For some time now, I have been thinking about buying a nice couch or a gaming chair that I can use to play consoles in my living room. Sitting on the couch is comfortable, but sometimes I want to sit a little closer to concentrate even more on the gameplay. The Active Gaming Seat model from the renowned Playseat company, created in cooperation with the PUMA brand, has just arrived. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to check out this wonder.
I don’t think I need to introduce Playseat to anyone, but if you haven’t had any contact with this producer yet, let me add that they make one of the best gaming chairs in the world, especially aimed at racing and aviation enthusiasts. Usually these are well thought-out, very comfortable devices, made with the use of the highest quality materials, and quite expensive at the same time, but you have to pay a lot for this quality. I approached the tests with this attitude, because I had never been disappointed with anything from Playseat before, so if they already introduce a new and allegedly revolutionary product to the market, I would like to take a closer look at it.
First impression? What is this miracle and how can it be convenient?
The armchair came to me in a small package with all its advantages immediately listed. It looks quite unusual, at the same time it is created for players who have at least several hundred hours of experience on the meter and know very well what they need. The illustration on the box says that the design has been thought out to be used in four variants – Adventure, Defensive, Offensive, and Attacker. The first two involve lying along the backrest, and the other two force you to sit upright or even bend down. It is supposed to help you achieve a good result or win, but in my opinion it is simply inconvenient after prolonged use. But so that you can imagine it, take a look at the photo gallery below, how this armchair looks at all.
When you look at this armchair for the first time, what are your associations with it? The first thing I thought was “I wonder if this is even comfortable?” I’m in a hurry to explain that the first 10-15 minutes I was delighted, because when I lay down in this chair, it was pretty good. However, the stairs started later. The armchair is placed on two skids, which are slightly curved, which is to encourage additional rocking forward and backward, depending on the position taken. The headrest is simply inserted into the structure, it can be adjusted very little and has little benefit from it. I am not a very tall man, I am 1.76 cm tall, which made the Active Gaming Seat perform well for me when I lay on it. But then a friend popped in, who is already 1.90 cm, and it got much worse. It lacked space on all sides. Even taller people will find no advantages in this case.
Okay, but before I go on to further discuss the usefulness of this gadget, I will mention two important things. Its price at the moment is a staggering PLN 995, which is an absolutely stunning amount. Probably driven up only because we are dealing here with Playseat and PUMA in cooperation, which in turn has a very positive effect on the quality of workmanship. This is the second point. In terms of the materials used, it is difficult to find fault with anything. We assemble the metal structure ourselves, but it does not require any tools and takes literally a few minutes. Then we put on a large piece of fabric fastened with Velcro in four different places and it’s ready. On top there are cushions that are soft and pleasant to the touch. In addition, the material appears to be remarkably easy to clean. The chair also has four pockets for additional accessories. One at the front, one at the back, and two at the back, on the sides. Flatter, ultimately designed to hold a smartphone or powerbank in them. You can put a controller or headphones on the front or back. Does it make any sense? I’m not convinced about it, because we usually keep such things on a desk, table or cupboard and right next to the TV set.
I will not complain too much about the lack of any support for the elbows, because when we hold the controller in our hands, we have these elbows with us anyway. However, I tried to transfer the idea of using this armchair in the “attacking” style, which is to be even more inclined than the offensive, and to make full use of the skids wrapped in the front. There is no chance to stay in this position for a long time because we feel how we lift the armchair with the weight of our body and try to find the right balance. (you can see it in the photo illustrating the article). It is difficult and, moreover, completely uncomfortable. I could not fully concentrate on the game, feeling that the chair will fall to the ground in a moment. On the other hand, when I lean over it and sit with my back straight, then I do not see any greater usefulness for this miracle. I might as well use a stool or any other armchair. An ordinary pouffe would also be more comfortable, because the seat area is larger there. Here, in the tested chair, we feel a metal frame between the legs, so when we sit too close to the edge, it will be very uncomfortable.
However, it is different in defensive or even relaxing mode, when we lie down on the entire length. The armchair is then quite comfortable, and the option of gentle rocking can additionally relax some people. But is that why we spend PLN 1000 to use this furniture in this way? The seat height and anything else other than the headrest are not adjustable. In my opinion, it is only an interesting invention, but intended only for people who will think about its use perfectly. I did a test, where I asked a few friends (strongly gaming) to sit on this chair and try not to pay attention to it. None of them took the position of an attacker, and at the same time, unfortunately, there was no enthusiasm and it was finally better to sit on the couch. From the wide range of well-thought-out Playseat armchairs, this one is by far the most mysterious for me. It may be comfortable in one position, but will only go to a specific group of people. And certainly not for that kind of money.