Logitech's high-end Flight System G940 hands-on

Tim Stevens
T. Stevens|06.04.09

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Logitech's high-end Flight System G940 hands-on
Lots of people have Chuck Yeager aspirations but Joe Schmoe opportunities for flight time. For them there's the flight sim. Titles like Microsoft Flight Sim and Falcon are some of the earliest to popularize PC gaming, and since the beginning they've been accompanied by high-price controllers that replicate the experience of flying. Logitech's Flight System G940 is the latest. We spent a little bit of time with it in the company's cramped meeting room on the show floor to see if it's worth adding to your virtual hangar.

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The whole setup includes a flight stick, throttle control, and a set of some of the beefiest pedals we've yet seen, big enough for the boots of any NFL linesman who happen to stop by and heavy enough to ensure they won't go scuttling away under your desk when you're correcting for the crosswind on the final approach to Kai Tak.

The bases on the two desktop sticks are similarly heavy, but despite that heft their movement is quite light. The flight stick is definitely oriented for the combat pilot, with plenty of buttons and toggles for whatever weapons system your next gen interceptor may have on offer, plus trim knobs for all axes.

The throttle controller is similarly well endowed with buttons, a tophat and a four-way rocker, and is split to allow control over two banks of engines. Notable here is the four-by-two array of light-up buttons. They can indivdiually glow red, green, or orange, and are fully programmable and customizable. The controller will ship with an array of labels that gamers can apply to identify each control, and scripts can be written to dictate the behavior of the buttons, so that, for example, your landing gear button will be green when up, red when down, and maybe orange when stuck somewhere in between.

Code will be released with the controller to match a variety of popular flight sims, like Microsoft Flight Simulator and IL-2 Sturmovik, and anyone who knows their way around a C compiler can craft their own. We're guessing there'll be no shortage of extensions not long after this launches, which will be in September, by the way. $299 is not cheap, but for a quality flight system like three Benjamins is something of a bargain, and is well worth considering for anyone looking to get a bit more serious -- but not totally hardcore -- with their digital flight craft.
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