After a cryptic initial teaser, Fanatec has revealed its first officially licensed PlayStation 4 accessory. Here it is: the CSL Elite.
If that name sounds familiar, it should. Fanatec launched the original CSL Elite last year, which came with XBox One and PC compatibility. We came away impressed in our review, but there was no avoiding the elephant in the room. With the PS4 as the volume leader this generation, and support for older Fanatec models mysteriously removed from games, when would a dedicated PS4 peripheral arrive?
This latest CSL Elite is just the answer to that question. Not only does it offer PS4 players a Sony-backed wheel, it comes with improvements over the original. You see, Fanatec has transplanted some of the internals from the ClubSport 2.5 into the CSL. Due to this — and a different gear ratio — the new Elite boasts less torque but more speed.
The motor is the same as the previous Elite: a brushless servo paired with a single belt. It also uses Fanatec’s DirectSensor technology, which uses a sensor mounted on the steering axis to prevent input disturbances from the belt drive.
The biggest visual chance is the rim. No doubt inspired by the new partnership, the blue stitching brings a splash of color. The 11.8-inch rim is wrapped in a combination of genuine perforated leather and suede. Of course, it includes the same tuning display at the 12 o’clock position, capable of saving five different driver profiles.
Fanatec has also brought the wheel base in for a facelift. The tile-like front plate has been replaced with a cleaner brushed-metal look. The sides retain the carbon fiber look, while the raised center section still houses a set of rev lights.
As a thoughtful bonus, Fanatec is also including a set of interchangeable button caps with the new CSL Elite. These are in fact the subject of the original teaser image. According to the product page, these buttons correspond with popular race functions. This encourages owners to swap the face buttons of their wheel for a more customized racing experience.
The biggest surprise is that the new CSL Elite works on all three major platforms. Yes, in addition to PS4 support, it is also compatible with PC and Xbox One. In the case of the latter, one of Fanatec’s multiple XB1 wheels will need to be connected to the base, however.
All of this tech comes at a price. The CSL Elite is currently available in Europe and Australia only, where it lists for €499.95 and $749.90, respectively. These prices almost exactly align with the original CSL Elite’s, though the new PS4-compatible model does not come with pedals. Those will set you back anywhere from €89.95/$129.90 to €219.90/$329.90.
Still, for the sim racer looking for one (officially supported) layout to cover PS4, XB1, and PC applications, the CSL Elite sits in a class of one. Or even a dedicated PS4 player itching for something other than Thrustmaster and Logitech. If you’re in the market, the new CSL Elite is listed on the European Fanatec site here, as well as the Australian shop.