Need For Speed PC Edition Supports 4K And Steering Wheels

The Need For Speed franchise usually adopts an arcade driving model to easily drift around corners and remain accessible to players using a controller. It’s diametrically opposed to the simulators popularized on PC such as Assetto Corsa, Project Cars, iRacing and RFactor. Despite this, EA is making the PC version of Need For Speed more akin to a simulation game. Clearly, the handling remains fairly arcade-like but the studio decided to implement manual transmission and support every major wheel model on the market. This includes the Logitech G27/Thrustmaster TX 458/T500RS and more! As a result, the game will automatically map all the key functions to your wheel of choice without having to waste time with manual tweaking.

Not only that, the game engine’s speed will not be tied to the framerate like its predecessor and allow for an uncapped framerate. This is a wonderful choice and means players with 144Hz monitors can enjoy the benefits of such a high refresh rate. On another note, Need For Speed has natively support 4K monitors and looks absolutely fantastic due to the superb texture quality. Although, there’s no current information regarding 21:9 monitors and how well the UI will scale.

While the PC version is facing a significant delay compared to the console editions, it seems worthwhile given the added visual quality and smooth frame-rate. Furthermore, the PC version includes both the Icons and Legends update from day one! Currently, it’s scheduled to release on March 15th but Origin Access members can play the game early for a limited time, starting March 10th. To mark this occasion, EA has released a trailer showing in-game footage. Although, it’s a shame that the captured video is recorded at a maximum resolution of 1080P. Whatever the case, I cannot wait to try Need For Speed on PC, and preparing my wheel setup for its release.

Thrustmaster Releases Y-300X Xbox One Gaming Headset

Thrustmaster released a new gaming headset that is officially licensed for Xbox One, the new Y-300X. The Y-300X is equipped with 60mm drivers to deliver high-definition audio with a powerful bass. The earpieces are also designed for electro-acoustic bass amplification, for that extra sound experience. The frequency response curve is balanced for great audio fidelity and optimized for gaming experiences while the microphone is both detachable and adjustable and thereby make it fit all head sizes and shapes.

Thrustmaster’s Y-series gaming headsets all feature large earpieces with an ideal passive isolation. The headband and ear cups are covered in 100% memory foam for great comfort even during the longest gaming sessions. The Y-300X gaming headset is naturally Plug and Play when connected to the Xbox One console and it also operates with Xbox One gamepads featuring a 3.5 mm jack connector. Smartphone and tablet users can also use this headset, so it isn’t exclusive for Xbox One usage. The cable features handy audio controls for quick and easy adjustment during gameplay

The Thrustmaster Y-300X headset will be available from early October for a suggested retail price of €59.99. Could this be your next console and mobile gaming headset or are you happy with your current one?

Thrustmaster Announces Alacantra Edition T300 Ferrari Racing Wheel

To mark the occasion of the Monza Grand Prix, Thrustmaster unveiled their new T300 Ferrari Integral Racing Wheel Alcantara Edition this weekend. The racing wheel features official PS4 and PS3 licenses and it is also compatible with PC. The Ferrari-themed gaming wheel combines the latest available Force Feedback technologies and the highest-quality materials for an end product that’s worthy of the Ferrari sticker.

The T300 is a premium device and it will cost accordingly. If you’re in the market for a cheaper alternative, then you might want to take a look at the recently released T150 instead.

 

One the things that make this racing wheel stand out is also the one that gave the product its name. The wheel is covered in genuine Alcantara, a unique proprietary technology that is said to be a completely groundbreaking material with aesthetic, technical and sensory qualities that no other material can match. The material is the same used for real Ferraris and it’s made in the same facilities and it is hand-stiched around the wheels 30cm diameter.

The wheel is detachable from the stand and available as an add-on or complete set. It is an official Ferrari-licensed 8:10 scale replica of the actual 599XX EVO wheel. Attached are two paddle shifters, six action buttons, a 3-position rotary switch with push function, and a multi directional D-pad.

The base is the same that already has proven itself on the T300RS and the T300 Ferrari GTE Wheels. It uses brushless industrial servo motors and features a friction-free dual-belt mechanism. The H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate Technology features a contactless magnetic sensor (16-bit resolution, with 65,536 values on the wheel’s steering axis), and an angle of rotation which can be adjusted between 270° and 1080°.

 

The final part to complete your setup is the pedal-set. That is if you opt for the complete package and not just a new wheel for your previous setup. The T3PA pedal set is fully adjustable in terms of their spacing with respect to one another, the angle of inclination, and height. The brake comes with a built-in Conical Rubber Brake Mod to give that real brake feeling.

As previously mentioned, this set won’t come cheap. It will be available from mid-October and set your back €469.99. The steering wheel alone, without base and pedals, will cost you €179.99.

Thrustmaster Announces Sub-£200 Premium Wheels

Thrustmaster has produced an assortment of astonishing sim-racing wheels including the Ferrari TX458 and T500RS which adopt a modular construction to easily replace the wheel rim, or add a gear-stick such as the all-metal TH8A. However, premium racing equipment is an expensive proposition and there isn’t many good, budget wheels on the market. The only real options that come to mind is the Logitech Driving Force GT and Thrustmaster T80 FFB. Thankfully, Thrustmaster has announced a replacement model called the T150 which adopts a much higher build quality due to the metal frame and paddle shifters.

The T150 also features 13 action buttons, a tactile D-Pad and textured rubber grips on the wheel rim to help adopt a fixed, solid posture whilst racing. Rather impressively, the wheel supports 1080 degree Force Feedback which contains Thrustmaster’s Immersion TouchSense technology. This is accompanied by a 12-bit resolution axis (4096 values), mixed belt-pulley and extremely smooth metal ball-bearing axis. To make the 270-1080 degrees of rotation even more fluid, Thrustmaster decided to implement a surprisingly premium belt-pulley.

Despite the T150 being a lower-end product, it supports a huge array of accessories. For example, you could upgrade the included pedal-set to a T3PA or T3PA-Pro if you really get into the sim-racing scene and want to improve your setup. This is a wonderful idea, as having to sell your old wheel and upgrade it to a new model can deter users to invest in full-racing rig.

The T150 and T150 Ferrari Edition will be available in October at a suggested retail price of £169.99. Please note the T150 is compatible with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC but doesn’t work on the Xbox One. Without using any hyperbole, I can confidently say this is an astonishing price given the build quality, motion sensor, complex force feedback and wealth of customizable to maintain your interest for many years to come.

Oculus Rift Configuration Guide – Simulation Gaming

Introduction


The Oculus Rift is one of the hottest gadgets on the tech market right now. Sure the hardware isn’t ready for consumers just yet, but we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the Oculus Rift DK2 (Development Kit 2). We already reviewed the basic hardware and features of the Oculus Rift, but also I want to take a more in-depth look into some of the experiences available on the rift; starting with Simulation style games.

Many of you will have an image of plug and play features that allow you to strap an Oculus Rift to your face then start gaming, unfortunately that’s currently not the reality. Setting up games for the Oculus Rift can be a hit and miss experience, hopefully I can help smooth out a few of these issues for you. This article is as much a review for those thinking about investing in the technology, as it is an Oculus Rift configuration guide for those who already own it.

Simulation-style games are a big market for PC gaming, so I’ve picked out a few of my favourites (that also have VR support). Of course, Star Conflict isn’t exactly a common sim-game, but there aren’t exactly rules excluding it.

  • Star Conflict
  • Assetto Corsa
  • Life for Speed (LFS)
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2

Helping me in my gaming adventures, I will be using the follow extra hardware.

Essential Oculus Rift Setup Advice

If you experience judder or low fps, drop your games graphics settings down to low. If the game runs smoothly at this point, you know it’s your graphics settings and not the DK2 hardware. If you have judder at low settings you know the problem is with a different part of your setup. It’s often also good to start games with AA and AF disabled, enable them later if the game is running smooth. I can’t stress enough how much easier it is to just get the basics working first then build from there.

Go into your GPU configuration software, this will typically be Catalyst Control Centre or Nvidia Control Panel. Set all major graphics options to “let the application decide”. This is especially important for AA and AF settings. For most games you will need V-SYNC as “let the application decide”, but some games don’t detect this properly. If your game is experiencing judder, force VSYNC on and try again, else force off and try again. Some games have their own ways of handing VSYNC and conflicts can and will occur.

If your game is still not running smoothly, go to the GPU control panel, switch your desktop display to 75Hz (if it supports it). If you can’t do this at your current resolution, this will likely drop your monitors resolution lower to one that will support 75Hz (my monitor drops to 1280 x 1024). This will prevent VSYNC from confusing the DK2 as both the DK2 and your desktop will now be running at the same refresh rate (75Hz).

Multi GPU configurations have also been known to cause stutter, albeit in very rare circumstances. If nothing else works, try running the game on a single GPU.

Be sure to adjust your IPD, lens distance and lens type accordingly prior to use. These can make a vast improvement to the overall visual quality, but they will not have any effect on the frame rate of your game, just the overall visual quality.

I find that it is worth disabling GeForce Experience and AMD Gaming Evolved software. These programs are tailored to adjust your graphics settings to get the best performance and quality, which may overwrite the settings you’ve used to configure your games for the DK2.

All testing was done with the Oculus 0.4.3 SDK. Please make sure you have the latest graphics drivers and all updates installed for your games prior to trying to replicate any settings in this article.

Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Cockpit 458 Steeling Wheel Review

Introduction


Gaming is a hobby and like most other hobbies, you can choose your own level of participation; do you just want to casually play games from time to time with a regular controller, or do you want to invest time and money in creating a really cool and more involving setup? Of course this can be an endless obsession; new computers, screens, seats, peripherals and more and while I’d love to go into creating a full setup, today I’ll be taking a look at the new Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Cockpit 458 Steeling Wheel, which promises a minimal fuss solution to improving the racing/driving sim aspects of your gaming setup.

There are lots of great racing wheels on the market and it can be hard to define which one would be best suited to your needs and budget. The new model I have here today isn’t cheap at £169.99, but it’s still actually rather affordable for a premium wheel; I think it’s safe to say that this is a mid-budget product. At this level of investment, you’re going to be expecting something of quality, and the first part of that comes from the official Ferrari licence that Thrustmaster currently hold. The 458 Italia Edition steering wheel is modelled on, you guessed it, the real Ferrari 458 Italia steering wheel.

The wheel is very well equipped and features all of the basics you need to get you started for use on both PC and Xbox 360. One of the more unique and interesting aspects of this wheel is that it features an adjustable steering column which is fixed to the pedals, making this a one-piece unit with a heavy-duty carry handle; it can even be folded flat and stored out of the way, such as under a bed or in a cupboard.

  • Metal structure is fully adjustable in length and height, to adapt to all gamers (adults/children) and any type of seating (sofa/chair/armchair)
  • Foldable with carrying handle for quick and easy storage
  • Wide, weighted base (total weight of more than 10 kg) for optimal stability
  • Streamlined “Musetto” body in the style of the Ferrari 458 Scuderia Black
  • WHEEL: 7/10 exact replica of the wheel on the Ferrari F458
  • Ultra-precise wheel, featuring 16-bit precision (more than 65,000 values on the wheel’s steering)
  • Sequential Up & Down paddle shifters crafted of metal, for Ferrari GT-style driving
  • Manettino® dial: lets you change settings directly while driving in the game
  • XXL realistic wheel: 28 cm in diameter!
  • Grips with rubber texture for optimal comfort
  • Headset connector lets you chat online (headset not included)
  • 2 metal pedals built directly into the cockpit, for total stability
  • Metal pedals with long range of travel, inspired by the shape of the pedals on the Ferrari car
  • Brake pedal with progressive resistance
  • G.V.S. technology– High-precision
  • Exclusive “G.V.S. (Global Vibration System)” technology: allows for vibrations in games to be felt throughout the entire cockpit – including the wheel, steering column and pedal set

The packaging is huge, but this is a pretty big unit overall so that was to be expected. The carry handle hangs through the side of the box, allowing you to move it around a little easier; although it’s still not easy to carry around due to its overall weight.

Everything is nicely packaged in the interior, with protective foam, boxes and plastic around the important components to help keep them safe and scratch free during transit.

In the box you’ll find a couple of setup guides and a small collection of high quality screws and an Allen Key; these are needed to attach the wheel to the steering column.

Thrustmaster To Develop Peripherals For Next-Gen Xbox One

Following its long-term partnership with Microsoft for the first and second-generation Xbox consoles, developing unique third-party licensed peripherals under the Thrustmaster brand, Guillemot Corporation S.A. is pleased to announce that it is extending its worldwide partnership to include the third generation of Xbox.

With R&D facilities in North America and Europe, a close development relationship with Microsoft Xbox, and more than two decades of expertise in creating innovative accessories, Thrustmaster is fully committed to bringing exciting new products to market for the Xbox One.

“Thrustmaster has a proven ability to develop great products for our platform,” explains Branden Powell, Director of Strategic Alliances, Xbox Hardware, at Microsoft. “We are excited to have them as a hardware launch partner.”

“We are thrilled to be appointed third-party peripheral partner for the Xbox One,” states Agnès Cornière, Guillemot Corporation’s Worldwide Marketing Director. “We are devoting our resources, creativity and energy to creating remarkable next-generation devices which will allow users to experience a whole new level of unrivalled gameplay.”

Check out all of our products at www.thrustmaster.com