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 |  Jul 01 2011, 9:40 AM

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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.

[Source: ForzaMotorsport.net]

 |  Jun 22 2010, 6:42 PM

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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.

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 |  Jun 15 2010, 9:58 PM

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Even though we don’t have high hopes of Gran Turismo 5 hitting the shelves anytime soon, we’re a tad bit thrilled to see that Fanatec has upgraded their Porsche 911 GT3 RS steering wheel to accompany Gran Turismo 5 and other future-gen games.

We actually have our own Porsche 911 GT3 RS unit sitting here at the office that keeps us entertained from time to time. It’s probably the highest quality steering wheel/shifter/pedal combination out in the market. For those not in the know, Fanatec’s products are also cross-platform allowing you to use it on the Sony Playstation3 and PC. Oddly enough, the original GT3 RS we have works on the Xbox360 as well, but this release is confined to the PS3 and PC. We might have to do some digging to see if the V2 works for Microsoft’s console as well.

But regardless of compatibility, Fanatec’s products boast legitimate Porsche licensing with even a Porsche-styled USB key in the package. The aluminum ClubSport pedals feature a pressure-sensitive brake sensor and ABS-simulated vibration under braking. And since we’ve had a chance to experience it first hand, we’ll be more than glad to tell you all how realistic the experience is.

So if you’re looking for the best substitute to racing out on the track, Fanatec offers the wheel alone for $179.95, while the package including the aluminum ClubSport pedals is $319.95. We highly recommend upgrading to the aluminum pedal option, it’s definitely worth every penny. And for those with the V1 of the 911 GT3 RS wheel, like us, Fanatec is offering an upgrade kit for $40. But there’s a lot of DIY involved with the $40 kit, and since we just want to play, we’ll pay the extra $30 to have it done by Fanatec themselves. Grand total of $70 and we’re set for GT5 and the future!

The official press release is available after the break.

GALLERY: Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS V2

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