If you like to race you know that there is nothing worse than the times when you are NOT racing. We try to get our fix by playing games like Forza Motorsport 4 to take the edge off but even then we still can’t quite get the level of realism we want with the standard controller in our hands. Steering with your thumb on an analog stick is nice but it just is not quite the same as holding a wheel in your hands. For an added touch of realism you may want to put Fanatec’s Forza Motorsport CSR wheel on your gift list this year. With up to 900 degrees of rotation, top of the line forcefeed back motors and high resolution steering input sensors this is one of the best steering virtual steering wheels you can get right now and the $249 price tag reflects that. There is also a shifter set and aluminum pedal set available to go with your wheel as well. The full package with the wheels, shifter set, and pedals will run you about $459. While that seems like an astronomical price this set up is pretty high quality, plus there is the added bonus of Playstation 3 compatibility. Before this wheel, consumers had to buy a wheel for their Xbox 360 and a wheel for their PS3. So in a way you are actually getting two-wheels in one. If you want to see everything you get in the package check out our unboxing video. Then add this wheel to your gift list this year or consider it as a gift for the gearhead in your life!
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We were lucky enough to be among the first to get our hands on the new Fanatec Forza Motorsport 4 wheel, pedals, and shifter to test along with our review copy of Forza Motorsport 4. The funny thing is the wheel showed up before the game did! So, we decided to do a good ol’ fashioned unboxing video so you can see what you get when you pre-order the set up. We figured since it was a special occasion it was a good time to dawn our 80s-licious driving gloves we got for free when we were invited to a pre-screening of the movie “Driver”. In case you are wondering, the free gloves were the best part of the movie, but we digress..
The first thing we noticed when we opened up the wheel was how light it was. After using it at E3 we were expecting the wheel to feel heavy with all the hardware in it but it was very light weight. We were also pleasantly surprised to find genuine alcantara swatches on either side of the wheel for added grip. Classy!
Second we opened up the shifter set and we were surprised to find that you actually get not one but two shifter attachments! One is a sequential style shifter and the other is a full 6-speed H-pattern shifter with reverse. We like options! Both shifters also had some real heft. We are thinking that is probably due to their construction. Also the H-pattern shifter is slightly larger than the sequential. The only negative to the shifters is that they are both quite loud and clicky, we know that may annoy some but there are others who may not mind at all.
Finally we opened the “Elite” pedal set. The first thing we noticed is that it is really heavy! We realized right away that the weight comes from some pretty heavy duty metal construction. It also appears to be highly adjustable as well. Users can swap the pivot points of the pedals to the top for a more realistic feel and they can also adjust their positioning as well. Finally there is a small knob behind the brake pedal to adjust sensitivity. It is pretty easy to see that the “Elite” set is for the serious simulation racer.
If you are interested in this gear all the parts you will see in the unboxing video are available for pre-order now. The wheel is a fair $249.95 and the shifter set is $59.95, the Elite pedal set goes for $149.95. You can pick up all three pieces of gear for a package price of $459.85.
If you find yourself trying to justify spending that much on simulator gear take comfort in the fact that the wheel, pedals, and shifter are all cross platform compatible. That means they will work on the PC or your Playstation 3. So in a way it is like getting three wheels in one! See, that softens the blow a bit does it not?
Since we did not get our review copy of Forza Motorsport 4 yet we have not attached this set to our Playseat rig yet. We were a little bummed that both did not come at the same time but on the bright side it gives us a chance to figure out if there will be any compatibility issues with hooking up this set to the Playseat Forza Motorsport 3 rig. If you do not already have a Playseat and want to pick one up before you get Forza then we reccomend buying the Forza Motorsport 4 Edition Playseat as it was designed with the Fanatec set-up in mind.
Each part of what you see unboxed is available now for pre-order at Fanatec.com. The CSR wheel will set you back $249.95, the CSR Elite pedal set will go for about $149.95, and the shifter set will cost $59.95 or you can buy the whole bundle for $459.85. While that does sound pricy the MSRP is justified by the fact that all the components are cross-platform compatible. That means you can use this set up on your Playstation 3 and your PC so in a way it is like getting three set-ups in one. Depending on your ability to weild the sword of logic that fact may soften the financial blow a bit.
As I stated earlier we have not set up this rig yet as we are waiting for our review copy of Forza Motorsport 4 so stay tuned for our full review of the Fanatec Forza Motorsport 4 CSR set up and Forza Motorsport 4 soon! For now click on the thumbnails above for detail shots of the Fanatec set up and scroll below for the official unboxing video featuring the debut of the awesome “driver” gloves…
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