2011 CES: Playseat America Releases Gran Turismo 5 Licensed Game Seat

Posted on 01.11.11 | Andrew Beckford 1 Comment

For those who were looking to pick up a Playseat but was worried that your Forza Edition would clash with your GT5 set up have no fear.  At CES Playseat America announced an official Gran Turismo 5 game seat.  Not only is this seat decked in GT5 signage but they’ve actually made some design improvements.  The attachment plates have been specially engineered to accommodate PS3 wheels such as the Logitech Driving Force GT  and the upcoming very expensive Thrustmaster T500.  Also on this model the post to hold the steering wheel mount comes out from the seat rather than attaching to the center post.  This frees up your leg room and eliminates the need for left foot braking as in the previous model.  However, the best improvement in my opinion is that they switched to a stronger powder coat method for all the railing so you wont scratch it up with the clamp screws! Fresh!  Although I should say that the GT5 game seat isn’t cheap.  It will set you back $599 but I’d much rather spend that money on this rather than a steering wheel.  Buy the GT5 PS3 bundle pack, buy the Logitech wheel and then pick up this seat for the ultimate Gran Turismo set up.

 

Press Release:

Redmond, WA November 30, 2010

Playseat America, the premier manufacturer of gaming furniture worldwide, announces the upcoming release of the limited edition Gran Turismo® 5 edition Revolution Sim-Racing Game Seat to the United States gaming market.

Consisting of several new enhancements and modifications not found on the original Evolution, the next level in Playseat race seats, the Playseat Revolution – Gran Turismo® 5 edition, includes a new, leg friendly design for free range of leg movement and center mount wheel support, elevating the in-home Gran Turismo® 5 racing experience to new levels when combined with a Logitech wheel/pedal set of choice for PlayStation®3 (PS3™). The seat offers ultimate comfort and a realistic racing experience.

This dynamic race seat is modeled after real, rally and stock car seats, complete with helmet stabilizers and a new, patented, fully adjustable steering wheel support with aluminum quick release handle for easy slide adjustment for height and depth, and now accommodates even more third party wheel/pedal hardware sets (Logitech, Thrustmaster, FANATEC) on the market.

Newly designed extra strong, powder coated hollow triangle tubing for wire concealment with additional PU protection to avoid scratching rounds out this dynamic sim-racing chassis, making the Gran Turismo® 5 edition Playseat Revolution the perfect gaming performance enhancer, and the only way to bring the ultimate Gran Turismo® 5 edition racing experience home! Accessories are also available.

The Gran Turismo® 5 edition racing seat from Playseat will be available for consumers to purchase in January, 2011. MSRP $599.99.

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Thrustmaster T500 RS Gran Turismo 5 Wheel Gets Release Date & Ridiculously High MSRP

Posted on 12.29.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

A while back Thrustmaster’s new offical Gran Turismo 5 wheel, the T500 RS was teased on Engadget a while back.  Of course then it was just a rumor.  However, recently the curtain has been pulled back and Thrustmaster is revealing all the details on the T500 RS including the release date and the MSRP. 

Here in America we can expect to see the new wheel in stores on January 5th, 2011 (In Europe the wheel was released on Christmas day).  The real whopper is the price which weighs in at $599 before taxes!  That’s $100 more than the rumor price!  Although the rumors also suggested that the T500 wouldn’t come with a pedal set which turns out to be false.  Not only will the pedal set be included but its a special metal set that can be swapped between a “floor mounted” F1 style or “suspended” GT style positioning.  What the T500 will not include is an H-pattern gear selector.  There will be a unit coming but its release date and price have yet to be released.

Right now you’re probably asking “what makes the T500 RS worth $600?”  Well the short answer is research, development, and lots of metal.  Thrustmaster put a lot of time and effort into making this wheel as good as they feel they could make it.  The wheel rotates 1080 degrees (3 full turns) in either direction and is adjustable thanks to a 65 watt industrial strength electric motor with a dual belt drive.  It has 16-bit resolution firmware with 65,536 numerical values on its steering axis.  They also used metal everywhere they could use it.  The wheel assembly weighs in at 10lbs while the metal pedal set tips the scales at 17lbs.

Still, the price tag is pretty lofty.  Especially considering the fact that you can buy the flagship 320GB Sony PS3 console, the Gran Turismo 5 game disc, and the Logitech Driving Force GT wheel for less (559.97 before taxes) than what you would pay for the T500 RS alone.  That figure shrinks even more if you buy the Gran Turismo 5 160GB PS3 bundle instead of the 320GB version.  Also note the fact that the Logitech Driving Force GT wheel is perfectly calibrated for Gran Turismo 5 (it has its own screen in the game’s menu options) and the T500 RS starts to look really unnecessary.

However, no one outside of Thrustmaster has touched the T500 yet so outside of the company there isn’t a single soul who can say if the user experience makes the wheel worth the astronomical price tag.  Although CES is coming up and Thrustmaster will have a booth and the T500 on display so I guess we’ll have to wait for the reviews to come in to see if the T500 merits forking over 600 bones.

  

Press Release:

Preview at CES Las Vegas 2011 North Hall, Grand Lobby, Lower Level Thrustmaster Booth # 5015 & 5018

New York, NY – (December 23, 2010) – Thrustmaster, the innovative PC and console accessory brand, is pleased to unveil  today the T500 RS wheel and pedal set specially designed for Gran Turismo 5: a racing assembly that lets gamers live the most realistic, powerful driving experience, with no compromises. 

The T500 RS is a real driving simulator, combining power and precision. Thrustmaster has drawn from more than 20 years of expertise in racing wheels, with a single goal:  to develop a wheel and pedal set that allows users to go as far as possible in the GT5 experience.  The designers have taken into account the expectations of the most demanding gamers, while also adhering to the technical choices of the developers of this new opus in the benchmark car racing series.

The T500 RS’s dual official GT5 and PlayStation® licenses are the result of this unique positioning, as Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital and Senior Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., explains: “The goal that I set for the Thrustmaster team was to design for me the most precise wheel ever developed, without any latency – to accurately reproduce the sensations of GT5, and let users truly feel the emotions experienced by drivers on real racing circuits.”

An Infinite Number of Driving Styles

Size and Dimensions: Completely optimized for GT5, the T500 RS meets the demand for absolute realism. The first thing users will notice when setting it up is its weight: 4.6kg for the wheel, and 7.3kg for the pedal set. Another instantly visible feature is the omnipresent use of metal – for the gearshift levers, the wheel’s central spokes section (30cm in diameter) and the pedal set. This has required a mechanical design with no compromises.

Wheel and Gearlevers: Ergonomics was at the heart of the wheel’s development, with an eye on optimizing game play, performance and driving sensations.  The sequential gearlevers mounted on the base feature large 17cm levers that are constantly accessible without letting go of the wheel.  The wheel itself offers a remarkable 1080° rotation.  These 3 full turns are also adjustable, thanks to a motorized stop, allowing the gamer choose the maximum degree of rotation according to the type of racing circuit and the car being driven. 

Metal Pedal Set: The spacing and height of the 100% metal pedal set is also fully adjustable and accommodate individual driving preferences by offering 2 positions:  “floor-mounted” F1 style, or “suspended” GT style.  The brake pedal has been given extra attention, with reinforced and adjustable resistance that lets users perfectly tailor their braking with near surgical precision, and which includes a removable mod. A textured foot rest, also crafted entirely of metal, completes the pedal set. Gamers will notice that having 3 pedals at their disposal not only enhances the level of realism, but it also gives them a taste of what’s to come with the addition of an independent gear stick, which will also be available from Thrustmaster in the coming months.

More Power and Precision to Push the Limits of Racing

Force Feedback Racing Simulator: The T500 RS is a true racing simulator designed for the most die-hard racing fans: its power is unmatched, with Force Feedback effects relayed via a 65W industrial motor, providing 150mNm at 3000 RPM. The Force Feedback mechanism is vigorous, fast-acting and extremely responsive. While the power is potent, the integrated large dual-belt system ensures backlash-free and smooth behavior. 

Totally Precise Wheel: Fans of even the most intense racing experience know that power alone does not allow them to achieve the best performance.  With this in mind, the T500 RS provides total precision which never decreases over time. The T500 RS employs the same technology developed for the world’s latest benchmark flight stick, the HOTAS WARTHOGTM. The magnetic sensor-based H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate TechnologyTM is incorporated into the wheel’s steering mechanism.   As a result the wheel is super-precise with 16-bit resolution and 65536 values on its steering axis.
With this wheel and pedal set, users will go farther than ever before in the thrill of the ultimate GT5 experience. Get ready for an extraordinary ride…

The T500 RS will be available from January 5 in North America and Europe and from January 25 in Japan, at a suggested retail price of $599.99.
For more information on the T500RS, follow us on Facebook:Thrustmaster T500 RS.

Check out all of our products at http://www.thrustmaster.com

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Gran Turismo 5 Special Edition Announced For US Market

Posted on 08.10.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

In just a little over 3 months Gran Turismo 5 will officially reach stores (November 2nd) and its been a long time coming!  Some of us have waited so long that finally getting our hands on a copy will be a special occasion.  As such SCEA and Polyphony Digital decided to commemorate the event with a Special Editon box set that will also be released along with the standard edition.

When you crack open the Special Edition besides the game you also get a very limited edition 1:43 scale 2009 Nissan GT-R Spec V model with GT5 Livery, a 300 page guide called “Apex” that covers everything from automotive history to driving techniques, a special etched GT5 keychain, a voucher for 5 exclusive DLC cars with upgrades, certificate of authenticity, and of course the obligatory special edition packaging.

The special edition will set you back $99.99 and is available for pre-order NOW.  Which means you should be reading this post on your phone while you’re waiting in line at your local game store to get your name on the list because this “special edition” is also a limited edition!  There will only be so many of these available!

Press Release:

Gran Turismo 5 Collector’s Edition Announcement

Today Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the Gran Turismo 5 Collector’s Edition, releasing on November 2 alongside the stand-alone version. The Collector’s Edition features a must-have collection of exclusive items hand-picked for Gran Turismo fans. Quantities will be limited, so serious Gran Turismo fans should pre-order their copy at their local retailer now.

Retailing for $99.99 SRP, the Collector’s Edition includes a 1:43 scale collectible diecast car, a 300-page guide to cars and racing techniques, a GT-branded key chain, a voucher for five (5) DLC cars, and a numbered certificate of authenticity, all housed in stylish, premium packaging.

Collector’s Edition Content Details:

 

  • Gran Turismo® 5 game
  • Exclusive limited edition 1:43 scale diecast 2009 Nissan GT-R Spec V with custom Gran Turismo livery designed by Polyphony Digital, produced by well-known collectible car maker Kyosho
  • In-depth 300-page car-lover’s guide written by the experts at Polyphony Digital, covering everything from the history of the modern automobile to driving techniques and game reference material
  • Custom etched Gran Turismo key chain
  • Voucher for five (5) exclusive high-end cars with custom Gran Turismo livery and performance upgrades
  • Numbered certificate of authenticity
  • Custom collector’s packaging

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@PlayseatAmerica Evolution-X Alcantara

Posted on 07.23.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The Evolution-X is another awesome racing sim seat from Playseat America.  My favorite thing about this model is that you can get it in alcantara but its over $200 less than my favorite WRC licensed Playseat.  So you still get good quality, and alcantara but with a smaller hit on the ol’ wallet!  It is a total win-win!

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@PlayseatAmerica Evolution Takuma Sato Limited Edition

Posted on 07.14.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Check it out!  There is a Takuma Sato Playseat!  How fresh is this?!  I still think I like the WRC Edition Playseat better but this comes in a very close second.  The white and red color scheme really makes it look stylish too.  This is definitely the seat to get if you don’t want to worry about the alcantara on the WRC seat.

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E3 2010: Gran Turismo 5 Insight With SCEA Producer Chris Hinojosa-Miranda (Video)

Posted on 06.24.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

For me, one of the most memorable parts of E3 2010 was getting the invite to the upper-deck of the massive Sony exhibit to get a personal tour of Gran Turismo 5.  Car and game enthusiasts alike have waited for this game for what seemed like an eternity. I was lucky to get the opportunity to be among the first to try it out thanks to my friend and former co-worker Chris Hinojosa-Miranda as well as my new buddy SCEA Executive Producer Kyle Shubel (‘sup Kyle!).

After our days working together at C16 Magazine Chris moved on to SCEA in Santa Monica to become an Associate Producer for Gran Turismo PSP and Gran Turismo 5, thus solidly securing his place as the object of my envy!  Jealousy aside, it is pretty sweet to know someone on the “inside” and almost every year at E3 since he landed there I would catch up with him to get a little more insight about GT5.  However, the one thing I could never get out of Chris was a release date, until now!  In what is easily the biggest story of E3 to anyone who loves cars is that Gran Turismo 5’s release date was finally announced as November 2nd 2010!

Fast forward to a few moments later and I am making my way upstairs to the media demo level of the Sony compound to play Gran Turismo 5 with Chris and Kyle.  When I finally got to play I had two major surprises literally dropped in my lap:  The first surprise came when Kyle told me that Gran Turismo 5 will be playable in 3D!  A racing game in 3D is something that has never been done before and whatever you’re imagining the experience as in this moment I can assure you it is even better in action!   As soon as Kyle showed me how to activate the glasses I was instantly taken back by what I saw. Gran Turismo 5 in 3D is easily one of the greatest gaming experiences I’ve ever had period.  I realize the gravity of that statement and that’s still only the first surprise I got!

The second was another way that the developers discovered to bring the player even deeper into the game.  Combined with the Playstation EYE peripheral Gran Turismo 5 employs head-tracking when in cockpit view.  This means if you turn your head the game’s perspective will turn along with it.  Want to check your side mirrors to see who is on your tail?  Simply turn your head and look in the mirror! The idea is so simple but when its actually executed it will blow your mind!

After spending some time with the game I got Chris in front of my camera to get down to some of the meat and potatos of Gran Turismo 5 like the number of tracks, number of cars, online play, and the big question “what took so long?”  You can see all of that, as well as the official E3 2010 trailer below.

Interview with Associate Producer Chris Hinojosa-Miranda:

Gran Turismo E3 2010 Trailer:

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E3 2010: Lamborghini Gallardo Replica Steering Wheel For Playstation 3 & PC

Posted on 06.18.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

First there was the Porsche replica Fanatec steering wheel, then the Ferrari replica wheel by Thrustmaster, now Lamborghini has joined the mix as  gaming peripheral company Atomic Accessories in Italy obtained the Iicense to produce a Gallardo replica steering wheel.  It seems like almost all the super-car bases have been covered when it comes to video game steering wheels.  Now, I’d really like to see wheels from the more rare exotic cars.  How awesome would it be to play Forza 3 or Gran Turismo 5 with a Bugatti Veyron wheel?!

   

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Thrustmaster Ferrari Wireless GT Cockpit 430 Scuderia Edition (With Video)

Posted on 06.07.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Thrustmaster has just dropped a new racing wheel that is pretty much a must-have for any Ferrari fan.  Their new set up called the “Ferrari Wireless GT Cockpit 430 Scuderia Edition” is as the name suggests, a replica of a Ferrari 430 Scuderia steering wheel.  Its wireless and will work with PC or PS3 (Xbox is left out in the cold) and can be put together as all one piece with the pedals or the wheel itself can be removed.  The steering column even has the Scuderia paint scheme!  If you want to rock this with any of your PC racing games or GT5 then be prepared to drop about $250 bucks on this rig.  

   

 

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Hype Video: Gran Turismo 5 Nights Trailer

Posted on 03.09.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

It seems like just when everyone is starting to get fed up with waiting for a U.S. release date Sony goes ahead and shuts us up with a brand new trailer for us to drool over.  This newest trailer is called “Nights” and in addition to featuring some more NASCAR action, they also show clips of some Super GT and Touring Car racing.  Hopefully the next trailer they release will have a date at the end of it!


 

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Gran Turismo 5 Gets Visual Data Logging Feature (Video)

Posted on 02.09.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

It is beginning to look like Gran Turismo 5 is going to be one of the most advanced racing/driving games to ever be released.  Kazunori Yamauchi announced yesterday with a rep from Toyota that there will be a visual data logging feature in the game.  Basically when you go to a track and use an in car cam to record your hot laps, you can upload that video though GT5 and a fully CG rendered version of your run will be generated for your enjoyment.  I have to admit that this is a pretty awesome thing for GT5 to get, but you know what would be even more awesome? If GT5 got a RELEASE DATE!!!!! Hello?! McFly?!?!?! 

If you share my frustration with non-existant GT5 release date follow @MotorworldHype and check out our #GT5DelayTheories, and feel free to add your own.  In the meantime we’ll just have to keep drooling over cool clips like this.

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