Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Fanatec announces official Forza 4 wheels

On the heels of the MadCatz announcement, Fanatec has announced their own line of licensed wheels for Forza 4. Fanatec is famous for making high-quality racing wheels, including authentic reproductions of Porsche wheels that are compatible with most 360/PS3/PC racing games. The new line is called "CSR", and will include five products:

  • Forza Motorsport CSR wheel
  • Forza Motorsport CSR Elite wheel
  • CSR shifter set
  • CSR pedals
  • CSR Elite pedals

Fanatec reports the CSR will fall in the middle between their Porsche and Clubsport products. Here are the main differences between the CSR and CSR-Elite wheels:

CSR:

  • Improved force feedback electronics and mechanics make the wheel stronger and faster
  • Metal CSR shifter set and large metal paddle shifters make shifting gears easier than ever
  • Lightweight aluminum wheel rim with Alcantara inserts allow faster, more responsive turns

CSR-Elite:

  • Wheel base fully made of metal with carbon fiber and Alcantara wheel rim
  • DirectSensor™ technology with sensor mounted directly on the steering axis. This avoids all the interference and performance loss you get from the belt/gear drive found on traditional motor-mounted sensor systems
  • Dual force feedback motors with 120Watt (silent big fan cooling) and very low cogging force to avoid “notchy” feeling

Engadget got to spend a bit of time with the CSR pedals, and found they share a number of similarities with it's Clubsport Pedal brother, including a adjustable load-cell brake sensor and the ability to mount pedals vertically (via an optional kit). A "load-cell brake sensor" essentially means means the pedal converts force applied to the brake to the strength of braking in game, so the brake pedal acts more like it would in a real car. This is great for the precise braking required to tame the most savage of automotive beasts, and is something other major wheel manufacturers have yet to adopt.

It appears players will be able to combine any wheel, pedal and shifter set they want, letting them customize their setup to suit their needs and pocketbook. Speaking of pocketbooks, no price has been set, though a Fanatec representative has stated

We will keep our fully modular ordering system so the pricing depends on the options you take. It will range between 320 and 700 for a set with pedals.

No word if this is in Euro or USD. A release date has not been set, but they expect to have it out on the market by the end of the year.

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Related Links:

Fanatec announcement

Turn 10 announcement

Mad Catz announces wireless 360 wheel

Good news for XBox 360 drivers! Mad Catz has announced a new wireless wheel, which includes force feedback! The product is currently called "Wireless Force Feedback Wheel", and is expected to be released "holiday 2011". The wheel is built on a metal chassis, and comes with a quasi-F1 style gas and brake pedals, along with both paddle and sequential shifters. In a nice touch, the sequential shifter is also able to be mounted on either the left or right side of the unit.

The wheel will come with a lap holder, can be mounted to a desk, and is also able to be connected to a computer for firmware updates. No word yet if it will have 900° of rotation or the diameter of the wheel itself.

Aggregated E3 news links: day one

Forza 4:
IGN – The Parallel Paths of Forza Motorsport 4
Jalopnik – How Forza Motorsport 4 Will Change Car Culture Forever
RaceDepartment – Forza 4 footage from E3
Youtube video – Forza 4 E3 conference
GameTrailers – Forza 4 video trailer
Electricpig Exclusive: Behind the scenes at Turn 10 Studios and the making of Forza Motorsport 4

Need For Speed The Run:
E3 press conference & gameplay video
Youtube video – more gameplay video

F1 2011:
Sim Racing World – game screenshots
VideoGamer – F1 2011 preview
VirtualR – interview with developers

Hardware:
Kotaku – Microsoft's New Offical 360 Steering Wheel Cuts the Cord

 

With luck there will be more to come tomorrow!

Benjamin’s Racing Diary: 12/08/10

Finally got around to buying a sawhorse, so I could have a cheap home cockpit setup. Mounted my old Logitech Momo Racing wheel to it, and pluggd it into the PS3. Gran Turismo 5 detects it, but it is a bit limited. Gas and brake work, paddle shifters work, and top four buttons work. The arcade shifter does not. Here are the default settings:

Top Left: e-brake Top Right: Windshield Wipers
Middle Left: Pause Middle Right: Reverse
Bottom left: N/A Bottom Right: N/A

The middle left cannot be reassigned to anything other than pause. I modified the settings so reverse was on top right and the wipers were on the middle. Pity the bottom two can't be assigned, or else this would be nearly perfect. Yes it lacks a lot of the features of modern wheels, and there is practically no force feedback, but what is there is enough to work with. My times are already steadily dropping as I get used to this much better form of playing the game. I don't think I'll do it all the time though, since it is a bit of a pain to pull everything out and put away when done.

Datel announces new SuperSports 3X Racing Wheel

Datel announced the release of a new multi-platform steering wheel, the SuperSports 3X. It comes equipped with dual-motor force feedback, auto-centering, a sequential shifter and wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Since it is multi-platform, the wheel can be used on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The user can also use their internet-connected PC to configure wheel settings, which can be saved to the unit and used on other games. After the "read more" jump, you can find the full un-edited press release, courtesy of GamesPress.

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