Playing the game with the SimSit
I tried out the SimSit with IL2: Forgotten Battles, Pacific Fighters, Aces High, WW2 Online, Wings of Valor, and Falcon 4.0 to get a feel for what it felt like with various games currently on the market. Overall the device felt great for all the simulations mentioned. I tested it with a CH setup that had a USB Fighterstick and Pro Throttle, a HOTAS Cougar, and a MS Precision Pro 2.
For the Cougar and the CH stuff the SimSit works like a dream. I used the little bungee cords that Geoffrey furnished with the device but I suspect most folks will use velcro to keep their joystick attached to the base. Both items worked very well in their assigned spots and I find that the SimSit is a very nice addition to those folks that use these two types of sticks. I did not try it with Saitek’s equipment but the overall dimensions of the base are the same so I suspect that it would work just as well with the X45 or X36.
In some respects it works with the HOTAS Cougar better than all of them. Since the Cougar (mine is an unmodified one) has such a heavy base and stiff throw many folks have one heck of a time with it, especially if it is set in a lap or placed too high up on a desk. The placement of the SimSit actually made using the Cougar much easier. I still like my CH stuff better (personal preference) but after using the SimSit with the Thrustmaster equipment I tended to enjoy it much more.
As I said, the biggest advantage of the SimSit has to be its ergonomically pleasing position with my joystick and throttle. It certainly has anything that I have tried to build beat and it is a sight cheaper than some of the custom pits that I see for sale. It doesn’t score the cool points that a simulation Spitfire cockpit would have but then again I don’t get the grief from the SimSit that I would if I tried lugging a pseudo cockpit into the house. I always remember that I am not the only one using the computer and in general my wife has had no complaints with sitting on the SimSit.
I have a general pillow type seat cushion over the base of the SimSit and in generally this keeps my rump from getting too sore. I have tried to go with the wooden base for some marathon flight simming and wargaming but in general my tushie starts to get sore after about two hours of sitting on the SimSit. It gets sore after about three hours with a cushion on it but I think anyone’s rear would get sore after sitting that long, regardless of the kind of cushion. I haven’t found the wooden base to be as much of a concern as I originally thought it would be. I’m actually thinking of going out and getting one of those massaging seat and back add ons that you find for cars and trying it out. Who knows, maybe I can sit for even longer. Then again, after three hours maybe I should get up and do something else.
The Microsoft stick was more of a mixed bag. It didn’t sit in the square base properly and overall I wouldn’t recommend the SimSit for gamers who use this joystick exclusively. There is a plastic center piece that fits over the lap of the gamer to help with a device like the Sidewinder but I had a couple of problems with it as well.
My biggest problem is that the center piece needs to be a little bit taller. Unless you are a 150 pound guy I think you might find the plastic center piece somewhat uncomfortable. In addition I don’t like the feel of having essentially a lap restraint across my lap. If you use the holder for the joystick you find that you have to move an extra six to eight inches away from your desk so you can use the keyboard placed in front of you. If you have a 21 inch monitor this isn’t a big deal but for those folks with 17 inchers or less it will make seeing that bogey a little more difficult.
Probably the best possible use, and probably one that was not envisioned when the device was designed, is for use with laptop computers, especially when you are lying in bed. I found that putting the thing on the sofa or in bed, followed by the plastic center piece and a laptop computer, as a very comfortable way of typing. The right joystick holder can easily accommodate most corded mice and the left throttle holder will keep your papers or your beer generally in place. I don’t see people buying the device strictly for this (well some might) but it does have some non-simulation uses, especially for those of us that sit and type in the living room.