Kazunori Yamauchi has continued to reveal interesting bits of information on Twitter about the new official Gran Turismo 5 steering wheel, the Thrustmaster T500 RS. Unlike the last “official” wheel, the Logitech Driving Force GT, it seems Polyphony Digital will now be endorsing a premium product which commands a considerably higher price tag. According to Yamauchi, the T500 RS will sell in the range $500 (keep reading…), with the separate gated shifter sold separately for a still undisclosed amount of money.
Before you grumble, keep in mind that it’s not clear if the $500 price actually refers to the US, EU, or Japanese regions. As noted by Shirakawa Akira in our forums, the Logitech G27 already sells for around $450 in Japan (it’s $299 in the US), so it may not actually be that much more expensive. Other “premium” wheels, such as the Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS, sell for as much as $349.95, so there is clearly enough demand in the higher end of the market and it is very encouraging to see Polyphony Digital supporting enthusiast hardware with the T500.
Kazunori reinforced this notion with more tweets, stating that the “T500RS […] is a high-quality, premium steering [wheel],” and “you can feel the delicate and rich feel of the steering.” It will feature three pedals, a “high-power motor, belt drive backlash-free, [and] high-speed processing at low latency.”