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Drive and Play, literally speaking

For all those people who love to drive fast and furious and want to emulate drivers like Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher on the road, your dream machine is on the way.

An announcement to this effect was made on Wednesday by Japanese auto maker Nissan, which said that it will be showcasing a concept roadster named Nissan Urge with a built-in Xbox 360 at the North American international auto show, which will take place in Detroit beginning Jan. 9, 2006.

The Xbox 360 is loaded with project Gotham Racing 3. For playing PGR3 on the Nissan Urge roadster, the player/driver uses the steering wheel, gas, brake pedals and a seven-inch LCD screen, which is fitted to the roof and can be pulled down when one has the urge to play.

For security reasons you can’t play the game while driving. The car has to be parked safely before you take to the tracks.

The three-seat Urge from Nissan is not the first concept car with fancy features. In fact, it will join a long line of concept vehicles with wacky features such as Ford’s translucent dashboard or DaimlerChrysler’s motorcycle built around a Dodge Viper’s V10.

According to Bruce Campbell, vice president of design at Nissan Design America, the idea of turning the Urge into an Xbox controller was spurred by an Internet survey of 2,000 young people which found that “technology and gaming are among the most important attributes in their first car.”

The other appeal of the new Xbox lies in its ability to render games with ever- increasing realism. According to a statement from Nissan, a driver can drive the Urge around New York, park it, then flip down the screen and drive around the same streets in PGR3, “blurring fantasy and reality in a way that the automotive world has never before seen.”

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About Ritwik Sinha

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