Warning: The following review is recommended for true car racing addicts only. :)
There is a separate article on the TH8 RS PS3/PC transmission set, though, so we will only briefly mention it here, as well as all the various bundles we provide. Aside from any marketing part, you should know that it is very difficult not to, since it was released as the certified Gran Turismo 5 steering wheel's natural extension, though a standalone unit as well. More importantly, it is probably the best non-professional simulator gearbox currently available (whereas professional F1 rigs can cost up to the price of an actual Carrera GT or higher), usable both as a handbrake and a gearbox. Paired to the T500 RS (that can be even further extended for the Gran Turismo Formula car and the F1 simulator racing series with the F1 Ferrari Add-On), and on the matching OpenWheeler + game seat, you will get a professional class comparable driving simulator with all the functions you could ask for, made of long-wearing aluminium and metal, yet affordable. However in the following paragraphs we will chiefly focus on the Thrustmaster T500 RS driving wheel, due to its way too many pluses (and a few insignificant flaws) to be overviewed in a standard-length review.
Thrustmaster T500 RS PS3/PC winks at you as being the top Thrustmaster wheel from the very first moment you get to hold its box. The weight of some 18kg indicates the massiveness of the metal beast that's sleeping inside. With a diameter of 30 centimetres the wheel circle is larger than the rivalry in the non-professional segment. The rotation allowed is three full turns or 1080 degrees that defeats all the rivalry as well, hence they are limited to barely 900 degrees. The first question which pops up into your mind usually is 'do I really have three full turns on my car's wheel'. Officially approved and marketed as the GT 5 steering wheel, you shouldn't be surprised by the GT logo situated in the centre of the wheel. It is very elegant, so you really won't be bothered by it even if you are a die-hard fan of the DiRT 3 and you don't ever intend to play anything different than a rally or an arcade with this set. All the PlayStation 3 video game console's nine buttons and the D-Pad are present. Thus, perfect compatibility is achieved. We cannot claim it as a fact, because of the vast electronic racing accessories selection today, including no-branded copy-cat/illegal manufacturers, still the gear changing paddles are the largest we've seen throughout the reviews so far. Crafted of brushed metal, they are nice to touch and carry a specific high-class aroma, similarly to the matching TH8 RS PS3/PC transmission's gear stick, a sense that an amalgam between the 80's Ferrari Testarossa and present-day Ferrari 458 Italia can give. There's definitely something from the glorious eighties Lamborghinis and Ferraris, an intended resemblance. You only lack the matching racing seat, that really better not be covered in leather (in favour of hundreds of thousands miles of comfort driving) like the last-mentioned everyday car's. The pedals set on its own weighs more than seven kilograms, and it is made of a hundred percent stainless steel. The latter matches both the OpenWheeler and the OpenWheeler+ game seats' chassis. Apart from the wide non-slip grating metal footrest, which is just another fine-touch advantage, there's of course, a revolutionary implementation hasn't been omitted here as well. They are the very first non-professional simulator set that can be used both standing and inverted. So far, such a configuration was offered by pro-manufacturers like the US ECCI (Extreme Competition Controls Inc) and at the nice price of some thousands of dollars/pounds, check it yourself if in doubt. The tools you'll need for inverting and/or adjusting the pedals are also in-box and the latter's not really a difficult exercise. Despite the four feet underneath the pedals block, because of the brake's big resistance, there's hardly a way to avoid sliding on any type of floor. Again, because of the block's weight no shoebox (even five of these with the shoes inside)), is to prevent this, suggesting that you've already found a stone desk to mount the unit. Thrustmaster T500 RS steering wheel has been meant to be tightly bolted on an actual driving simulator cockpit, just like the OpenWheeler racing seat. The better alternative here probably is the OpenWheeler + simulator seat, because of the Gear Shifter Mount provided, so that you don't have to order it separately and to have a better discount, once you make up your mind to acquiring the TH8 RS gearbox. That is definitely to happen once you own the RS-series Thrustmaster wheel masterpiece.
Installing the T500 RS is easy - it is plug-and-play for a PlayStation 3 or a Windows OS 7/8 machine. There's an adequate length USB-cable included. Some may criticize it for the lack of display compared to the Fanatec alternatives, but such isn't really necessary and in the long-term it is another component prone to aging and troubleshooting. There is a good multi-functional control panel software for the purpose. Now, let's see what a plugged in and installed T500 RS is capable of.
Thrustmaster T500 RS's force feedback is probably stronger than the feedback offered by any other steering wheel set you've ever tried. It is generated by a 65-Watts industrial motor with rotating at up to 3000 rpm and providing the 150mNm of torque. In spite of these real car-like characteristics and the .., well, you're also going to run out of adjectives shortly after trying it, as none is appropriate enough, we've agreed on awesome. So the aforementioned awesome feedback due to its large fans installed, does not cause any extra noise even after long hours of game play. Then the H.E.A.R.T. (Hall Effect Accurate) Technology applied the T500 RS is indeed helping the wheel to be extremely precise. In a sentence - contactless magnetic sensors are used instead of any actual wearing out parts. The same technology is used in the TH8 RS eight-speed H-pattern transmission, suitable for sequential shifting. The latter due to its 13 centimetres high metal gear lever makes the G27 stick look like a plastic toy positioned beside it, though a smooth plastic one. The T500 RS's gear changing paddles are responsive, but they do not rotate with the wheel. More experienced racers may find it a bit irritating until they get accustomed of it (no other choice, either way). Not that an unusual flaw, as it is the same in some real road cars. With the T500 RS and the TH8 RS gearbox, and of course the Ferrari F1 Add-On, which will fascinate even the no-F1 car racing enthusiasts, you can drive any superfast car any style you'd like. Then crash it in flames (or without the flames) like Jonathan Davis and his mates do in the famous Got The Life video, and simply reload. Again and again! It is just the ergonomic OpenWheeler or OpenWheeler + game seat you'll be craving for.
The OpenWheeler gaming seat is made of durable materials. The chassis is of stainless steel and the seat is textured with 100% polyester. It is compatible with any size of driver - eight to eighty years of age. It is fully-foldable, so that you can shelter it almost anywhere, when not in usage. There is a Gear Shifter Mount available separately or a component of the OpenWheeler+ gaming seat set. The OpenWheeler is compatible with any kind of steering wheel set you have, and it is perfect for both car racing and flight simulators. Obtaining the Thrustmaster T500 RS + TH8 RS gearbox + Ferrari F1 Add-On and the OpenWheeler+ simulator seat, you will have a full driving simulator set at a good price. And the feeling you are to get using these in a high-resolution racing game has indeed nothing to do with money, regardless of the way it looks said here. We think it is just like that specific base sense of true joy and happiness for a racing/simulator addict a ticket to a concert for your favourite band since early childhood can give. Unlike the concert, it will last through the years. At least until you decide to switch to a more up-to-date one, we do claim that it won't be caused due to wearing out. Not with the OpenWheeler game seat and the Thrustmaster T500 RS.
You can order the Thrustmaster T500 RS PS3/PC steering wheel set at the total price of £380.00. The OpenWheeler game seat's separate price is some £270.00. If you order them in bundle, though you will have them for just £620.00. So, you will save £30.00. The prices are total and free next business day shipping within the boundaries of the United Kingdom are provided.
Thrustmaster TH8 RS PS3/PC gearbox is available at barely £110.00. Do order them it in a bundle with the Thrustmaster T500 RS PS3/PC (£380.00) and you will spare £20.00 you can spend anywhere you like. Thrusmaster TH8 RS gearbox/Thrustmaster T500 RS combo = £470.00. There are no hidden fees and charges, next working day shipping is included to an UK-address of your choice.
For the devoted sim racing fans, there's an extra bundle that we provide. The sleek and stylish steel and aluminum bundle of T500 RS + TH8 RS + OpenWheeler+ are discounted at the noteworthy £770.00. You will save as much as £32.00. Next business day UK-shipping is provided.
And the final top-notch bundle currently available includes the fantastic Thrustmaster Ferrari F1 Add-On. Its separate price is £110.00. However, do order it along with the Thrustmaster T500 RS and the OpenWheeler game seat and you will have them all shipped within the next business day to any UK-address for as low as £720.00. Thus, you will save an entire £40.00. You can spend them on a couple of your favourite simulator racing game titles or any other leisure or non-leisure time activity you choose.
All our prices are total and include 20% UK VAT.
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