Thrustmaster unveils Ferrari F458 racing wheel and TH8 RS shifter, dares you to get fast and furious

Is that regular ol' Xbox 360 controller leaving you unfulfilled after a marathon session of Forza Motorsport 4? Don't fret, Thrustmaster has announced the launch of its Ferrari 458 (F458) Italia Racing Wheel for Microsoft's gaming console. The 11-inch wheel features a rubberized grip to stay comfy, built-in metal paddle shifters, a Manettino dial for mid-lap adjustments and progressive resistance to keep you on the straight and narrow. Not wanting to leave PS3 and PC racers in its dust, the company also revealed the TH8 RS gear shifter -- which connects to the T500 RS or the outfit's other PC wheel controllers via USB. This bad boy lets you release your inner Michael Schumacher with either H-pattern or sequential configurations plus 360-degree rotation adjustment to tailor the gearbox to your liking. Both the TH8 RS and the aforementioned F458 will be hitting your garage... er, game room in October for $180 and $90, respectively. Check out the full PR for the pair after the break, and make sure you fasten your seatbelt.

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Thrustmaster announces the first ever racing wheel officially licensed by Ferrari & Microsoft Xbox 360

New York, August 18th, 2011 - Xbox 360® paddocks clear the way for a sweeping arrival – Thrustmaster, the innovative PC and console accessory brand, today announces the launch of the Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel for Xbox 360. While this new release doesn't feature dual carburettors or overhead camshafts, it does boast two official licenses from Ferrari and Xbox 360 – an exclusive worldwide collaboration. A replica of the Forza Motorsport 4 hero vehicle, the official F458 Italia, this racing wheel provides the ideal combination to enjoy a truly immersive gaming experience – a must-have for true racing enthusiasts!

The outcome of a specific development process:
A new competitor on the crowded Xbox 360 track which offers an increasing number of quality racing games, the Thrustmaster crew is well-equipped with expertise and leadership in the field of racing wheels. To reach the pole position, a specific development process was initiated in close collaboration with Ferrari. The Maranello engineers' latest flagship, the Ferrari 458 Italia, was chosen as a basis for the creation of this replica racing wheel – a logical choice indeed owing to this unique car's design and character, on par with the Xbox 360's specifications.

On one side, the Ferrari 458 Italia features an exclusive racing wheel with a large number of controls, while on the other, an Xbox 360 controller requires controls that are specific to this console. The Ferrari 458 Racing Wheel for Xbox 360 by Thrustmaster embodies the symbiosis of these two components, combining truly unique design with exceptional ergonomics. The different action buttons and controls are within easy reach of the user's fingers – making it simple to customize settings while racing, or access the Xbox 360 interface. Most importantly, this lets gamers get comfortable with the controller incredibly quickly, and focus on immersing themselves in the total excitement of racing.

Aggressive and complete:
The racing wheel's 11 inch diameter wheel and rubber-textured grip will enable drivers to improve their best lap times consistently, with optimum comfort. Gears are shifted up and down using the wheel's built-in metal gear shifters. Unrivalled realism and detail are supported by the presence of a "Manettino®" dial enabling users to modify certain in-race settings (such as changing player views in Forza Motorsport® 4).

Extensive equipment is available out of the box with 8 action buttons, an Engine Start D-pad, an Xbox 360 Guide button and a connector for the Xbox 360 headset and microphone. Under the bonnet dwells a "Bungee Cord" automatic centring system offering progressive resistance over a 270-degree angle, for a more immersive racing experience. The pedal base has not been neglected; it features a wide footrest, a long-stroke accelerator pedal and a resistant brake pedal, for more precision.

The Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel for Xbox 360 is designed to help you cross the finishing line before the competition does – its V8 is its price tag is every bit as aggressive as its looks!

The Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel for Xbox360 will be available in October at a suggested retail price of $89.99.

Thrustmaster announces the TH8 RS: a fully-adjustable gear shifter with superior realism

New York, August 18, 2011 - Ready to meet the expectations of racing fans everywhere,
Thrustmaster is launching the TH8 RS – a high-end, stand-alone, versatile gearbox. The device's two
configurations – H-pattern and sequential – enable drivers to select their favorite driving style.

Realism and versatility:
Most sim racers cannot imagine shifting speeds without the use of a dedicated gearbox. With the TH8 RS, featuring unrivalled technical innovations supported by pending patent applications, Thrustmaster now offers a device that is realistic enough to satisfy even the most demanding drivers.

At first glance, the TH8 RS looks ready to be fitted to a real car. It features a 5.12" tall stick with a removable knob; the stick is also compatible with real, universal gear shift knobs. The TH8 RS includes two interchangeable shift plates, each suited to a specific configuration – ―H-
pattern‖ (7 gears plus 1 reverse gear) and ―Sequential‖ (pull the lever towards the ―+‖ mark to gear up, and push it towards the ―–‖ mark to shift down).

Total adjustability:
To allow users to freely adjust the TH8 RS to their convenience, the position and the rotation angles of the shift plate and clamping system can be adjusted by 360 degrees. The removable clamping system, optimized for any type of support, is also open to customization: it is suited to both table tops and shelves up to 55 mm thick and cockpits alike (built-in ―screw threads‖ are located under the TH8 RS). Gear strokes can also be adjusted via a downloadable PC application and the device's internal memory. The gear shifter's resistance is also fully adjustable.

Superior materials and technologies:
The internal mechanism, the lever, the outer housing and the clamping system are 100% metal. This robust design significantly contributes to the extremely realistic in-game experience delivered by the TH8 RS.

Thrustmaster has designed the TH8 RS with unrivalled precision, by including H.E.A.R.T (Hall Effect AccuRate Technology™) technology featuring magnetic sensors. Avoiding usage of potentiometers or tact switches eliminates wear due to contact, thus delivering an unlimited product lifespan. In addition, the firmware can be upgraded to offer all foreseeable evolutions, assuring users that the TH8 RS is here to make a lasting impression.

The TH8 RS with USB connectivity is compatible with the T500 RS racing wheel on PlayStation®3 (a list of compatible games is available on the Thrustmaster support website) and with all currently available racing wheels for PC.

The TH8 RS will be available in October at the suggested retail price of $179.99.