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$500 Gran Turismo 5 Racing Wheel Roars Down the Track

| 6 Dec 2010 16:50
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You may have boiled over with rage every time it was delayed and squeed with delight when it finally came out, but you're not a serious Gran Turismo fan until you take home one of the hot, sexy and super-expensive new racing wheels coming soon from Thrustmaster.

Thrustmaster, as you may know, builds controllers. The company is legendary among gamers of a certain age and bent as a maker of of top-quality controller systems like the current-gen HOTAS Warthog joystick, and soon its stable will be joined by a Gran Turismo 5 racing wheel that makes all others look pale in comparison.

The T500RS racing wheel uses the same HEART (Hall Effect AccuRate Technology) system that's in the Warthog throttles, using 3D magnetic sensors with the "surgical precision" of 16 bit resolution, with "65,536 values on the steering." It's also crazy expensive: word on the street, according to Engadget, is that the base model wheel - that is, without the optional H-pattern shifter - is going to list for $500. As the promo teaser says, this is "a wheel that not just anyone should get their hands on."

500 bucks for a game controller? I'm as much a fan of realism as the next guy, but that's a bit much. On the other hand, Thrustmaster clearly isn't aiming these beasts at the mass market and you're not very likely to just pick one up off the shelf at Walmart. Fortunately for demanding gamers who don't have quite that much bulge in their budget, there's another officially-licensed Gran Turismo wheel on the market from Logitech that's still impressive, if not quite as jaw-dropping: the Driving Force GT, a force-feedback wheel with integrated shifter that goes for just $150. And 150 clams suddenly doesn't sound so bad, does it?

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