Nissan and MS team on 'URGE to sit on your rear' concept car

Where do you not want to go today?

Nissan and Microsoft have partnered to show that they can deliver as much impotent grandeur as any other auto/software maker duo.

The vendors this week announced that they will unveil the first "fully integrated gaming system within a vehicle."

At this point, you're probably thinking, "Come on, we've all seen a Playstation packed Escalade." And that's true enough.

What you probably haven't seen is a car that is the video game console.

"Conceived by Nissan Design America Inc. (NDA) and equipped with the Xbox 360 next-generation video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Nissan URGE concept car allows drivers (while parked) to play 'Project Gotham Racing 3' using the car's own steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal while viewing the game on a flip-down seven-inch LCD screen," Nissan and Microsoft said in a statement.

Artist's rendering of Nissan UrgeThis experiment highlights the nature of concept cars. You'll often find technology that you would love to see in real cars and then feel saddened that it never arrives. At the same time, you're often horrified at what companies will waste their time developing.

Apparently, however, we're not in the demographic that comprehends the genius at hand. Only the echo boomers get it.

"Nissan conducted an Internet survey of 2,000 echo boomers, a majority of which said technology and gaming are among the most important attributes in their first car," said Bruce Campbell, vice president of design at Nissan Design America.

You're no doubt sharing in the same, beautiful vision of thousands of plump teenagers slumped over their steering wheels in parking lots or virtually surfing while parked near a beach.

"The URGE concept car is equipped with the award-winning 'PGR 3,' which allows drivers to control a breathtaking trip through the streets of five photo-realistic locations: New York City, London, Las Vegas, Tokyo and the Nurburgring test track in Germany," Nissan said. 'PGR 3' drivers view and play the game on a flip-down LCD screen, which doubles as a rear-view mirror when the car is being used for real driving.

"They control the action using the Nissan URGE's race-inspired steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal. A Nissan URGE driver can, for example, maneuver through the streets of New York, park the car and fire up the Xbox 360, then virtually race through the same streets using the same steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal -- blurring fantasy and reality in a way that the automotive world has never before seen."

The URGE car with Microsoft on board will be displayed for the first time on Jan. 9 at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. ®

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