By IAN AUSTEN
Neil Nusbaum has an unusual prescription
for increasing the fitness of children: they
should play more video games. But while they
play, says Mr. Nusbaum, the president of
Hollywood Engineering, they should be
pedaling stationary bicycles that his company
has modified to act as controllers for Sony
"With this," he said, "we can keep a kid on a
bike for 30 to 40 minutes, sweating and having
a great workout."
The CycleFX Game Rider and Game Rider
Directcontrol, which will be out this summer,
integrate cycling into any PlayStation racing
game, including those with competition
between monster trucks rather than
Lycra-clad athletes. Players change direction
using handlebars fitted with standard
PlayStation control buttons, and their pedaling
rate determines on-screen speed.
The Game Rider ($599) is a full stationary bike that acts as a controller. The
Directcontrol version ($399) is a hardware and software package that fits either
ordinary bicycles or stationary bikes and turns them into game controllers. With either
version, up to two Game Riders can be connected to a PlayStation unit for racing
between human rather than just virtual opponents.
Players will have to be content with getting their on-screen amusement from racing
games alone. "We don't get into baseball or shoot-'em- ups," Mr. Nusbaum said.