Not pictured: Our Sixaxis; because a black controller on black bag is too tactical.
For many gamers, finding the optimal seating object can be
an exercise in frustration. While the couch may be an acceptable alternative
for casual games, players need to be closer to the screen for the pixel-point accuracy
demanded by first person shooters. Sure, we’ve tried the various ‘gamer’ chairs
on the market, which are great for short-term play, but are too inflexible for
long-term gaming. Recently, the wonderful people at Sumo Lounge sent us a Sumo
Omni, which we’ve put through rigorous use for the last two weeks.
Upon first opening the enormous shipping box, we were struck
by two points: 1) the size of the Sumo Omni and 2) the build quality. While
Sumo accurately identifies the size of the bag as being four and half feet by
five feet; the unit looks absolutely huge. Unless your gaming area is sufficiently sizable,
the unit may overtake the room. Once we found an appropriate corner, we molded
the chair into a suitable shape and began playing. While ninety degree
temperatures raged outside, and our office was only marginally cooler, we
expected the Omni to have the sticky feel common to vinyl and some leather. Fortunately,
the bag’s material was thoughtfully chosen- it doesn’t get too warm, even while
in direct sunlight.
The Tech-Gaming Triplet Stress Test
While Sumo’s site suggests eight different ways to sit on
the Omni, we only found a few useful for actual gaming. First, the chair can be
folded like a giant taco, and the player can either face forward, or straddle
the bag. Against a wall, the chair can be folded into what we think is the
chair’s optimal shape- cradling the player in its enormous form. While the
prone positions are comfortable, we just can’t game lying down.
Tech-Gaming, setting off metal detectors everywhere since 1992
We nervously put the unit through a series of stress tests-
trying to create, real-world, realistic situations that have effectively ruined
our previously owned gaming chairs. We filled our pockets with the usual
sundries- keys, sunglasses, and a knife, to see if the external nylon would be damaged.
After moving around for an hour, not a
single mar was found of the bag. We then emptied our pockets, dropping all
these items into the chair- still we could not ruin the Omni’s nylon exterior.
For our final test, we opened a small pocket knife, and dropped it blade first
into the unit from an altitude of twelve inches. Again, the bag was successful in
rejecting all damage.
Yes, that’s water; see that reflection?
Next, we subjected the unit to a liquid spillage simulation.
We created a valley, and then poured four ounces of water, into the small
basin. The water did not seep through, and we continued to pour. The Omni
exterior was able to withstand and repel any amount of water thrown at it. Finally,
we took the unit outside, and found the Omni’s one, minor fault- it is a dirt
magnet. On our black model, dirt readily accumulated on the bag, and moving the
unit across a backyard floor left it very grimy. Luckily a wet cloth was all it
took to get the bag back into pristine condition.
Lastly, we spent a few multi-hour sessions with the Omni,
checking for butt-fatigue. Here, the unit’s ability to change shape is its
greatest asset. Although we never experienced any soreness; if we did we could
have easily changed the bag’s shape. It is this flexibility that allows the unit
to be the ultimate gaming chair. If your game room is large enough, we
wholeheartedly recommend the Sumo Lounge Omni.