Thrustmaster, the current official racing wheel manufacturer for the Gran Turismo series, has issued a statement on this week’s announcement that Fanatec will assume the role later this year.
The move comes in response to a question that many fans were clearly wondering about. When we originally posted the leaked images of the supposed new Fanatec Gran Turismo wheel, there were comments that it was clearly fake due to Thrustmaster’s partnership and the recently announced T-GT II unit for Gran Turismo Sport.
However, by Tuesday it was clear that — whether the leaked shots are representative of the final product or not — Fanatec would become the official racing wheel manufacturer soon, and likely in time for Gran Turismo 7.
Thrustmaster’s response, on social media, is intriguing on several levels:
As the brand rightly points out, Thrustmaster has been supplying equipment not only to the live FIA Certified Gran Turismo Online Championship live events, but to the players themselves over the past two seasons with the forced shift to online. That includes the current World Series events, and future finals like the Toyota Gazoo Racing GT Cup and the 2021 World Final.
The timing of these events overlaps with the timeline advanced by Fanatec in its press release yesterday. While Fanatec hasn’t officially revealed any Gran Turismo products just yet, it anticipates doing so over the next couple of weeks and plans to start shipping units before the end of the year. Thrustmaster meanwhile believes it will be the only peripheral manufacturer supplying officially licensed GT steering wheels by year end.
However, the move won’t affect Gran Turismo players generally. The games have always supported all officially licensed wheels, whatever the brand, with former partner Logitech, current partner Thrustmaster, and upcoming partner Fanatec all enjoying full wheel support in Gran Turismo Sport. Whether you purchase the official wheel or not, you’ll still be able to play.
The final paragraph is interesting too, as Thrustmaster states it still has new products to reveal later this year. That’s something we’ll be keeping a close eye on over the coming months.