Thrustmaster unveils Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition and Ferarri gamepad for Xbox 360, we go hands on

It's been almost a year since Thrustmaster rolled out its first replica Ferrari 458 Italia racing wheel and pedal set for Xbox 360, and the company's finally outed its successor: the Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition. Like its elder, the GT Cockpit has an 11.2-inch replica of the Ferrari 458 Italia's steering wheel, with A,B, X and Y buttons in place of turn signals and an Engine Start button that's actually a d-pad. It also sports brushed metal paddle shifters and 16-bit resolution to ensure a realistic digital driving experience. However, the new wheel is attached to a base sporting a pair of stamped steel pedals via an adjustable steering column. The whole thing has metal underpinnings and weighs 22 pounds to provide stability as you virtually race around Sebring or Laguna Seca. Plus, it's foldable, so you can easily stow it out of the way when you're not doing your best Stig impersonation.

Post Inject Code Thrustmaster Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition press shots

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In addition to the GT Cockpit, Thrustmaster has also outed the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition Gamepad. It largely looks like a standard corded 360 controller, with a Ferrari-style white and red paint job (replete with racing sponsor logos), backlit thumbsticks and two rows of LEDs at the top of the controller. The LEDs are programmed to provide visual indicators for engine speed or braking power, and the thumbsticks have been tweaked to be more precise than those on other available 360 gamepads. The F1 gamepad's up for pre-order today for $49.99, and the GT Cockpit can be yours in September for $300. Wanna know more? Check out our hands (and feet)-on impressions after the break.

Thrustmaster Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition hands-on

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We got to spend some time with the GT Cockpit playing Forza Motorsport 4, and found it to be a welcome addition to our driving game experience. Setting up the cockpit is an easy affair, as you simply unfold the column and set it at your preferred angle with a screw knob, and the telescoping column is secured at the right length in similar fashion. Plug it into your console, and you're ready to race. Alas, the pedals aren't adjustable, so you'll have to make do with the stock alignment.

Once driving, the whole rig was quite stable, and the 16-bit wheel was deadly accurate. It let us clip corner apexes as often as our skills allowed. Additionally, the brushed metal paddle shifters gave us a pleasing snick each time we pulled them -- and, they allowed us to easily navigate gear changes while cornering because they're attached to the wheel and turn with you. While the wheel benefits from Thrustmaster's Global Vibration System technology to provide force-feedback, it doesn't give the high fidelity experience that the firm's T500 RS controller does. What the GT cockpit does share with its higher-priced cousin, unfortunately, is a rubber coating on that's far less pleasing to drivers' hands than say, the leather and Alcantara found on its competition.

That said, the all-in-one nature of the GT Cockpit is a welcome change from other wheels that must be affixed to a coffee table, and its simple setup is a boon to those of us who don't have a dedicated gaming space.

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GET READY TO FEEL THE ROAD WITH
THRUSTMASTER'S NEW FERRARI® COCKPIT FOR XBOX 360® & PC


RENNES, France - August 15, 2012 - Thrustmaster, the world's top maker of premier video game controllers, is pleased to unveil the first cockpit officially licensed for Xbox 360® (also PC-compatible) with a built-in wheel and pedal set. An official Ferrari® licensed product, the cockpit is adjustable enough for any gamer and foldable to be easily stored when not in use. This is also the first product to ever incorporate a unique technology which spreads out vibrations throughout the entire structure so drivers can feel the track through the wheel and the pedals.

Designed for instant fun

The philosophy behind this cockpit is to maximize the users' gaming time, with no long installation processes, or the hassle of attaching a wheel to a table or desk players can jump into their favorite cars in no time. There's no need to rearrange the living room setup either, the cockpit can be used almost anywhere, and easily adapts to any seating arrangement. Thanks to its adjustable design it can easily be adjusted both in length and in height to any user's size from adults to children. Using the cockpit's convenient carrying handle, players have everything they need to be able to jump right into the action any time they hear the racetrack call their name, and quickly store the cockpit away in some unobtrusive spot when it's not in use.

This highly innovative approach is summed up by Stefano Saporetti, Head of Licensing at Ferrari S.p.A.: "Our work with Thrustmaster shows both companies' commitment to our shared values, namely a dedication to innovation and quality. This product brings its unique concept, with the emotional impact of Ferrari, right into users' living rooms, allowing them to enjoy racing in a very immersive way."

Superior features, with G.V.S. (Global Vibration System)
The wheel on the Ferrari Vibration GT cockpit 458 Italia edition incorporates G.V.S. (Global Vibration System) technology, allowing for the high-frequency vibrations from the motors to be felt not only on the wheel itself, but also throughout the cockpit's entire steering column and pedal set. This provides incredibly realistic effects and total immersion in racing games. The ultra-precise wheel, featuring 16-bit performance for more than 65,000 values on the wheel's steering, allows players unparalleled control in turns. Gear shifting is carried out via the metal sequential paddle shifters and the wheel features a Manettino® dial, just like on the real Ferrari®. Textured rubber grips on the wheel ensure optimal comfort, and the cockpit even includes a headset connector for communication during multi-player gaming.

Unique metal look

With its streamlined "Musetto" body shape featuring a metal structure, the Ferrari Vibration GT cockpit 458 Italia edition looks great in any living room. Its wheel measures 11.2 inches in diameter, and is a 7/10 scale replica of the wheel in the Ferrari F458 Italia. Its wide, weighted base is over 22 pounds, providing excellent overall stability no matter how intense the race becomes.

Another huge advantage in relation to a standard setup is that the 2 metal pedals are built directly into the system, further increasing stability. Additionally, everything is ready for use in games by simply connecting the cockpit to user's console or PC. The pedals feature a long range of travel, with progressive resistance on the brake pedal for maximum realism.

The Ferrari Vibration GT cockpit 458 Italia edition will be available in September, at a suggested retail price of $299.99. For more information on this product, or any other made by Thrustmaster, please see our website at www.thrustmaster.com. The product will be available for pre-order on August 15th, from major online retailers and at www.buythrustmaster.com.

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THE FERRARI GAMEPAD FOR XBOX 360® – TRULY DESIGNED FOR RACING, WITH BUILT-IN THROTTLE AND BRAKE GAUGES!

RENNES, France - August 15, 2012 - Thrustmaster, the world's top maker of premier video game controllers, is introducing its latest exclusive controller under the official Ferrari license, designed to offer extreme precision. With built-in Light Feedback and Vibration Feedback and speed gauges, this new release features an official Xbox 360® license, and is honed to win.

An unrivalled, truly innovative design:


The GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition hardly goes unnoticed. Boasting a new design and looks inspired by the Musetto (i.e. the nose) of the Ferrari F1, it also proudly bears the signature of Scuderia Ferrari driver and Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso.The GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition's unrivalled looks become even more remarkable during gameplay, thanks to 2 exclusive features: Light Feedback and speed gauges. Light Feedback enhances the gamepad's ministicks with interactive backlighting, which illuminates in sync with in-game events. The 2 speed-gauges feature 8 built-in LEDs, which offer improved visibility and control over throttle and brakes. The Light Feedback and speed gauges can be activated or deactivated by means of 2 ON/OFF switches. These specific features enable the player to visualize the game's essential parameters, including engine speed or braking power, during races and improve their performance..

The GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition also packs a punch under the hood with a Vibration Feedback feature controlled by 2 high-frequency vibration motors built into the device's grips.

Optimized precision for ultimate performance:

In addition to its performance enhancement features, the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition offers unrivalled gaming precision. Thanks to a new firmware, its ministicks are optimized to be twice as precise as any other currently available controller. The ministicks also feature a textured non-slip rubber skin, ensuring optimum grip and comfort.

The 2 progressive triggers are designed to offer optimum ergonomics, allowing enhanced adjustment and control over all actions. The cross-shaped D-pad is also designed to offer enhanced precision in all 8 directions. The controller's equipment is rounded off by an Xbox Guide/Windows Live button featuring 4 LEDs and a built-in connector for a headset and microphone.

The GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition will be available in September at the suggested retail price of $49.99.For more information on this product, or any other made by Thrustmaster, please see our website at www.thrustmaster.com. The product will be available for pre-order on August 15th, from major online retailers and at www.buythrustmaster.com.

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Thrustmaster unveils Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition and Ferrari gamepad for Xbox 360, we go hands-on