Move over Nintendo, Microsoft & Sony. SEGA was doing full body motion control way back in the day! Well, almost. The Activator is a crazy light sensor octagon that you set on the floor and control games with your arms and legs. You stand in the center and the Activator recognizes when you break the Infrared beam of one of the 8 different sides. It recognizes the height of the plane also, so in theory a kick of your foot over the Activator would register a different action than a higher punch. You can actually hook two of these bad boys up for a truly nerd-tacular experience, just lock the doors, because if any girl sees you, you’ll be a loner for life.
There are all kinds of instructions and set-up procedures you need to be aware of before you can even think playing a game. Vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans, changing light, distance from TV and about a dozen other parameters need to be met for the Activator to calibrate. Once you make it that far you can step in the ring of shame. The north, south, east and west position on the octagon are the D-pad controls, sounds easy enough. Then you have the 4 angled sides, front right is the B button, front left is the C button, and both backward positions act as the A button. And if you activate both A positions at teh same time, it is like pressing the Start button. Notice there are no XYZ buttons? The best fighting games for the Genesis (including the ones they advertise on the Activator box) are best played with a 6 button controller. The Activator inputs are like a 3-button, so right from the start you are handicapped.
I hooked this one up and gave it a shot for a while. It was an absolute chore to deal with, and a horrible way to control any game. SEGA geared this as a great interactive way to play fighting games. Eternal Champions was actually packed in with this unit. In reality, using a standard 3-button controller with your feet would be easier.
The Activator did not sell well and I can all but guarantee it was used one or two times by anyone who got it and never touched again. But there is a bright side! Due to there limited use by everyone, the few I have come across have all been in great, almost new condition!