CES 2011 for Simmers Page 3

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Thrustmaster T500 RS Racing Wheel and Pedals

My next order of business was found at the Guillemot booth in the form of a high end racing wheel. However, I found it hard to believe that it is a gaming controller; it appears to be real, straight out of a sports car.

Nearly 12″ in diameter, this wheel has a realistic look and feel. The diameter of the grip is excellent for large and small hands. The wheel texture is made of rubber and has a firm grip. The wheel is also fully detachable from the base, allowing room for future upgrades from Thrustmaster. The sequential gearshift paddles are 6.7” in height and are crafted of brushed metal. Unlike other wheels, the paddles are attached to the housing; this feature required an adjustment period from me, as I kept up-shifting when I wanted to down-shift and vice versa.

The unique design of the pedals allows for user preference in positioning. Whether you’re an F1 or GT style driver, these pedals are made for a sim racer. The pedals are floor-mounted in F1 mode and suspended in GT mode. Another adjustable feature of the pedals is that the user can set the spacing between each pedal and and the pedal heights. The brake pedal also features a reinforced and adjustable resistance, which gives the pedal a realistic feel.

Those who are familiar with the Thrustmaster T.16000M or the HOTAS Warthog will recognize the H.E.A.R.T. HallEffect AccuRate Technology™. This hall sensor technology is also found in the T500 RS steering, and the precision of the wheel is amazing. My adaptation to the precision was initially causing over-correction while driving, although it’s no fault of the T500 RS. This wheel makes three complete rotations, totalling 1080°. This is something I have never personally experienced in a racing wheel.

Racing around the rally circuit and being able to feel the rough road in your hands was astounding. The added sensation of being able to feel every bump, the bite of the tires, and the slides in the turn truly made it seem one step closer to actually being behind the wheel of a real rally car.

The design of the Thrustmaster T500 RS looks to be exceptional. It features a rock solid design with partial metal construction, customizable pedal options and a 1080° range of wheel rotation. Currently the Thrustmaster T500 RS is limited to the Playstation 3; however Thrustmaster said PC drivers are “in the works”. Thrustmaster has released a welcome addition to the rising number of racing simulation hardware options on the market. We look forward to providing an in-depth review of the new unit.

*Panther* drives with the new Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

*Panther* drives with the new Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel hub

Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel hub

Pedals from the Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Pedals from the Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Another image of the pedals from the Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

Another image of the pedals from the Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel

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