May 27, 2013

Ann Tancio


Product: Sumo Emperor
Manufacturer: Sumo Lounge International
Price: $249.00

So I was asked to a review a chair on PS Nation. To be more precise, I was asked to review abeanbag. My first reaction was, “How do I review something that is not a game?” But then I realized that it was a Sumo Beanbag, and I quickly understood the relationship. You see, I own a gaming chair, complete with pockets for my Cheetos, sodas, or whatever else I might decide to accompany me on my journey through Skyrim. And while this chair has served me well, it does lack a certain level of comfort. Don’t mistake that statement for any type of disapproval of my virtual world companion. It has served me across dozens of video game journeys.

Now, enter the Sumo Emperor: a red 55”x25” behemoth of a thing. The packaging for this big guy couldn’t have been more misleading, as the box that was shipped to me was considerably smaller than what later expanded to be the Sumo Emperor. After it magically expanded to its full size I finally dived in. And “dived” is not even a metaphoric use of the word, as I immediately sunk into its absorbing folds.


My previous experience with beanbags dates back to some 2-3 decades ago at a relative’s house. He owned one of those ancient leathery beanbags that crunched and moaned as it reshaped itself in order to compensate for my size and weight. Comfortable, to be certain, but the leather stuck to my skin, and sliding and repositioning one’s self took effort, and I almost always ended up sitting on the floor to watch TV or play Atari 2600 (anecdote dated).


So imagine my surprise, when attempting to read my tablet while sitting and adjusting into this magnificent piece of “furniture”. This is to beanbags what PS3 is to PSOne. An evolution that I never knew existed. Not only did the Emperor mold into my shape. It did so with little effort, while not giving way so quickly that my ass slammed to the ground underneath its centerpiece. And speaking of the centerpiece, the small bulge sitting dead center of the doughnut-shaped Sumo feels amazing on your back when you are using the bag for simple relaxing, or while reading a book.

But I wanted to run the Emperor through the experience of using it while playing a game. Since its shape is more geared toward leaning back and relaxing, the upright posture of playing games might prove tiresome, since the Emperor doesn’t really come equipped with any soft of back rest.

Thus, last night I squeezed in a few hours of BioShock Infinite, while resting myself upon the Sumo. It didn’t take long for my neck to start feeling a little tired. Naturally, were I sitting on a chair as I am now, my posture would make holding my neck up easier, but since my entire body was resting upon my back, keeping my neck aloft took its toll. Fortunately, it was simple enough to grab a cushion and slide it into the raised outer edge of the Emperor. Problem solved. The rest of the gaming session was as comfortable a ride as I have ever had (yet another reason why I still enjoy console gaming over PC gaming). This big guy is a very comfortable way to game. Highly recommended.


As an added perk, the Sumo Emperor is large enough to seat two people. So split-screeningRatchet and Clank: Full Frontal can be a fun and intimate experience with your significant other (Motion controls NOT recommended).


I was left extremely satisfied with the Sumo Emperor, with my only negative being a lack of a back-rest for upright gaming. But this is not something I can hold against the Emperor, as upright sitting was probably not in its initial designs. Besides, who doesn’t have a cushion to prop yourself up with, anyway?


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