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It's an exciting time in the world of console steering wheels.
Two of the most recognised manufacturers are lifting the lid on their latest offerings.
Both wheels will be officially licensed and supported on the PS4, and of course in GTSport.
And both wheels are at the top end of what is available for console racing.
For those currently using a wheel, these two wheels set the latest benchmark if you are considering upgrading your setup.
For those thinking of taking the plunge for the first time, it constitutes a serious commitment to that decision, as both of these wheels will cost more than a pretty penny.
Fanatec recently announced their first ever officially licensed PS4 wheel - the CSL Elite Racing Wheel.
The details of this wheel are now fully revealed and it is already available for purchase.
And today Thrustmaster have announced their latest high end product for the PS4 - the T-GT.
The wraps are still on regarding the details for this wheel, but with E3 just a few days away we should be hearing more very soon.
First, considering we know all the details, let's take a look at the Fanatec.
The CSL Elite Series is a relatively new product which became available in the second half of 2016.
The series is comprised of three main components - a wheel base, a steering wheel, and a set of pedals.
The original steering wheel, known as the CSL P1 was developed for the XBox and PC market.
The newer version developed for the PS4, shown below, has seen some marked improvements in many areas.
This models wheel base now boasts some of the internals of the much praised Fanatec Clubsport V2.5 wheel base used by many PC sim racers.
The servo motor, electronics and power supply come straight from the V2.5, which means the new CSL Elite wheel base should offer an excellent force feedback experience.
The steering wheel itself is of course designed specifically with the PS4 in mind, and features higher quality materials and upgraded paddle shifters compared to the CSL P1 wheel.
It also includes exchangeable button caps with popular racing function symbols so you can mix and match the buttons to suit your personal settings.
Here is Fanatec's official marketing video highlighting all the features of the new model.
Fanatec's new steering wheel is currently only available in the EU and Australian markets, where starter kit bundles (wheel base + wheel, and entry level pedals) are available for €519.95 and $799.90 respectively.
Now, the Thrustmaster.
The very recently named T-GT was first seen displayed at the Copperbox GTSport reveal event last year.
There has been much speculation around the internet regarding this wheel since its first appearance, but unfortunately we still have no official details.
Gran-turismo.com described the wheel as a "special eSport model featuring even more high-end specs than the T500RS", which strongly suggests this wheel will be Thrustmasters flagship product.
As the name suggests, this wheel has been designed with GTSport in mind.
It is assumed the 4 colour coded turn dials on the wheel match the on-the-fly options available in-game, (namely Brake Balance, Fuel Mapping, Traction Control, and Torque Distribution), and will allow for quick access and adjustment mid-race.
Only time will tell.
But of course the biggest speculation has been regarding the insides of that wheel base.
Could this be a direct drive wheel, or is it belt drive?
And then there's the other important questions.
When will it be released?
And how much will it cost?
Take a look at Inside Sim Racing's AussieStig's first impressions after seeing it at the Copperbox event.
Thrustmaster have announced that the wheel will be launched at E3, which is just around the corner, so hopefully some of these questions will be answered soon.
Keep an eye out here for an update post as details are revealed.
So, some food for thought.
An insight into what's on offer in the latest world of top end console steering wheels.
It's also worth considering that both of these wheels will come with available options.
Interchangeable wheel rims, pedal sets plus upgrades, and accessories such as shifters and handbrakes.
And for this sort of money it's wise to take some time, do your research, and look into all the options to find that combination you'll be happy with.
No doubt some will feel these types of products are well above any budget they would consider.
But for those looking to take their hobby to the next level, perhaps these two wheels are just what you've been waiting for.
I'm really looking forward to the derails of the T-GT. Hopefully it's a big enough advancement over the T500, for me to want it. Or I may just have to go for the CSL Elite.
I'm looking at getting a new wheel.
And at this point, for me, the Fanatec has its nose infront.
But obviously I'm waiting to see what the T-GT has to offer.
I note Thrustmaster has posted a new video on its Facebook page.
It's a bit of a "guess the anagram" game, but it can be watched in the link below.
I don't confess to know what "T-LIN" or "T-DFB" is, but "T-40VE" and "T-MCE" sound very similar to their latest PC only wheel, the appropriately named "TS-PC".
The details of this wheel can be found in this press release.
So should some/many/all of the internals from the TS-PC be what's hiding under the wheel base cover of the T-GT, then I guess it will be belt drive, and not direct drive as some have speculated.
Not that this is a bad thing.
It will still surpass TM's current best PS4 wheel, the T500RS.
The clip also shows a new set of pedals, the T3PGTs, which could be interesting.
Whether those pedals are competitive with Fanatec pedals remains to be seen.
Oh, it should also be noted that Thrustmaster have announced a new collaboration with a “world-class automotive supplier.”
What this means at this stage is unknown.
Fanatech have a Porsche and BMW wheel rim available.
Thrustmaster currently have many Ferrari rims available.
So what this new collaboration could bring is exciting.
Roll on E3.
Well, the wraps are now off the T-GT.
Thrustmaster have issued a press release and opened a dedicated website for their new wheel.
And there is plenty of info. to digest.
But let's get down to the nuts and bolts.
The wheel is belt drive.
It seems to have similar internals to the TS-PC, but with some upgrades, inlcuding additional force feedback features exclusive to GTSport.
The wheel itself is heavily designed for use in GTSport.
The pedals are a new design.
And the big one ....
"The T-GT will be available for purchase to coincide with the launch of the game Gran Turismo Sport, at a suggested retail price of £699.99."
Here is a link to the press release.
And here is a link to the dedicated site where you can read about all the features of this wheel.
£700! That's quite a lot for a wheel that isn't direct-drive. I need to look into the details. It must be something special to be that price.
Yeah. You are paying for the GT Logo. LoL
As I mentioned somewhere earlier in this thread, Thrustmaster suggested they would announce a new collaboration with a “world-class automotive supplier” at E3.
As it turns out, that company is Sparco.
I heard quite recently of a Sparco gaming rig/cockpit being released.
And now it seems they also have 2 steering wheels in the pipeline.
Even though this clip below uses an Xbox wheel base, it's worth checking out as it gives a quick look at both wheels and the rig.
Well that didn't take long.
A review from a reputable YouTube "sim. racing" channel has landed.
Check out what Shaun from The Simpit* has to say about the CSL Elite for the PS4.
(*An excellent channel and well worth a look)
Oh! i hadn't heard of this channel before. it's Shaun from Inside Sim Racing. Exchanged a few messages with them in the past@Tassie_tiger
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