For most sim racers a simple rig, or a wheel at a desktop is adequate for getting the job done and at the same time works within our budgets. With that said, we still find ourselves dreaming of the ultimate sim racing experience and what it would be like. Darin and I recently went to hang out with the guys at SimXperience and try out a variety of new toys for sim racers that all combined, make up the Stage 5 full motion simulator from them.
The Stage 5 is a turn key motion sim that incorporates all of the products made by the SimXperience team. The heart and sole of the Stage 5 is the motion system itself that has some incredibly fast and strong actuators moving the seat. It also has a third actuator that moves the entire rear end of the rig back and forth and that is called traction loss. It also includes the new “G Seat” that is a heavy duty racing seat with servos attached to plates that move in conjunction with the motion of the rig. Also incorporated and perfectly timed with the motion of the sim is a custom built version of Simvibe with a bass shaker at each corner of the simulator. And then to top it off the Stage 5 was equipped with the new Accuforce Force Feedback Steering Wheel that we did a full review of.
All of these components are installed into a powder coated steel tubed frame that very much resembles a race car. Also included were three 46 inch monitors that can be adjusted up and down by just pressing a switch.
Driving the stage 5 sim was a really unique experience for us both. We have tried many other motion sims at this point and none of them have been able to compare to this one. On some levels it is because of how thorough the SimXperience team has been in building such a complete sim. The other part was how you can dial it all in with Sim Commander, the software that drives the entire Stage 5, and make adjustments for each car or sim that you drive. In the end what you have is a symphony of parts all playing together in perfect harmony. The stage 5 simulator lets the simvibe take on much of the job of the rumbling effects and engine noise. This downplays how much the seat motion has to play that roll and in the end it has to do a little less work. The same is true for the “G seat” and it comes into take on part of the job as well. This really allowed for the overall motion to be very drivable and not feel like a roller coaster or carnival ride. Both Darin and I were able to jump right in and start running some blistering laps and at the same time being emerged on a level that we had never felt.
After an entire day of driving it was time to leave and despite the amount of sweat on my head, I could of gone on driving well into the night. This trip was one of the best on record for Inside Sim Racing and part of it was the Stage 5 and all of its bells and whistles, and the other part was being able to talk and hang out with the guys at SimXperience. They are people with huge passion for sim racing and perfecting the overall experience that one can get from it.