Hollywood and the automobile industry share a rich history. Since the first motion pictures debuted cars have played a starring role, something that’s still true today, especially on the small screen.
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Racing games have really evolved to the point where looking back at the original Gran Turismo or Forza compared to today’s releases is almost comical.
Virtual racing fans looking for the most realistic experience outside of a race car should start saving up their dollars. Fanatec, creator of the Porsche branded steering wheel and pedal set for gamers, has evolved one of its best products with its new ClubSport Pedals V2.
Having experienced Fanatec’s products firsthand, we undoubtedly believe that its products are as close as it gets in the virtual racing world. The first generation of ClubSport pedals featured all-metal construction, high-end technology in an industrial design package with a fairly reasonable price. Now a new version is out, priced at $250 (includes ClubSport Wheel) and offers even more for the ultimate race fanatic.
The ClubSport Pedals V2 now come in either anodized black or polished aluminum and when combined with its color kits, gamers can sport gray, orange, red, or blue colored combinations. One of the biggest improvements however is a hydraulic brake complete with an oil damper to give it a very realistic and dampened feeling. Gamers can adjust the stiffness of the pedal by replacing the silicone oil with different viscosity types and can also change the spring tension on the damper.
Another enhancement to the pedal set is a degressive clutch mechanism that now gives the clutch pedal a much more realistic feature. Again, the spring strength can be adjusted to the gamer’s liking.
Unfortunately an upgrade kit won’t be made available for current ClubSport Pedals owners, but we’re sure you can fetch a good price used on craigslist or eBay if you’re looking to upgrade. Pre orders will be up on Fanatec’s website starting in May and the company hopes to have its first shipments in America by June.
GALLERY: Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V2
Check out an intro video of Fanatec’s ClubSport Pedals V2 after the break.
The SRT Viper debuted at the New York Auto Show earlier this week and has become the new, hot, and trending topic since then. As with any vehicle debut, there’s mixed emotions and opinions about it, but overall the reception on the SRT Viper is that it’s a success.
But for most automotive enthusiasts, the new SRT Viper will be an unobtainable vehicle and many will never have the opportunity to drive one. That is unless you own an Xbox 360 and a copy of Forza Motorsport 4. The 2013 SRT Viper will be hitting the virtual racing world long before it will even hit the streets of America.
It is believed that the SRT Viper will be added as a downloadable content (DLC) sometime this summer, well ahead of the Viper’s 2013 sale date. Powered by an 8.4L V10 powerplant with 640-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, the new SRT Viper also features a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission.
Watch a video of the 2013 SRT Viper in action in Forza Motorsport 4 after the break.
Forza Motorsport 4 fans have something to look forward to on Feb. 7 when the American Le Mans Series is released as new downloadable content (DLC). The pack will give gamers 10 new virtual cars including the 2011 Audi R18 TDI 24 Hours of Le Mans champion and the 1991 Mazda 787B, the last Japanese car to win the race back in 1991.
The pack costs 560 Microsoft points, which is the equivalent of $7.00, and will be free for download to those that hold the Forza Motorsport 4 Season Pass. The rest of the cars you’ll get to get your hands on include the 2011 Platinum Motorsports Bentley Continental GT, 2010 Dodge Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Challenger SRT8, 1986 Audi Sport quattro S1, 2011 Panoz #050 Abruzzi, 1992 Alfa Romeo 155 Q4, 1995 Ford Mustang Cobra R, 2011 Holden HSV GTS, and 2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI.
Watch the video showing off the upcoming ALMS Pack for Forza Motorsport 4 after the jump.
GALLERY: Forza Motorsport 4 ALMS Pack
We’ve seen Jeremy Clarkson review some of the most beautiful and exotic cars ranging from the Bugatti Veyron to the classic Jaguar E-Type. We’ve also seen him review some of the most hideous cars like the Reliant Robin, but military vehicles? From a video game? This is a first.
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson will be spicing up Forza Motorsport 4 with a featured role in the XBOX 360 game. With the game ready for release in October, this commercial has been released featuring the high tech M12 FAV Warthog from Halo, and the witty Jeremy Clarkson. Now gamers and auto enthusiasts are getting the best of both worlds. Interestingly, the Warthog won’t be the only vehicle that will receive Clarkson’s review. Apparently the game’s Autovista model will introduce players to a wide variety of unique vehicles.
In the short commercial, Jezza approaches the imaginary assault vehicle with his typical sarcasm and dry sense of humor, that we’ve come to know and love from his fantastic TV show. Check out the video after the jump to see the tank like all-terrain vehicle.
Thrustmaster has the next best thing to being behind the wheel of a Ferrari. All you need is an Xbox 360 and a passion for racing games.
Thrustmaster’s Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel is licensed by both Xbox 360 and Ferrari, and it will take your gaming experience to a whole new level. A replica wheel of the Forza Motorsport 4 hero, the Racing Wheel measures in 11″ in diameter, making it 7/10ths the size of the original, and it comes equipped with rubber texture cladding for optimal handling. Plus, its wheel-mounted sequential gearbox features two Ferrari GT-style metal paddle shifters, so you can improve your lap times consistently.
Boasting unique design with exceptional ergonomics, the developers of the Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel have thought of everything. There are various action buttons and controls that are right at your fingertips, so you can customize all the relevant settings before your race starts up. Its 270° steering radius lets you make those sharp turns every time, while the pedal set offers realistic resistance and angle, so it really feels like you’re burning rubber on the track. It also comes with an Xbox guide button with an illuminated ring that indicates the player number, a super-stable V-shaped clamping system that can be attached to any table or desk and an Xbox 360 USB 2.0 full speed cable with InLine Quick Release connector.
The Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel is compatible with Xbox 360 and PC, and when it hits stores this October, you can pick it up for $89.99. To find a store that sells it near you, visit the Thrustmaster website.
Ever wonder how race tracks in modern racing games have such a realistic look and feel to them? If you’re as geeky about racing games as we are, you probably did and now thanks to the team at Turn 10, the people responsible for the Forza games for Xbox 360, will show you how its done.
In the video, the team at Turn 10 shows you how they take a real track like Hockenheim and turn it into a video game. They take centimeter accurate measurements and look out for details like elevation changes and cambers.
Forza Motorsports 4 comes out on October 11th of this year.
Hit the jump to see the official video
Auto enthusiasts who enjoy gaming will be happy to know that Top Gears Jeremy Clarkson will be spicing up Forza Motorsport 4, as he will be featured in the XBOX 360 game. Top Gear UK and Microsoft have been working to create a partnership between the witty British motoring show and Forza Motorsport.
The partnership will consist of Clarkson writing and vocally recording his own witty takes on a series of cars ranging from the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to the McLaren F1. Players will be able to listen to Clarkson’s reviews of cars in the game when choosing a vehicle to use.
Interestingly, Forza 4 will also allow players to enter virtual showrooms where the user can open car doors, examine wheels and look under car hoods. Dan Greenawalt, a developer of Forza Motorsport 4 said, “We thought about how people want to interact with cars, to move around one, open the doors, kick the tires,”. “Our goal with this is to turn gamers into car lovers, and car lovers into gamers”, according to Greenawalt.
Video game and auto enthusiasts can expect to see Forza Motorsport 4 out on October 11 in the U.S.
[Source: New York Times]
Now that we’ve all had some time to settle in on the disappoint that was Gran Turismo 5, virtual racers can look forward to the upcoming release of the Xbox 360 flagship driving simulator, Forza Motorsport 4. On October 11th, gamers from all around the world will be able to experience the next installment of the Forza Motorsport series, and with it comes a limited collector’s edition packed with virtual goodies, and a few actual ones too!
The limited collector’s edition of Forza Motorsport 4 will feature a Steelbook DVD case along with a VIP virtual car pack that includes a 2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, 2011 Ferrari 458 Challenge, 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, 2010 Noble M600 and 2011 RUF Rt 12 R. Those willing to pre-order Forza Motorsport 4 will get a limited quantity “Ship Bonus” car pack which consists of a 1965 Ford Mustang GT Coupe, 2011 Koenigsegg Agera, 1997 Lexus SC300, 2011 RUF RGT-8 and 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport.
That’s not all, as there will also be a 10 car add-on pack that features some of the best American muscle cars the game has to offer. The not-so-exclusive content will be custom-designed BMW cars that were part of the Forza Motorsport 4 BMW Design Challenge. Though it will come with the collector’s edition, users will be able to purchase the content from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Think that’s it? Of course not. Non-virtual goodies will include a 96-page book titled Cars of Forza Motorsport 4 Presented by Top Gear” and features commentary accompanying the in-game Autovista experience. You’ll also get some vinyl stickers, VIP Membership status to the online community and an exclusive BMW theme available for download on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Last but not least, Forza Motorsport 4 is really leveraging their relationship with BMW by featuring the all new M5 as the box cover car. The M5 can be downloaded as a drivable car via Xbox LIVE Marketplace (included in the collector’s edition) and gamers will be able to enjoy Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson talk about the M5 in the Autovista mode.
Forza Motorsport 4 is shaping up to become one of the greatest, if not the greatest, driving simulator game ever. Whether or not you believe Gran Turismo still holds that title is up to you, but we’re hoping that Forza lives up to the hype, unlike its Sony-exclusive competitor.
Microsoft is enjoying a new generation of success with the release of its Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360, but true gamers aren’t fooled by all the motion-sensing gimmickry. The thought of enjoying Forza 4 while waving your hands and arms aimlessly in the air pretending to drive a car is a little discerning, to say the least. So we’re more than a little grateful to see that Microsoft will be releasing a new Wireless Speed Wheel for those that still want to hold something in their hands while they virtually drive.
Forza 4 isn’t too far behind and it looks like the release of this wheel will be synced in time for those passionate virtual racers. Interestingly enough, this wheel isn’t your standard circular steering wheel, but rather a U-shaped device that Microsoft found to be a compromise between a comfortable controller and a steering wheel. Even better is its affordable price tag at $59.99, set to release on September 26th.
The Wireless Speed Wheel does feature motion sensors for accurate steering, trigger buttons for acceleration and braking, your standard Xbox 360 buttons for game interactivity (though the shoulder buttons are noticeably missing, but shouldn’t impact driving games) and Rumble feedback. So for those that have been cringing at the price tag of Logitech’s offerings, this may be your best bet to get an affordable, real-world driving experience. Just don’t be that guy magically driving in Forza 4 with nothing in your hands…please, don’t be that guy.
GALLERY: Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel
With auto/gamer enthusiast eagerly awaiting the release of Forza Motorsport 4 for XBOX 360, they will be happy to know an new element to the gameplay has been implemented to enhance the experience. Head-Tracking is the brand new feature offered through the Kinect system, allowing the gamer to lean in and out of corners as well as look in different directions from within the cockpit by moving your head.
For those not familiar with Kinect, it is basically a motion sensing device based loosely on a webcam that allows users to control gaming actions with their movements, rather than pushing buttons on a regular joystick.
The head-tracking feature allows the driver to look through the turn, which as any professional driving instructor will tell you, is a vital action when executing an apex turn.
The Kinect head tracking element looks pretty interesting. Check out the video after the jump!
Okay, so we know that not everyone is a video game junkie, so we’ll take some time to explain what’s been going on in the wonderful world of technology. Microsoft’s XBOX 360 console has entered the realm of controller-less gaming, where your body’s movements and actions will dictate what goes on in the game, essentially taking what the Nintendo Wii has offered to the public and adding another dimension to it. Through its Kinect (formerly known as Project Natal) interface, the XBOX 360 will be able to monitor your closest movements, actions and mimic them on the television.
So while just the idea that we have this technology at our disposal is amazing, implementing it for our favorite driving game simulator is overly enticing. Recently Turn 10 did a nice demo where they invited out several industry personnel to see the Kinect experience. By simply putting your hands out in the 10 and 2 position, you will be able to control your vehicle in the ever popular video game series without the need of having an actual steering wheel. We’re a little lost on how you control braking and accelerating though.
The concept is great and we look forward to XBOX 360′s Kinect to see just how it’ll revolutionize gaming, but something tells us (being hardcore car enthusiasts) we’d still prefer the actual touch and feel of a nice steering wheel, especially with the force feedback many of them provide. It may be tons of fun for casual gamers to simulate the driving experience without the actual need of additional hardware, but for now we’ll stick to what we’re used to. But hey, let’s not discredit the technology and where Forza Motorsport is heading into the future. The combination of an actual steering wheel and pedal assembly with the idea of being able to simply move your head to change your view or look around you is entertaining in its own right.
Check out the official press release after the jump.