television, surround sound, and next generation systems still doesn't compare to the experience you get sitting in your seat holding on to a steering wheel. A company called Playseats apparently agrees with me, of course they have the knowledge and skills needed to duplicate that experience. The Playseat Evolution is designed to put all of your controls near you while sitting in a car racing like seat. Today I will be taking a look at the Evolution, will it bring me back to the good ol days?
Product Name: PlaySeats Evolution
Review Sample Provided by: Playseats
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
-Compatible with the Playstation2®, Playstation3®, Xbox®, Xbox 360®, Wii® Gaming Consoles and PC’s.
-Compatible with most console and PC steering wheel and pedal sets on the market.
-Patented foldable racing seat with fully adjustable silver or black-coated steel framework.
-Seat upholstered with high quality vinyl, which has a leather look and feel. Black or color patches, black grommets and full double stitching. Playseats logo in headrest and on side panels.
-Recommended drivers length: minimum 120 cm/ 47 inches
- maximum 220 cm/ 87 inches.
-Recommended drivers weight: minimum 20 kg/ 46 lbs
- maximum 122 kg/ 270 lbs.
-Measurement assembled (LxWxH) 130x50x98 cm/ 51x20x39 inches.
-Net weight 19.8 kg/ 43.65 lbs.
-Item # 72000 [Black] / # 72001 [White]
-Dimensions (LxWxH) 60x50x40 cm/ 23.2x19.7x15 inches.
-Gross Weight 25 kg/ 55 lbs.
-Manual and guarantee card included in package.
-Fixed LCD Screen Stand PS.
-Gearshift Holder for Logitech G25 gearshift holder.
-Professional Seat Slider.
-Xbox360 Wireless Wheel Adaptor.
-Floor Mat in order to protect fragile or wooden floors.
At 55 pounds the Evolutions box was very large and difficult to move around, the UPS driver most likely was cussing about me when he had to deliver it. The box is black and orange, the same colors used in their logo. The box includes pictures of the Evolution on each side from different angles. The are a few short feature listings in multiple languages on the front and back of the box also. Inside the box there is a sea of cardboard protecting each part. The instructions and parts needed to put Evolution are all in resealable bags to keep them all contained.
The Evolution was packed into a fairly small box considering the size of the product. This made it shippable but also means everything has to be put together. Trying something new, I started by grabbing the instructions first (I know I broke man law). I found the instructions to explain everything needed to put the Evolution together, but there were some things that needed more detailed pictures. I spent about a half hour putting everything together while taking my time. Playseat included both allan wrenches that were needed to tighten everything down.
With everything together I had to attach my wheel. Thrustmaster was nice enough to send out their RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel to test out along with the Evolution. Installing the wheel I used Velcro (included with seat) on the base of the steering wheel along with the bracket included with the wheel. The wiring was easy to run down next to the tubing to keep it out of the way, Playseat included a bunch of zip ties that I put to use keeping any loose wires out of the way. The pedals were a little more of a challenge, the Evolution has a sliding bracket that locks down the base of the pedals. That bracket wasn’t enough though, I would recommend using a few zip ties or more Velcro to secure it properly. If you happen to be using Logitech's G25 wheel the pedals drop right into predrilled holes. If you decided to use the evolution with Microsoft's Xbox 360 wheel you can get brackets made specifically for it, not for free though.
With everything setup all I had to do was adjust the position of everything. Of course being excited to try everything out I jumped into the seat and didn’t leave myself enough room to reach the adjustment knobs. Thank goodness my wife was around, I had to have her come let me out! Lol. (I'm surprised she didn’t take the opportunity to leave me stuck).
Once everything was adjusted to fit me, I jumped into a couple of games of Grid along with trackmania. The racing seat was surprisingly comfortable for me even considering my “full” size(fat). It could have been a little bit wider for a big guy like me, but that didn’t affect my comfort level. The vinyl seat covering did get a little hot after numerous intense races. The only other issue I ran into really was a difficulty to hit my break pedal on the three pedal Thrustmaster setup. The Steering wheel bar comes down in between your feet, and in my case when adjusted, right in front of the break pedal. Even with that problem I found the Evolution to pull you into the game. Playing Grid in 1080p while sitting in the Evolution was considerably better than any arcade game I have EVER played!
The Evolution from Playseat isn't without flaws, the seat can be a little toasty and there is a bar that blocks my brake pedal on my Thrustmaster kit. I don't think the bar would be a problem with a two pedal kit. After playing a few hours of Grid I was more than willing to overlook the flaws of the Evolution. The Evolution has the ability to be adjusted everywhere needed giving the perfect position for anyone. Once you are setup and ready to go the Evolution lets you experience the most realistic racing possible without leaving your living room, I found myself leaning into turns fully engrossed into the game. This is the perfect setup for anyone who is serious about their racing games, just make sure you have your stereo cranked up and might just lose yourself in the game.