I’ve never been a fan of Force Feedback sticks, in fact other then the Logitech G940 there had never been a true Force Feedback HOTAS system. So when I stumbled across a post in the ED forums a few years back about a Russian made “force feedback seat cushion” called KW-908, and I got intrigued.
After a few months of “thinking about it”, buying the Vive had loosed a few screws in my head apparently and I’ve decided to get it. after running with it for a while, it’s time to put in some words about it 🙂
The Gametrix KW-908 jetseat is basically an electric massage seat cushion, that had been wired with USB control box. It is marketed for World of tanks and Warthunder, which are two free to play games which are enormously popular in Russia (and have quite a following worldwide as well).
Gametrix, a young russian company, produces several peripherals, including a throttle, headsets and a few vibrating “chairs” the 908 being the top of the line.
In addition to WoT and WarThunder, multiple games are supported via a third party software, simshaker, developed by a guy called Andre. His dev blog can be found here: http://dreamsimteam.blogspot.co.il/
Games supported via SimShakes are DCS, falcon BMS, and multiple driving sims, with more added with each version.
The KW-908 is a fairly cheap product in Flight sim standards, about 90USD in Russia. Unfortunately from their website the only ship to Russia, CIS countries (mostly former USSR countries) and the EU. so the rest of the world need other means to get the product. fortunately, Andre had set up a web-shop of his own where he is reselling the KW-908. Buying from him costs more then ordering from the “correct” site. But he ships worldwide, and taking into account that he is actively developing all the connector apps needed, supplying them free of charge, I consider that extra cost, as a contribution for his work.
How does it work and does it affect Immersion?
The seat itself is a thin plastic seat cushion with little padding and 8 high power rumble motors. 4 in the seat under your butt and 4 more on your back.
With Andre’s software the seat “taps” into the Force Feedback data transmitted off the game and pulses the motors according to whatever happens in game. you can feel thuds, bumps, shakes and all sort of things. there is also an option to turn on G response, so that when you pull Gs the seat vibrates and vibration is intensified as you pull more Gs. in fact, when you pull positive Gs it triggers the lower motors, while when you push on negative G’s it’s your upper back that gets rumbled.
As for immersion, oh hell yeah! the added benefit is something I’ve never experienced. As I’ve mentioned, FFB was something I never experienced properly, But this thing adds a whole layer of inputs I’ve never had. I can feel how much G I’m pulling, I know when the airbreaks are out. you can feel the bombs drop off the rack. And you know when you get hit.
Does it worth the price?
if you are in the EU, and you can get the KW-908 in it’s original Russian price of ~110USD, yet. defiantly go for it. Just know that they do not accept paypal. Andre’s shop accepts PP, and he ships worldwide, but the added costs bump up the price to about 200USD (ex. local taxes). Which makes it slightly less attractive price. However, If you are building a VR based flight rig. or you love your flightsims in addition to being a hard-core racing sim nut. Go for it, don’t even think about it. IMHO, it’s worth every penny!
Where can I get some more reviews
Because our community is quite small, not a lot can be found, add to that the fact that originally it’s a niche Russian company no one had heard about, you won’t get much, looking in you tube will get you probably three vids in Russian featuring WoT and CS:GO (“cyka blyat! all B!” CS:GO) .
More flight sims oriented opinion can be found on a very long thread on the ED Forums, which is where I initially heard about the product.
And SpiderPig from polychop, which makes VR vids, had published this video.
this Vid is actually the thing that sold the KW-908 for me.