Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PlayStation 3 Wireless GT Ferrari 430 Scuderia Cockpit

That product title is a mouthful, but the product itself is worthy of that distinction. We've never seen anything like this new racing wheel and pedal set from ThrustMaster. When you think of racing wheels for video games, what comes to mind? A disembodied wheel and a set of pedals, right? Combine that with a table of reasonable height and you have a relatively close approximation to real driving.

Those who are rolling in cash might be able to spring for a wheel stand that orients both the wheel and pedals in a fashion similar to an actual car, but those can cost upwards of $300 apiece. Many of them are closer to $600 because many come attached to a legitimate car seat.

Add the cost of a reasonably good wheel (around $120) and you're talking about a major investment just to play racing games. Now for some, this might be entirely justified. There is nothing like playing a driving sim with a proper setup, and it comes remarkably close to actually feeling like you're on the road. But for others, the aforementioned "wheel attached to a table" was the only option. Either that or holding it in your lap, which doesn't feel right at all.

Anyway, ThrustMaster has recently released a unique racing 'cockpit.' It's essentially a set of pedals and a racing wheel connected to form a single object. And frankly, we're surprised it hasn't been done before. Modeled after the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, the wheel is 7/10 scale replica of the real thing, and the brake pedals are inspired by those in the actual car. The delicious red paint job matches the car, as well.

Gorgeous. The weighted base is over 10lbs so it's quite stable, and the frame is constructed of metal. The wheel extends to be positioned for optimal use regardless of what the player is seated in or how tall he/she is, and it can be collapsed and folded for easy storage.

We figured that the coming of the long delayed Gran Turismo 5 was reason enough to offer this item for those who want to experience it and indeed all racing games in a new way.

More information on the product including technical specifications, exact dimensions, and compatibility information can be found here.