We’ve shown you a few of the gaming-related things we found at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and now we’re showing you the rest. The video above shows off many of the things we saw and tried, and should give you a good idea of how the automotive industry and gaming are getting closer, whether it’s via promotion or actual design.
A pretty basic, boring version of pong, Chevrolet FC is located in the “global car” section of GM’s booth — presumably because soccer is global. It’s Pong in its most basic design, probably created by an intern just hours before the event (we kid!) and theme in futbol colors. The only real interesting part of the game is the giant joystick controllers that the two players would use.
Kia Driving Challenge
There’s not much to say about Kia’s giant racing rig. It was extremely boxy, for one. The seat was comfortable, the pedals and wheel were in the right spot for an actual car, and the screen was huge. The game, on the other hand, was a mish-mash of real cars janky physics, slow controls, and cartoony background visuals. It was meant to be a “playful” experience, but reminded me of the racing games that came with my computer. In 1997. It was a Packard Bell.
You remember the original Microsoft Surface, right? About 5 or 6 years ago, the Surface was going to be the future of connectivity. It had touch, media, file sharing, and more. Well, that fell through when no one really bought it outside of a few businesses. Since then the Surface changed its name to PixelSense, and its former brand name was shifted to tablets. Scion, the little brand inside Toyota, decided to bring the technology to NAIAS this year as GhostGlass to promote its new vehicles. Scion has always been a youth-focused company, so the GhostGlass allowed users to video videos, play games, and create music. Once a special red plastic chip was placed on the surface it could be moved around and twisted, with options popping out of it along the way.
The music creation tool reminded me of a ton of the rhythm games for tablets. Tap on or hold any of the circles in place with up to 6 points of interaction (two hands, you perverts), turning sounds on and off along the way. Think of a cross between Sound Shapes and Elite Beat Agents. THe audio was loud — it could be heard throughout the booth — and the interaction was simple but addicting.
Ford Focus ST Driving Simulator
Ford is a pretty big company. Like, massive. It’s no surprise then that the game they brought with them to NAIAS was equally massive. The Focus ST driving simulator is a huge motion rig that thumps, bumps, turns, twists, and rattles as the user drives the virtual Focus on a track. The rig was a little difficult to get into, and seating three people meant that the two on either side of the driver had a bit of climbing to do. Using it was fairly fun, though, as the motion added a lot to the experience of driving. It should be noted that the amount of motion in the rig goes way beyond what actually happens on a track, and the speed doesn’t quite match the results on screen.
The actual game was well-designed (albeit a bit basic). According to the representative there, the game was proprietary to Ford and not a version of GT5 or Test Drive like a few of the other manufacturers were using. Out of all of the gaming rigs, the Ford was the most entertaining, though it was also the one that left my head rattling a little bit.