Video gaming and racing in particular is changing faster than ever. With today’s powerful game consoles and every day evolving computer hardware, racing simulation has never been more realistic. It is still a serious investment, but with the right planning, you can get a real home racing simulator that is actually worth every penny.
The key part in every proper indoor driving seat simulator is the racing seat. This is what you can not compromise with. After all, the real driving experience totally depends on how good you body is held in the simulation cockpit. Sim racing is all about the real feel you get from your driving, right in the middle of your living room. The better and more realistic you race seat is, the better and more realistic you racing will be. That’s why most of the racing simulators come with seats made by people with great experience in racing seat manufacturing. Brands like Corbeau. A true racing legend and part of almost all of the modern motor racing events. There is no other way of experiencing a true driving simulation. Nothing else can possibly provide you with more accurate and precise body position in order to achieve the maximum skill you need for total race control.
The other major important part in completing the indoors racing simulation is the chassis of the simulator. This is the base you have the rest of the units attached to. It provides support for the race seat plus optimal steering wheel, pedals and other gaming accessories position. Its importance is probably as big as the actual seat. After all, this the unit that provides the driver with stability and confidence. Two things you need almost all the time when racing. The seat is nothing without the chassis support. Not to mention the need of strong and reliable wheel and pedals support. This is what makes the sim racer real as possible. Stability and control the two main advantages that create the need for driving simulator.
The next stage of accomplishing a realistic racing seat simulator is the wheel and pedals. They quite depend on the actual game console you have though. That’s because of the different manufactures console orientation. Apparently they all have chosen their preferred platforms and most of them are only compatible with only one console maker. The PC wheels are better in this. As long as the PC is powerful enough to run the latest video games, the wheels will work as well. For example Logitech, the world’s most advanced steering wheels maker, is only available for Play Station 3. With some PC exclusions. But still Logitech are so PS3 orientated. Luckily their flag model the G25 is both Play Station and PC compatible. Same as its successor – the G27. They offer the best steering experience the budget under 200 can buy.
They are both very, very good. The Logitech Driving Force GT is still good in many ways, but totally PS3 compatible. It wont work on anything else, but that’s understandable, because the GT stays for GranTurismo, which is a PS3 racer. If you love this game, GT is the wheel for you. Its very affordable and at the same time very useful as well. A great entry level solution for your driving race seat simulator. There are some wireless wheels available as well. But the word wireless is bit wrong, because in order to have the force feed back and other ‘special’ steering effects, you will need power supply. And although the wheel is not physically connected to the console, the power supply is still wired.
So don’t bother with going for something called ‘wireless’. Well, as long you are not a Xbox360 user. Microsoft’s latest steering wheel solution only comes in ‘wireless’ option. No panic though. Their wheel is great when played with Xbox360’s racing titles.
Project Gotham Racing for instance is something the Play Station platforms are missing in so many ways. A must have title for your Xbox racing simulation sessions. It seems that I have accidentally entered the console topic already. . .
I left this for last, because no matter your driving game seat. The seat maker and chassis. The price you paid for the wheel or your TV size. Everything comes down to one thing and one thing only – the video game platform. After all the gaming software is the original racing simulator. Everything else is just useful accessories that make your race better. You can spend thousands on racing seats and latest wheels but without a proper racing game, a console or a PC to run it on, your gear is just a pile of heavy duty steel, plastic and high quality fabric.
Yes the platforms. And if so far, you haven’t had any problems with assembling your dream game racing cockpit simulator, apart of the prices probably. You are about to have some.
Because all these gaming platforms manufactures are bursting so many racing titles (and actually all good lately), that a normal racing fen is just getting so confused. Confused what platform to go for, then which games titles to buy. Especially the PC gamers. Oh, I feel for them, the poor things. They need to upgrade so often, that if I were them, I was just gonna give up and find another hobby.
And even if the money is not an issue for some, the problem with titles is still big. Say you like Formula One and hot pursuits. That means that you need the Formula One Championship Edition. Which is, sadly, only available for Play Station 3. And the Test Drive Unlimited.
At the moment the only way to turn your racing simulator into a real F1 cockpit open wheel car is to go for the PS3 racer. Rumor has it, that Codemasters are developing a new Formula One game for the 2009 season, but it won’t be available for PS3 or Xbox360 until next March. They will release something for Play Station Portable and Nintendo Wii, but cm-on, who plays racing games on a PSP, Eh Or the Wii The Nintendo’s best seller is only good for kids go-kart games. And the Test Drive game.
The all time legend is back but only for PC, Xbox360 and Play Station 2! So what happens? You like Formula One and buy PS3 and at the same time you need to get yourself an Xbox or a powerful PC in order to experience the thrilling roads of the magical Hawaiian island. Same with the Xbox users. They love their PGR4 to peaces but still want to have a go on the Formula One game. Thats a can’t do.
They can’t even invest in their old PC because the world’s latest and only Formula One video racer won’t work on it. It’s for PS3 only.
And this is happening with so many other racing games as well. The only people who don’t complain are these who only drive GranTurismo and despise everything else. Or their Xbox equivalent the Project Gotham Racing followers. Decisions, decisions…..
Life is little bit easier for the fly boys. Most of the flight simulators are available for all platforms. Almost every game console and PC. And all you need to convert your racing car simulator into the cockpit of an air fighter is only a few bits and bobs. Just a couple of additional mounting platforms for the joysticks and keyboard. And your game racer becomes an air fighter cockpit.
The world is still not ready for an absolute video games and platforms compatibility. Maybe it will never be. Not in the way we, the games, prefer it anyway. But one thing is clear. Video games, being motor racing or flight sims, will always require comfortable and solid simulators. There is no racing sitting on your sofa and playing with the normal controller. Or the total illusion – having your steering wheel attached on the coffee table.
No. With today’s gaming becoming more and more real you have never had a better chance to touch the realism closer then the touch you get from your game simulator racing seat. Real game simulation is nothing without control.