For the first time ever, progressive clutch, handbrake or cockpit view control!
Thrustmaster, New York, October 12, 2005 — This will certainly not be the year in which Thrustmaster falls short in its reputation as the PC and game console racing wheel specialist: the manufacturer is set to release the innovation that will propel realism and sensations in rallye and GT games to new heights never possible before! Thrustmaster is very proud to unveil the Rallye GT Force Feedback Pro, its new high-end spearhead product, the first and only Force Feedback wheel with 5 independent and progressive axes* in car racing simulations games: 5 axes accessible via its pedal set and analog levers or via a double pedal set system!
What fan of PC car racing simulations hasn't dreamed of progressively controlling powerslides with their handbrake on rallye circuits, having progressive views from inside the cockpit in GT or NASCAR games or even having a clutch pedal just like in a real GT racing car!
"Thrustmaster, the brand known for its advances in the design and development of simulation accessories (F1 FFB wheel, HOTAS joystick) is now releasing THE next-generation racing wheel! Gamers will discover a whole new era in rallye and GT racing simulations, thanks to our RGT Force Feedback Pro," states Gilles Raulet, Product Development Director at Thrustmaster. "After listening to gamers and car racing game developers, we have equipped our wheel with a new 5-axis technology which opens up the door to game play never before possible in games such as TOCA™ Race Driver (1& 2), GTR FIA GT RACING GAME™, GT Legends™, Life for Speed™, Richard Burns Rally™ and NASCAR® Sim Racing™: PC games which signal the end for three-axis wheels."
The Rallye GT Force Feedback Pro incorporates Thrustmaster's exclusive technology with 5 axes*, all of which are independent and progressive. Up until now, no other wheel has allowed for independent control of these 5 progressive axes proposed in the simulation games. Thrustmaster recommends three never-seen configurations. Thanks to one of them, users will be able to avoid over-steering, approaching turns by downshifting slightly and then releasing the clutch halfway through the turn for maximum pickup and acceleration. For that, users simply program the lower left lever and lower right lever as axis 4 "Analog clutch function" and axis 5 "Progressive handbrake control".
Thrustmaster is going even one step further and, for the first time, offers a new configuration named “COCKPIT” to the simulation fans. By acquiring the upgrade kit, this configuration offers gamers the possibility of connecting a double pedal set system (the “extra pedal set” consisting of a second pedal set and a coupling rod will be available online for a suggested retail price of €29.90 VAT incl.). With this double pedal set, sensations are guaranteed when carrying out skillful double-clutching in GT races (third pedal), applying precise doses of handbrake (fourth pedal) and counter-steering in rallye races, in a 90° turn or a hairpin curve!
Finally, as third configuration (recommended in group races such as NASCAR® Sim Racing or TOCA™), axes 4 and 5 are assigned to the wheel's lower right and left levers, allowing the interior cockpit view to turn progressively from center to right, and from center to left – the user controls the driver's head, sees what he sees, and sizes up the competition!
Without question, the RGT Force Feedback Pro allows users to rediscover their favorite racing games, with new sensations and greater performance. New tense, high-octane game play!
To take the simulation aspect even further, Thrustmaster has also equipped the wheel with a sequential gearshift knob and gearshift levers, thereby allowing users to select between rallye and GT racing styles.
Thrustmaster has also paid a great deal of attention to the quality of the wheel's design and the materials used. The wheel features an oversized tube design for optimal handling and ergonomics; it is also entirely covered in a double-injection rubber texture. The wheel's pedal set is very stable and includes two aluminum pedals with a long range of travel and a realistic angle. Its clamping system is extremely sturdy with a metal nut and screw thread, ensuring perfect stability even on very thick tables and desks.
Mechanically, the RGT Force Feedback Pro is equipped with the luxury of a metal axis and ball bearing steering mechanism for excellent precision and fluidity in games. The dual belt-pulley/gears system allows for a flexible and silent Force Feedback mechanism.
In terms of Force Feedback electronics, the RGT Force Feedback Pro employs TouchSense® technology under license from Immersion Corporation: a powerful motor positioned on the axis accurately relays Force Feedback effects for maximum realism and sensations in USB PC games.
Thrustmaster's R&D team has also developed a dedicated software application for personalizing and testing Force Feedback effects, in response to requests from game developers and to meet the needs of hardcore gamers. Fully programmable, the wheel is also equipped with an exclusive button allowing to enable or to disable the re-centering function directly via the wheel while racing, 10 independent action buttons with 14 positions, and a D-pad to navigate within menus and settings.
The Rallye GT Force Feedback Pro will be released at the end of October 2005, at a suggested retail price of €119.90, VAT included. The upgrade kit for cockpit-style configuration will be available from online retailers as of November, at a suggested retail price of €29.90, VAT included.
* RGT Force Feedback Pro is compatible with games developed in 5-axis mode and backwards-compatible with games developed for 3 and 2 axes
* Standard racing wheels only support 3 axes allowing to turn, accelerate, brake, or even 2 axes. In such a case, the second axis is separated, one half-axis being used for gas, the other half for brake, which makes simultaneous gas and brake impossible (please see the list of games and recommended axis configurations).