Sega Action Chair
Image: Mike Rouse

Back when Sega ruled the arcades in the 1980s, it was famous for its series of 'taikan' ("body sensation") arcade cabinets – units which used hydraulics to tilt and roll the player during gameplay. Titles like Space Harrier, Galaxy Force and After Burner all employed these machines and were incredibly popular as a result.

The idea of bringing this experience to the home was potentially explored by the unreleased Konix Multisystem console, but a North American company by the name of Simular Technology came up with a similar product which did make it to market. Dubbed the Simulator 1, it was a chair that allowed players to control games by moving and shifting the weight of their bodies. This would cause the chair to tilt, triggering sensors in the base of the chair and performing the corresponding directional input in-game. Buttons on two control sticks allowed players to perform actions in the game.

In North America, the chair was marketed as being compatible with the NES and the Sega Genesis, but in the UK, it was picked up by Sega and sold as an official release. As you can imagine, the chair wasn't particularly accurate or fun to use (once you got past the novelty value), and its huge size meant that many retailers were reluctant to stock it, so it quickly vanished from retail.

YouTuber and Sega super-fan Retro Gamer Boy (real name: Mike Rouse) has just posted a video of an Action Chair (as Sega branded it), which he's been coveting for most of his adult life (and a large portion of his childhood, too). Obtained online, the Action Chair is shown in the video above – in which its new owner also goes one step further and creates a bespoke box for the device (Sega sold the chair in rather nondescript white packaging back in the day).

Rouse admits that the Action Chair is awful to use, but there's something undeniably cool about having a 'boxed' version of the product – especially when the packaging is done so well you'd swear blind this was 100% official.