At E3 last year, Sony properly teased us with a playable demo of Gran Turismo Sport to much anticipation. In fact, I played it and came away satisfied by the work-in-progress in half-completed form. The game will be released in late fall and Thrustmaster intends to come prepared with their T-GT Racing Wheel, which has been officially unveiled at this year’s E3 expo.
To the uninitiated, it may look like another racing game peripheral that only an enthusiast will appreciate—it certainly is—but the T-GT is a little more decadent than your average T300RS. Actually, it’s priced at US $799.99 (MSRP).
Yeah, this premium accessory will launch alongside Gran Turismo Sport on the PlayStation 4, and may in fact be the type prototype model seen at the private game launch event of last May. They look damn similar.
But it’s quite a looker, sporting four rotary selectors on the wheel hub that can adjust in-game tuning functions like the brake balance, stability assist strength, torque distribution and even the fuel injection mapping all on the fly. Additionally, T-GT makes use of twin mini-sticks for menu navigation, and to accommodate viewpoint positioning and perspective tailored to the individual.
Beyond the new knobs and dials, the wheel continues to have the usual array of PlayStation face buttons and D-pad, too.
You get the base wheel, a three-pedal set, and bespoke power supply that looks like a engine turbocharger. According to Thrustmaster, the T-GT centers purely on force simulation technologies. The wheel has a new T-40VE motor, an integrated cooling system, sensors to accurately detect handle position, and a new direct feedback feature called ‘T-DFB’ system.
They claim T-DFB is meant for depth feedback and improved clarity over other existing force feedback wheel made today. Subtle effects like tire adhesion, road surface, and weight balance are accounted for each specific vehicle and circuit. The T-GT comes designed with Gran Turismo Sport exclusively in mind, and up to 16,000 engineering hours.
Don’t expect it to come cheap though, but if you can afford a realistic driving experience and do plan on picking up Gran Turismo Sport, the Thrustmaster T-GT could be a no-brainer. We will have to circle back when the time comes for an evaluation run.