Eleetus is a company that makes seated motion simulators and recently they opened up an office in Columbus, Ohio. Three of us from Gaming Nexus stopped by to check out their product and what they have to offer in this market. Here are our impressions after spending some time checking out their product.
I was thoroughly impressed by what Eleetus has accomplished. Stepping into the Eleetus motion simulator, I felt the setup was very comfortable with a nice racing seat, racing controls close at hand, and a nice three monitor setup in front of me. Above the monitors sat a sound bar. On the back of the base housed the computer, which featured a mid range NVIDIA GPU in the GTX 780 and an Intel i7 processor. An SSD was in place to ensure fast reads for games installed.
The motion was smooth and you could feel little bumps, like say when going off-road, all the way up to large motions when stopping suddenly. The unit can tilt 20 degrees on each side it really added a new dimension when driving in the game.
I was very surprised at how quiet the device was when moving. You can hear it when it does some really large movements, but it was still pretty quiet. For the range of motion it has and the quick reactions it can simulate, the Eleetus motion simulator won’t be hard on your ears when moving.
The three 27” monitors, along with the motion, really helped immersed me in the racing game. Your view was surrounded by the race track and the illusion of actually being in the car was enhanced by all that the Eleetus setup could do. I couldn’t help but think about using the Eleetus with an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and really have a true 360 degree view of the inside of the car.
The unit we demoed was only setup for racing games, but there’s also a setup for flight sims as well. Racing games really show off the range of motion with crashes, bumps, and fast stops. Flight games are a lot more smoother and less action unless it’s something like Elite Dangerous, so having that as a demo might not have showed off the capabilities of the Eleetus motion simulator. Still, I’d love to be able to try it out on a game like Elite Dangerous to see how well it holds up in another genre.
Eleetus touts over 30 games available for use with more as support becomes available. The unit retails for $25,000, which is roughly half of what the competitors charge for their comparable units. Ordering one right now will have a unit delivered to your door along with installers setting it up for you and making sure everything’s running well.
With my brief time in the Eleetus simulator, I found myself really enjoying what they had to offer. The product looks really well built and moved very well. Everything was in arms reach and using it was a ton of fun. Like I said, I hope to one day get some time in with a flight sim to see how it does.
The Eleetus simulator makes a strong first impression. It might have been the fact that the unit was tucked into the corner of a small office which made the unit appear larger than it was. It might have been because the unit seemed to come perilously close to striking the wall every time it tilted to the far right but either way the unit is very impressive.
As you slide into the racing chair three 27” Asus monitors fill your field of vision. The unit we saw was configured as a driving simulator but Eleetus has a flight simulator option as well. The simulator is made of largely of off the shelf components. While you could buy the components yourself the real Eleetus magic is buried in the actuators and motors that drive the simulator.
The motors are capable of both subtle and strong motion. Changing gears generates a small shudder while hitting a wall (or being struck by another car) leads to a significant jolt. The tilting of the unit is likewise butter smooth based on what’s going on in the game.
Surprisingly the unit doesn’t generate any real noise or a lot of heat. Despite being in a small office and running all day the unit was still cool and the fans weren’t making a lot of noise.
This is especially impressive when you consider that the PC that powers the unit is encased in the base of the unit. It’s a solid setup and the unit is capable of running most games at medium or high settings. That may not seem like a lot but you have to consider that the PC is powering three high resolution monitors.
As good as the unit is it does have one flaw and that’s the audio. All of the audio is sent from a large Vizio soundbar that sits on top of the monitors. The sound is great and crystal clear but the lack of any audio coming from the rear of the system kills some of the immersiveness that you would expect a $25,000 simulator to have. In one of Eleetus's videos, they do show a setup with front and rear speakers so we know that is at least an option, one which we didn't get to experience.
Ignore the pricepoint for a moment and just enjoy the view of Eleetus simulators. Yes, these are not going to be for everyone, but even getting into one of these machines for a few minutes is incredibly fun. I was impressed by the overall comfort and feel of the machine when stepping into the machine for the first time. While simulators want to give a player the best visuals and feel for the steering and control, often times they slack elsewhere. That’s not the case with this simulator. I was never uncomfortable sitting down and getting into the game, even with the movement.
While I personally was hoping for the flight simulator machine so I could hop into something like Ace Combat, Elite: Dangerous, or other excellent flight simulators, I still enjoyed my time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The monitors gave more than enough view to make me feel like I was behind the wheel at the Brickyard. The first run wasn’t exactly the most successful, but that was mainly due to messing with the stick shift and not sticking to the wing controls behind the wheel. Once figuring out that the stick shift had to be in a neutral position and not touched, the experience became very enjoyable.
The motion experience was very realistic, especially when doing hard banks for turning and getting taking any kind of hit against another car or the wall of the track. It wasn’t overbearing at all and felt as though it was a natural motion. After all, these race tracks have a bank to them on every turn, so while some will look at the video and wonder why we’re getting a 30 degree bank on a simple turn, that’s exactly the reason why. Braking was also a ton of fun, especially after flooring the accelerator and hitting 200 miles an hour, only to slam on the brakes and have the Eleetus tilt forward hard.
I was very impressed with how quiet it actually was. Some simulators will make all sorts of creaking and air compression sounds. I didn’t get that with Eleetus as the sound was non-existent. One thing I do wish the simulator had was surround sound as while the Vizio soundbar attached above the monitors provided quality sound, simulators need to make a player truly feel that they are there 100%, and that cannot be achieved with just a front sound bar. It looks like one of the configurations that Eleetus showed off before has it, so hopefully this is an option for would be buyers.
All in all, I enjoyed my time with Eleetus. I do want to get my hands on a combat flight simulator to see what the experience is there as I have to imagine there is far more motion since we’re talking about adding an all new axis for banking, pitching, and turning.
We'd like to thanks the fine people at Eleetus for letting us in to check out their impressive simulator.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.