The New York International Auto Show featured even more VR and racing cabinets than usual this year, as convention runners and manufacturers realized that letting you test out a vehicle in some way on the floor was better than the usual "you can sit in it, but oh wait not that one" game that you usually settle for at major car shows. After all, the best way to sell a car is to let someone drive it. But test drives aren't really a thing you can put in a convention center, and thus, we got racing pods and now VR all over the place.
Hyundai, while an alright company, has been left in the dust. Unlike Dodge who used their actual cars as arcade cabinets, Mazda who managed to capture the brief sensation of true motion out of their VR, or Nissan who could at least leverage Star Wars if nothing else.
Hyundai had two racing pods that looked like they'd been made out of bumper cars which were running Gran Turismo 6 on a PS3, and supposedly had you racing their actual racing vehicle, the N2025. In actuality, the car you were racing handled more like the N2025 in that it had no power steering, but looked like the Genesis Coupe. What is hilarious about that, is that Hyundai no longer make a sports coupe – either on their own brand under the spinoff Genesis label. So we were racing an old car fitted over the body of an actual racer on a PS3 in 2017. Seems legit.
The racing pods' handling was so poor that I saw no one finish a lap without crashing, getting turned around, or running over pedestrians. And that was on an easy track. In fact, there were two women standing beside the pods just waiting to get you unstuck from where you wedged yourself, because that was just so damn common.
Ultimately, it was a rather disappointing showing and I just have to wonder, why did they bother?