Gaming Influence on Nissan's GT-R "Supercar" Dashboard Controls

I saw the San Diego premier of the Nissan GT-R Supercar at the San Diego International Autoshow during the last week of December.  The dashboard controls inside this car, as well as other Nissan vehicles admittedly have been strongly influenced by gaming.

Reading the literature from Nissan, the GT-R Supercar is a vehicle of mythic proportions.  For kicks check-out the GT-R website to learn about the legend that is the GT-R supercar.  Anyhow, …, I encountered this car at the San Diego International Auto at the end of this past December.  The sleek looking gleeming beauty was displayed on a rotation pedestal complete with a beautiful spokes model to to give us the 5-cent tour of the vehicle.  This car will be available in 2009 in the US at the amazing bargain price of $69K, $72K nicely equipped ;p.

My Dad’s instantly fell in love and has been a lover of Nissans sports cars since the early 70’s — yes, he still has an old non-functioning pea green Z-car in his garage.  Me, I’m less impressed by a race car exterior since my brain is always focused on visibility out the windows when considering a car (ever practical I guess).  What caught my attention was when the spokes model mentioned that this present incarnation of the vehicle first appeared as a prototype vehicle option in Project Gotham Racing 3 (XBox 360) and that the performance monitor interface was inspired by gaming.  Hmm … interesting.  So as I understand it, the “performance monitor” interface not only can be used to adjust features like climate control and the stereo system, but it can also be used to monitor and adjust engine and driving parameters.  Here are some further details from JD Power:

The 2009 GT-R is Nissan’s innovative technology platform designed with an elaborate array of advanced electronic computerized controls to make driving faster, easier and safer. The center of the dashboard hosts a row of switches to customize transmission shift points, choose one of three suspension settings, and change or override the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R). The driver is able to monitor more than a dozen engine and performance parameters through the multi-function LCD on the dashboard. These include vehicle speed, g-force, fuel economy, turbo boost, water pressure, oil pressure, transmission oil, front/rear drive distribution, steering angles, and more. The presentation of the information was designed in conjunction with Polyphony Digital Inc, designer of the Gran Turismo video game series for Sony PlayStation.
The standard electronics package is comprehensive. A 7-inch, touch-screen, WVGA high-resolution color LCD sits prominently in the dashboard to display GPS navigation, vehicle performance information, and audio selections. A digital Bose stereo with AM/FM in-dash 6-CD changer, HDD Music Box system, MP3, WMA and DVD audio capabilities is also standard. All GT-R models are equipped with a Bluetooth Hands-free phone system with voice recognition.

Wow!  That’s a high level of driver engagement!  One of the concepts the spokes model stressed is that the GT-R is meant to be driveable by anyone with a license, from novice to pro.  I wonder is this true with the peformance monitor interface, or is there a learning curve associated with how each of these parameters effects car performance.  Eitherway, I imagine for those who would buy this car, part of the fun will be learning how to use the performance monitor interface to enhance the driving experience and to track their preformance on their driving adventures.  I just hope that fun doesn’t lead to too many horrific traffic accidents.


I'm Back from Home and Las Vegas

After three weeks of being out of the office, I’m back!  Unfortunately, I’m not feeling so good this morning and I’m wondering whether I will make it through the day (tummy trouble and I seem to be doing my best to try to pass-out).  I’m hoping it’s just a case of “workitus” that will improve as I get back into the swing of things.  Anyhow, I remember writing a list of things I wanted to do during my break.  Here’s what I wanted to do:

  • Plan next year’s spring/summer vacation — Nope
  • Defeat the 7-headed junk mail beast that now occupies my office and kitchen table — DONE
  • Take the piles of clothes that don’t fit me or my husband to Goodwill — DONE
  • Read manga and watch anime until the wee hours of the morning — DONE
  • Finish “Mass Effect” — Nope
  • Finally get rid of this nagging cold! — I’m still sniffling

Junk Mail Beast Before:

After 2 Days of battle (4 Hefty bags of paper removed, the death of my shredder, and the purchase of a new one):

OMG!!!  We have a wood floor!  I still have a couple of cord fairies to exterminate and a lot more desktop mess to deal with, but overall, I’m pleased with the result.  And, yes that’s a Halloween table cloth hanging over the window … sigh … I swear I’ll get around to ordering blinds one day.

I didn’t make it to Goodwill before the turn of the year, however, I did manage to unload 3 Hefty bags full of clothes that no longer fit me or my husband.  It always feels good to give our sweaters and some of my “work” clothes a second life.  Most of the clothes were worn only once or twice before they no longer fit — I lost weight and my husband gained.  I also found out, after buying many sweaters, that my husband doesn’t wear sweaters because he always runs hot.  Doh!

On the anime and manga front, I watched all 78 episodes of “Kyou Kara Maou”, an excellent anime series that is available on Netflix — check it out!  I also translated the second volume of Arakure (“Wild Ones” in the US).

As for summer vacation — well the Blackbird 002 was on special … 🙂  So I guess we’ll be vacationing at home this summer.  I got bored with “Mass Effect” (my husband finished it, though), and my cold is probably allergies.  Sigh …

Ahh CES2008 … well, I didn’t feel that blogging while there did justice to my experience.  Much to my husband’s dismay, I talked to quite a few people for some time (I find that engineers from Japanese companies are very proud of their products and will spend lots of geeky quality time with you if start asking questions and talking) and I took over 200 pictures.  There are some specific products and trends that I would like to highlight and as always, in a couple of weeks I will put out a formal report.  I will put the entries in this blog. 

As for the bar bet … sigh … I ended up cancelling most of our dinner reservations in Las Vegas because I couldn’t enjoy eating dishes and desserts my husband couldn’t even taste.  So we played it my ear and ate mostly in restaurants within the Summerlin area.  Needless to say, we will be splurging at PMA starting Feb 1st.  My husband’s co-workers will be having “fun” come February :).  I’m quite proud of his effort 🙂