Mention mobile gaming, and most people would think of the Nintendo DS or maybe an iPhone. Dave Soliday of Chanhassen envisioned a 38-foot trailer hauled by a powered-up pickup truck.
His Gamin' Ride -- outfitted with enough Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles for up to 24 players -- redefines "gaming on the go." The $100,000, custom-built rig is destined for birthday parties, corporate shindigs, family reunions -- wherever an instant video-game arcade would go over well.
"It's a party at your house, not in your house," says Soliday, ever the pitchman after 24 years in corporate sales.
Besides the latest consoles and hot video games, the Gamin' Ride sports six HDTV displays, chairs that vibrate in response to the on-screen action and even game-inspired "smell-o-vision."
"I smelled fried mushrooms -- really," said Patrick Tommins, 10, after playing a Mario game in the Gamin' Ride at a recent grand-opening event in Chanhassen. "It was strange!"
His friend, Jack Dahlgren, 11, was happy to sit down to play "Wii Sports," a motion-controlled game that usually has players on their feet and moving around.
"You can get up if you want," Dahlgren said, " but it takes the fun out of the vibrating chair."
Prices for the Gamin' Ride (www.gaminride.com ) start at about $300 for up to 16 people at events within 45 miles of Chanhassen and include a "game guru" to monitor the festivities. Parents -- or distant relatives -- can even tune in to a live, secure video feed on the Internet to see how the party's going without actually being there. Extras such as photo key chains, candy and a T-shirt are available for a fee.
It didn't matter to Sydney Hardek, 8, at the grand opening that she has a Wii system at home. As soon as she finished her 15-minute-limit turn at sampling the Gamin' Ride, she ran around to the back of the trailer to be first in line for another go-round.
"It's in a truck," she explained, "so it's really cool."