One of the items on my bucket list is to drive a Ferrari. I doubt it will ever happen, but thanks to Thrustmaster, maker of high-end video game controllers, I now have a better idea what it would be like.
The Ferrari Vibration GT cockpit 458 Italia edition is wheel-and-pedal set designed for use with an Xbox 360 or gaming PC. An official Ferrari-licensed product, the cockpit is adjustable and foldable for easy storage.
The cockpit easily adapts to any seating arrangement and can be adjusted both length-wise and height-wise to accommodate adults and children. The unit is powered solely by a USB 2.0 connection to an Xbox 360 or PC, and its 22+ lb. base provides good overall stability.
The unit also incorporates G.V.S. (Global Vibration System) technology that spreads vibrations throughout the assembly so you can feel the track surface through the wheel and the pedals.
The steering wheel's 16-bit controller provides more than 65,000 values, affording realistic control in turns. Shifting gears is accomplished with metal paddles, just like a real Ferrari 458, and even the Manettino dial (suspension adjustment) is there. Textured rubber grips on the wheel ensure optimal comfort, and the cockpit even includes a headset connector for communication during multi-player gaming.
The wheel measures 11.2 inches in diameter, and is a 7/10 scale replica of the wheel in the Ferrari F458 Italia. The system also provides two metal pedals, each featuring a long range of travel, with progressive resistance on the brake pedal for maximum realism.
The chances of my driving a real Ferrari are remote, but using Thrustmaster's Ferrari Vibration GT cockpit 458 Italia edition to play F1 2012 (or other auto racing game) is the next best thing.
The Thrustmaster cockpit has a suggested retail price of $299.99, which is not bad, when you consider that a real Ferrari F458 Italia starts at $225,000. For more information, visit Thrustmaster.com.
Beautiful notebook is a beast.
Gaming laptops with 17-inch screens are usually big and heavy, often tipping the scale at 12 or more pounds, particularly if you include the AC power brick. Heft is the price of performance -- or so I thought.
Razer, however, recently unveiled the lightest, thinnest, crazy powerful 17.3-inch gaming laptop imaginable, the Razer Blade. How light? 6.6 lbs. How thin? 0.88 inches. How powerful? Very.
The Blade is equipped with Intel quad core processors, powerful NVIDIA GTX-class graphics, and the fastest RAM available, making it capable of handling graphics-intensive games at phenomenal frame rates. A hybrid drive solution delivers data up to three times faster than traditional hard drives, with double the storage space.
Other features include a high-definition display (1920 x 1080), built-in HD webcam, wireless networking, quieter fans, optimized speakers, and three USB 3.0 ports with charging capabilities even when the system is switched off.
Equally striking and innovative is the unit's Switchblade User Interface (UI), an integrated LCD display/multi-touch panel and 10 dynamic adaptive tactile keys that put commands and control functions within fingertip reach. The Switchblade interface's growing list of apps allow users to browse the web for in-game guides, watch online videos, stay connected within their social networks, and take advantage of an expanding list of dedicated gaming apps without ever having to leave a game.