Videogame graphics have become so lifelike that it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between reality and virtual reality, even if you’re busy killing aliens 50 light years away from your desktop. Toyota’s Tacoma All-Terrain Gamer project vehicle blurs that line even further. It's a four-wheel drive gaming console.
The ATG, as Toyota calls it, is a joint venture between Toyota and Microsoft Xbox. “We’ve taken the idea of what would it like to take an off-road vehicle and still be able to play your favorite video games in remote locations,” said David Williams, a Toyota marketing planner.
The Tacoma ATG starts with a stock double cab pickup with a 6-foot bed, removes the B-pillars and welds the front and rear doors together to create giant gull wing doors on both sides of the pickup, creating a “patio-like” shelter for gamers.
The driver and front passenger seats fold out and back, lining up next to the rear seats, so that four players can compete head-to-head in Microsoft’s new Halo ODST multiplayer videogame for the Xbox. Four Samsung 24-inch LCD displays are stowed in the center of the cabin and swing out to give each player their own view of the gaming action.
Spectators can watch the action via a 60-inch Sharp LCD television mounted in the Tacoma’s trailer receiver hitch.
“The sound system that powers this was created by Kicker Audio Systems,” Williams said. “They helped us design a 2,150-watt sound experience.”
That sounds system consists of a 12-inch 1,500 watt Kicker Solobaric L7-12 subwoofer in a custom enclosure, that protrudes into the bed with vents at each corner directing air into the cab, plus eight Kicker QS65.2 6.5-inch mid-range speakers handling a combined 650 watts of power.
Performance isn’t limited to high-powered speakers and graphic-processor units. Under the hood, the Tacoma’s 4.0-liter V-6 has been enhanced with a TRD supercharger that boosts power ratings to 304 horsepower and 334 lbs.-ft. of torque. A custom acrylic hood allows you to see the supercharger resting on the engine.
When the Tacoma ATG’s occupants decide they want to spend some time away from the computer, they can use two Cannondale mountain bikes to explore the real world.
“Even after all the changes we’ve made, the Tacoma ATG is completely drivable,” said Williams. “This isn’t just an image vehicle. It’s a lifestyle vehicle that fits with the activities we know our buyers are interested in – the off-road performance world with a gaming lifestyle.”