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Thrustmaster's T500 RS is the new flagship steering wheel for Gran Turismo 5 and the PS3


December 23, 2010

The Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel packaging

The Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel packaging

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One of the many things that Gran Turismo 5 is particularly good at is displaying the many shortcomings of Sony's Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers. Logitech's official Driving Force GT wheel is a fantastic solution for gamers on a budget, but the small plastic pedals leave a lot to be desired for many lounge-room racers. The latest racing wheel with official Gran Turismo cred is the Thrustmaster T500 RS, and it looks to set the benchmark for some time.

“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” said Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital and Senior Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Apparently the first thing you'll notice is how heavy this thing is, due to the large quantities of metal used in the construction. The wheel unit weighs 4.6 kg (10.1 lbs) and the pedal set weighs 7.3 kg (16 lbs).

The pedals, which are constructed entirely from metal (apart from the electronics, of course), can be configured in a “floor-mounted” F1 style, or “suspended” GT style, and feature adjustable resistance on the brake pedal.

Force feedback comes courtesy of a 65 W industrial motor, capable of generating 150mNm of torque at 3000 RPM, but despite all that power, Thrustmaster promise that the T500 RS will behave itself due to a large dual-belt system.

Thrustmaster's patent-pending magnetic sensor-based H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate Technology, first seen in its HOTAS WARTHOG flight stick, makes an appearance in the T500 RS, which gives the wheel 65536 discrete positional values along its 1080 degrees of rotation. The inclusion of a motorized stop means you can choose the maximum amount of rotation on the wheel to suit the car you're driving and the circuit you're driving on.

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 US$599.99 / £449.99 / €499.99. A gear stick add-on will be available in "coming months", so you'll have to make do with the sequential paddle shifter until then.

About the Author
Tim Hanlon Tim originally came to Gizmag as a developer, much to the dismay of anyone who had to maintain, build on, or rewrite his code. After wearing every other hat that didn't have a head for it, he became CEO in 2010. Outside Gizmag, he trains Muay Thai and plays too much Destiny. All articles by Tim Hanlon

Is this monster going to be available in Australia or like other products from thrustmaster N/A down under???

DjBlitz Del

So this is exclusively for a PS3?!?! First off as a 360 owner I\'m jealous as all hell. We have yet to get a truly great wheel peripheral. Something like this would make F1 and Forza one of the most enjoyable games EVER. Second: I\'m amazed that Thrustmasters could actually make a profit when selling this for about $600... but there must have been some demographics/statistics in the Marketing and Sales departments that made them go ahead with it. Like I said I never saw any numbers but personally I don\'t think there\'s enough PS3 owners willing to fork out another high dollar amount for a wheel peripheral... no matter how advanced it is, and no matter how many units there are floating around the world, the price tag will ultimately be the deciding factor. And $600 just doesn\'t seem reasonable. ... still jealous, though.


There's so many things wrong with this product I don't know where to start.. First off they have a clutch pedal and no stick shift figure that out. For those of you that don't know what tiptronic is, it's what they have on the back of their wheel which in reality does not use a clutch pedal. For everyone that's a hard-core racing fan like myself, we want a wheel with stick shift and clutch, tiptronic is a nice feature as well. That is definitely a major factor in my opinion why no one should buy this wheel and also with the next GEN consoles already released there is no reason why this should not be cross compatible between both PS3 and PS4. Bunch or scammers thrashmaster is!! But I'm sure they'll come out with everything I just mentioned once they sell a bunch of this one:/

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