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Thrustmaster T500RS steering wheel unveiled: $599 of Gran Turismo perfection


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First the tease, now the payoff. Thrustmaster has officially announced the full specs and price for its T500RS steering wheel and pedal set, otherwise known as the official driving simulator for Gran Turismo 5. The T500RS purportedly lets "users truly feel the emotions experienced by drivers on real racing circuits," though whether this includes feelings of unquenchable anger from being put into the wall at Daytona is unclear. A contactless magnetic sensor system known as HallEffect AccuRate Technology gives gamers sixteen-bit precision input that represents a significant upgrade over the twelve-bit version in the Ferrari Wireless GT Cockpit 430 Scuderia Edition. Additionally, 1080 degree wheel rotation gives drivers a half-turn more than Logitech's Driving Force GT, and the system comes with fully adjustable pedals configurable for floor mounted (F1-style) and suspended (GT-style) positions. Slated for a late December or mid January release, depending on your location, the T500RS has a hefty list price of $599.99 MSRP, but how else will you find out what a Bugatti Veyron really handles like on the 'ring?

Gallery: GranTurismo Thrustmaster T500RS | 6 Photos

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Thrustmaster Announces the T500 RS for PlayStation®3 Officially Licensed by Sony Computer Entertainment and Gran Turismo®5

Get ready to go far...very far...

Preview at CES Las Vegas 2011 North Hall, Grand Lobby, Lower Level Thrustmaster Booth # 5015 & 5018

New York, NY - (December 23, 2010) - Thrustmaster, the innovative PC and console accessory brand, is pleased to unveil today the T500 RS wheel and pedal set specially designed for Gran Turismo 5: a racing assembly that lets gamers live the most realistic, powerful driving experience, with no compromises.

The T500 RS is a real driving simulator, combining power and precision. Thrustmaster has drawn from more than 20 years of expertise in racing wheels, with a single goal: to develop a wheel and pedal set that allows users to go as far as possible in the GT5 experience. The designers have taken into account the expectations of the most demanding gamers, while also adhering to the technical choices of the developers of this new opus in the benchmark car racing series.
The T500 RS's dual official GT5 and PlayStation® licenses are the result of this unique positioning, as Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital and Senior Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., explains: "The goal that I set for the Thrustmaster team was to design for me the most precise wheel ever developed, without any latency – to accurately reproduce the sensations of GT5, and let users truly feel the emotions experienced by drivers on real racing circuits."
An Infinite Number of Driving Styles

Size and Dimensions: Completely optimized for GT5, the T500 RS meets the demand for absolute realism. The first thing users will notice when setting it up is its weight: 4.6kg for the wheel, and 7.3kg for the pedal set. Another instantly visible feature is the omnipresent use of metal – for the gearshift levers, the wheel's central spokes section (30cm in diameter) and the pedal set. This has required a mechanical design with no compromises.

Wheel and Gear levers: Ergonomics was at the heart of the wheel's development, with an eye on optimizing game play, performance and driving sensations. The sequential gearlevers mounted on the base feature large 17cm levers that are constantly accessible without letting go of the wheel. The wheel itself offers a remarkable 1080° rotation. These 3 full turns are also adjustable, thanks to a motorized stop, allowing the gamer choose the maximum degree of rotation according to the type of racing circuit and the car being driven.

Metal Pedal Set: The spacing and height of the 100% metal pedal set is also fully adjustable and accommodate individual driving preferences by offering 2 positions: "floor-mounted" F1 style, or "suspended" GT style. The brake pedal has been given extra attention, with reinforced and adjustable resistance that lets users perfectly tailor their braking with near surgical precision, and which includes a removable mod. A textured foot rest, also crafted entirely of metal, completes the pedal set. Gamers will notice that having 3 pedals at their disposal not only enhances the level of realism, but it also gives them a taste of what's to come with the addition of an independent gear stick, which will also be available from Thrustmaster in the coming months.

More Power and Precision to Push the Limits of Racing

Force Feedback Racing Simulator: The T500 RS is a true racing simulator designed for the most die-hard racing fans: its power is unmatched, with Force Feedback effects relayed via a 65W industrial motor, providing 150mNm at 3000 RPM. The Force Feedback mechanism is vigorous, fast-acting and extremely responsive. While the power is potent, the integrated large dual-belt system ensures backlash-free and smooth behavior.

Totally Precise Wheel: Fans of even the most intense racing experience know that power alone does not allow them to achieve the best performance. With this in mind, the T500 RS provides total precision which never decreases over time. The T500 RS employs the same technology developed for the world's latest benchmark flight stick, the HOTAS WARTHOG™. The magnetic sensor-based H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate Technology™ is incorporated into the wheel's steering mechanism. As a result the wheel is super-precise with 16-bit resolution and 65536 values on its steering axis.
With this wheel and pedal set, users will go farther than ever before in the thrill of the ultimate GT5 experience. Get ready for an extraordinary ride...

The T500 RS will be available late December / mid January, depending on the territory, at a suggested retail price of $599.99.

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