Thrustmaster T500 RS Unboxed, First-Look Video with ISR

The new “official” GT5 steering wheel, the Thrustmaster T500 RS, releases this Wednesday, and InsideSimRacing got their hands on an early unit to provide us with some much-needed details and first impressions.

As of right now, the wheel only works with GT5 on the PS3, but support for Codemasters and EA titles is reportedly coming soon. A Windows driver is also in the works, but with competitors such as the Fanatec GT2 already providing full PC and even Xbox 360 support out of the box, Thrustmaster would be wise to work as quickly as they can to support as many platforms as possible.

Though it’s still a bit too early to pass judgement on the T500, ISR’s first impressions seem to be very positive. With the wheel going on sale tomorrow, we’re sure to get even more reviews popping up here and around the web very soon. Stay tuned! Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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Comments (98)

  1. Spade

    Some people have been saying to “stop complaining about the price, because this wheel is meant for the people that into high quality sim racing and wheels”

    Well if they’re into high quality sim racing and wheels they would be on their PC right now playing iRacing since that truly is the most high quality and best racing simulator out there! GT5 is for mid range simulator in my eyes. It’s good, but it was also made affordable and made for a more broad audience, so $600 doesn’t meet that affordable price of that broad audience!

  2. J.Harrison

    $600 is fair if it’s as well made as it looks. Considering the cost of development and materials, they’d likely loose money if they sold it for less. It sounds like Kazunori Yamouchi commissioned Thrustmaster to build the “Official wheel” on terms that it meet his high standards, so blame Polyphony Digital if you don’t like the price tag.

  3. Thank You

    I think some people still don’t get it. Most of the gamers who is willing to buy this wheel will very likely have a very good PC. Some will even have triple screen. The only racing game I care to play on PS3 is GT5 and the only one on X360 is Forza3 yet if I had a choice I would play them on PC as well.
    This is mostly a pc wheel just like Frex and ECCI and I would bet only PC sims will take the full advantage of this wheel even in the future. I seriously doubt even Gt5 will take advantage of all this wheel has to offer.

    1. cuco33

      Mostly a PC wheel which right now has no drivers for FFB. That’s my biggest gripe of all, on top of the $600 price tag. I agree with you though that this wheel will cater more the the core PC sim crowd but based on ISR’s review, there’s not FFB for anything but GT5. :/

  4. cuco33

    Don’t know about you guys but this is way too expensive in my book. $600, no Hgate shifter, no FFB for PC (yet, at least until drivers are available), FFB only works on GT5, PS3/PC only, pedals lack more adjustability (in rally mode you can’t adjust angle nor height), etc. I’m opting for the Fanatec GT2 which is $100 cheaper, works on all 3 platforms and is also of high quality. Thrustmaster might be trying to recoup their R&D costs as well as bank on the GT brand.

  5. g27 guy

    Screw the new wheel. But Jesica Lopez, now that is a girl that I think is just gorgeous. Jesica, if you read this, can we go for dinner some night?

  6. James High

    So it seems that because it only functions with GT5, that would indicate it has a much more advanced feedback system, and needs to be specially programmed by a developer for a game to take advantage of its stronger motor and more precise movements, so the FFB experience will be much different than a DFP, G25/G27. But heck, if someone’s happy with their G25, I respect not spending more than half a grand. Oi!

    1. occasionalracer

      Ya I would wait at least a few months before buying it, until they actually release the shifter and properly make it available. I also found it on Amazon Germany for sale through a third party seller for $575 Euros, thats no guarantee they will even ship it out that day. It’s looking really iffy and no company should be receiving pre-orders for something they’re not ready to sell. This is really starting to look like it goes hand in hand with GT5.

  7. James High

    Well, its January 5th. I have checked the sites mentioned to be selling the T500 and I have found no results on any US sites. The only result I found outside the US was and they have it listed to be availavle January 14th.
    Seems like really bad planning on thrustmaster’s behalf to not have this kind of stuff figured out with the online retailers. ( No pre orders? ). I certainly would have pre-ordered it. I’m definitely willling to shell that extra $ out knowing its FFB is comparable to a Frex, and I’m sure it will live up to expectations. If only I could actually FIND it. (sigh…)

  8. dearlybeloved

    My five cents on this subject is that I can’t justify the cost of £449 for a wheel which without a doubt is going to give the most amazing sensation when driving the game. My dissapointment at the lack of movement on the shifters is somewhat dissapointing as I would have love to have the shifters move in sync with the wheel.

    I would don’t like the fact that there is no dial on the wheel like the DFGT. The pedals are seemingly well built and seem to be very well designed. No horn feature is no good.

    As for the issue on jessica lopez… she is very attractive in my eyes because she represents a real woman and not something that is bone and not much else. Also she shares the same interests as us so therein lies the attraction and finally as for those MELONS…. Well what can I say?? delicious!!!

  9. Strata-R

    POS! I have a G27 which I bought on sale for $200. The quality is nice and it has a shifter, and is supported by a lot of games. Now Thrustmaster, which is known for making crappy quality hardware thinks that it can release a wheel for 3 times the price with less support and features? What are they thinking?

  10. CloneHead

    I was considering this wheel, but I don’t think I could ever get used to the flappy gearshifters not rotating with the wheel, so I’m not buying it.

    Yes, that reason alone. For a pricetag like that, it has to be better.

    1. K_Soze

      Most sport cars do not have paddles linked to the wheel. I agree that for a F1 game paddle linked to the wheel is more realistic, but not for GT or Rally Cars…

  11. DawgCCCP

    What makes me worry is the following sentence:
    “Not sure where the shifter will plug in since there is not a port available for”…

    1. BWX

      CCJ, on a PS3? Dual peripherals hasn’t been supported o the PS3___ Do you think they will all of the sudden change for this wheel?

  12. Rikard

    I see now that this wheel is now avialable for preorder at swedish store webhallen but the price is not 500€ but 600€ becuse of the taxes. 600€ = 6000kr. There´s no way I´m buying this one, I rather wait for Logitech to release the sucessor of the G27.

  13. Spaghettimonster

    well i also think that girl is not special – at 9:40 you can see her fat belly. xD anyway, wanna see hot girls? go to rome, monaco or tokyo. THATS something. :))

    as for the wheel. i am dying to try out that thing, but only because of the deadzone. i am starting to think that this is the one thing, that is not right about the g25. ffb seems very loud for a wheel in this pricerange. hope, the price will drop.

    1. Spaghettimonster

      … in rome youre gonna see the most amazing black curls and girls with hot blood… in monaco the hottest bodies and tokyo has the best fashion and style and girls very easy to hook up with as a european – not to mention american. :DD muhaha.

    2. BWX

      @Spaghettimonster —— Women don’t have to look like 12 year old skinny little boys to be hot. — Jessica IS smokin hot. Just because she’s a real woman and not some nasty coked up whore that you seem to like, don’t hate. She’s obviously a classy chick that probably wouldn’t look at you twice. Don’t feel bad though, your bony-butt euro-trash skanks can keep you company.

    3. timmy

      Spaghettimonster: don’t piss off dudes with fat girlfriends!

      Others: classy girls don’t show their blubber. Or their cahungas.

    4. scoop2004

      she’s beautiful in a natural way, lots of people like curves.

      And a lot of “perfect 10, or 8” girls end up getting chunky once they get comfortable in a relationship, Trust me, it’s happened to me.

  14. t.o.

    Although this wheel is a no-go with me I wont knock the next man for getting it. Seems like it’s great quality and has potential for more if supported. I’ll stick with my PWTS but I can understand if someone would spring for this.

    PS: What is you guys fascination with Jessica? She’s ok and got some Tig Bitties but she’s no drop dead must have chick. Man you guys must live in some very isolated one-horse towns.

    1. occasionalracer

      Are you from T.O. (Toronto), cause that’s gotta be one of the worlds hotspots for sexy girls. I’ve been doing apprenticeship there over the last few years and damn it’s crazy. Like there’s lots of hot chicks in many cities but not in that concentration. Definitely not a “one-horse town” lol..

  15. alucard0712

    I feel good about this wheel…It even LOOKS like well crafted.Also I’m ok with no-shifter included…Oh also Jessica…

  16. AGNT009

    WTF! They want me to spend $600, and with no shifter, no usable clutch pedal? Rubber wheel? Poorly angled pedals even AFTER they finally give me the floor layout style I wanted to always own they call “Rally” (deal breaker there IMO, as if I’d have been stupid enough to shell out for this in the first place), then they want you to shift with awkward padels? Im not sure which has the more laughable disasterous retail release, the game, or this wheel. LMFAO

    And was anyone else ONLY looking at Jessica’s left boob as she drove?

    1. occasionalracer

      They don’t want you to do anything. Even though I somewhat agree with your post, I don’t agree with you chronic whining that you seem to love to get off your chest.

    1. The Young Hooligan

      No she doesn’t…

      Back on topic. While the wheel looks great, its way out of my price range, and according to others, out of their price range too. Is the $600 price also the aussie price?

    2. Accelerate

      No, I think $600 is US price. I think it will be a bit more down here. The GT2 Clubsport costs $800 so I’d expect this to hit $1000. Bah.

    3. The Young Hooligan

      Well, I don’t think she’s fat or needs to lose weight.

      Back on topic. Honestly, why must we get ripped off for like, everything down here. With the dollar so good I just don’t understand. Hopefully someone starts selling em’ off Ebay, and that they are a “region free” steering wheel’s?

  17. gNNY

    For a moment I was tempted to sell my G25 and get this one instead, especially since Darin from ISR mentioned that the G25 is loke a toy compared to the Thrustmaster wheel.

    But after watching the video, I have second thoughts: how will a shifter be attached to the unit and how much will it cost? When is support for other games coming? How practical is it to have the shifter padels static and not move with the wheel?

    This seems like a rushed release to be somewhere in line with the GT5 release. If GT5 would have been pushed back to mid 2011 I bet we would have seen a later release of the wheel with better support for other games. All in all, it’s “wait and see” for me right now.

    1. OK

      Lol, I was about to comment about nitpicky trolls, but then realized you where correcting yourself……
      Easy man, i’m sure you forgive yourself. ;)

  18. Alex Leighton

    I dunno, I just really can’t get over that it looks really cheap when compared to a G27 or GT2, and I mean I know in my mind yeah how it looks shouldn’t matter but it does.

    And I’m really not a fan of those pedals unless they can be taken apart and remounted where you want them like the G27.

    To continue my rant, I don’t know what they’re smoking releasing this before there is even a picture of the shifter. I can get selling them seperately, some people just want to use the paddles and they shouldn’t be forced to buy the shifter. But for pete’s sake, at least let us buy the whole package on release day if we want!!

    I’m not going to pass judgement on the price until I have seen one in the plastic and metal, since proper FFB is worth it’s weight in gold, and it may very well be worth the price for that. At this point though I’m definately not sold.

    1. occasionalracer

      Good points… I don’t see how it looks cheap though, it’s just a little plain, but still looks solid and deadly when it’s calibrating itself… lol. No wonder they’re trying to safeguard themselves by putting 16+, they’d be getting flooded with lawsuits…that’s enough momentum to break a kids finger. While the wheel looks to be a definite leap up with it’s FFB, they have made some seriously risky decisions, like the shifting paddles which many may not like, the delayed gearbox release which is silly, and maybe not enough pedal angle adjustability. The fact they’re working on further compatibility is good, I thought this would be exclusively for GT5. I really want them to release a seq. shifter (+-), because a lot of cars have that, and I’ve been shifting like that forever. I would never want a G27 just because of that, so if the T500 doesn’t have a seq. shifter option available, I’ll be very disappointed and may make me change my mind about getting this wheel. That would be too bad cause like you said, proper FFB is worth it’s weight in gold and I’d hate to give that up…

  19. scoop2004

    The red mode light means it’s in “rally mode” with the accelerator on the right? WTF?? Do WRC cars have the accelerator on the right?

    It does look very smooth (unlike the rattley bangy DFGT) and Lisa is pretty fine, must have been chilly when she was holding that empty box??

    1. K_Soze

      No the light indicate if the brake pedal is on the right or the left in order to keep it on the right when you switch From suspended to “F1 Like” pedals.

  20. yakapo

    Regardless of the “ferrari” comment, this is still overpriced. I paid $240 for my G27 and about $200 for my playseat. Just b/c something costs 3x the price doesn’t mean it’s worth it. Sure you can pay $150 for Levis @ Neiman Marcus but I doubt it’s a whole lot better than a pair of levis from Macy’s. Particularly b/c it doesn’t work on anything other than GT5. At least the Fanatec GT2 comes with a shifter and works with pc/xbox360/ps3.

    1. Tweety

      Lol, if I crap in a box, it doesn’t matter if I sell it for $6, or $600, it’s still crap in a box……..

    2. Thank You

      I totally agree with you G27 is the best value. The same GT5 is a better value than Iracing. My Honda Civic is a better value than my Mustang. I found my Honda Civic will do the same job as my Mustang with less gas. Yet I really like driving my Mustang. :)

    3. Bernd

      Don’t complain about gasoline-prices (if you’re from the US). They are climbing towards $8.00/gal now in Germany :(

    4. t.o.

      WOW. I spent 2 years in Germany, for a country so proud about automotive heritage and what not getting and owning a car is such a pain in the butt. You guys gotta go through hell for a license and now 8 bucks for gas?

  21. Tek9[R]

    good proto type, but i don’t know if enough 1st adopters will buy in to warent improvements in the future. i’m hopefull for an adjustment wheel on any new ones.

  22. DawgCCCP

    yea and when the shifter is coming? No clutch and you pay like 500 euro is kinda retarted.. its like “yea we made clutch but no shifter yet, so clutch is for the looks now”..

  23. DawgCCCP

    I´m wondering the following things, How loud is the wheel compared to g27 or Fanatec GT3RS V2. Since I dont want to wake the whole house up..

    1. isocuda

      It uses dual belts like the GT3RS,GT3V2 upgrade, and GT2, and PWTS. they are extremely quiet compared to a G25…

      although they do make some noise, its barely noticeable from another room even in the middle of the night

  24. Craigles

    Looks great, would love to have it but waaaay too expensive for me. Think i’l stick with dfgt. Not that thats a bad thing of course

  25. DaveTheStalker

    Still not listed on Amazon. Either way, I have to wait until we do our taxes. My wheel money was just used to fix my wifes’ car :(

    1. DaveTheStalker

      BTW, if you have issues with the price, go down to your local Ferrari dealer. Then go to a Chevy dealer to price a ZR1. Then stop by the Ford dealer. DO NOT expect high quality and high performance cars at the Ford dealership.

      Climb a mountain and whine about the price of the T500rs.

    2. OK

      So if Ford ever tries to sell me a F150 for $500,000 (shifter not included), then I won’t buy that either……..but hey, if Ferrari ever starts making $600 cars that can be used to control video games, i’ll be first in line.

  26. Booey

    Anyone complaining about the price should just stop. This is a premium priced product. It is not designed for people who think $600 is “too much” to spend on a wheel.

    Just like you can buy a civic, a porsche or a ferarri, you can buy a G27, a Thrustmaster or a FREX.

    They are designed for different demographics and are there to satisfy the whole market and not just those who are only willing to spend a few hundred on this game.

    1. isocuda

      You seem to forget that the all the “civics” where MADE by thrustmaster, ever use their last wheel, the Ferrari branded shitshow?, and now out of nowhere they have a premium wheel?

      The G25-G27 have always covered the middle range

      Fanatec the upper-middle range

      and FREX the multithousand dollar systems designed for rich kids and people who want the absolute edge

      But the shitty regular crap wheels have pretty much always been “Mad Cats” or whatever, and anything Thrustmaster…

      SO where did their R&D come from, its using a dual belt system that only pushing what 20 watts more then the current PWTS/GT3RSv2?

      SO I can give them credit for giving us another wheel with dual belt smoothness on the market, but it’s nothing over the top amazing, just what you’d expect

      Also, Hall effect? and H.E.A.R.T., god damn i hate it when they take an old technology and slap a overly thought out abbreviation for what its doing, a laser/disc with more slots and and reading points would have worked too, and I’m sure given its the newest wheel out their it has good resolution, but “cutting edge”?…No

      I was hoping for the best wheel combo on the market, somethig to make FREX worry about (not that they have emotions, they snap wrists for a living)

      The wheel looks plane, no special wrapping on the wheel surface, no horn button? (come on exclusivity), in compatibility with other systems and uses…..

      THE WORD PREMIUM is reserved for equipment that not only gets the job done well, but with less fuss and more accuracy, one of those things is its ability to satisfy your needs as a consumer, and being limited so far to only working with one game, and I’m fairly certain you can’t use any other pedal setup properly with the 500…

      This wheel is a let down (SO FAR), seems likes jsut the newest mid-range wheel, minus the extras, plus the extra cost, and no shifter? the only reason i can accept this is if it were designed to work with pretty much any other shifter on the market.

      If this thing covered its bases better I’d totally shell out 600 bucks and stick it beside my current rig, but better put

      Just because the brochure says its “premium” doesn’t mean it is…….

    2. An1mal_69

      Some sense at last..I’ve been a secret fan of this wheel since i first saw it. It’s £449 here in the UK, yea more than G27 but it’s better, end of argument. Yea there’s no stick shifter, but to be fair, there aren’t many cars i run on GT5 with a stick anyways..the AC Cobra is pretty much it, very few race cars run sticks so unless you’re purely interested in running the historic worries.

      Anyone who watched the review of the fanatec GT2 on GT5 cast your mind back. I’m sure they said it was just plain cheating how good that wheel was..and after a couple of laps with the t’master “best wheel I’ve ever played GT with” no mention of the GT2, but compared with a wheel twice the price

  27. Thank You

    I have a feeling this wheel at first was mainly a PC wheel that would be a cheaper version of Flex and ECCI ffb wheels. PD wanted a higher end wheel with GT Logo on it and learn Thrustmaster was in development of this wheel. Thrustmaster The GT logo with help both Thustmaster new wheel and PD GT5 and future GT6.
    So even if PD didn’t get involve I believe this wheel would have still hit the market.

  28. Rotard12a

    The attempt at load cell feel with some jank piece of foam and a spring, which they clearly threw into the box at the last minute… kinda comes off as a bit pathetic.

    Overall, the wheel does look promising, but count me out on those pedals. I’m not shelling out my money for that “F1 Style/Rally Style” gimmick. Even if the inverted mode had the pedals at a better angle, you still wont have a chance in hell of heel/toe shifting with the lip of that diamond-plate nonsense in the way. Good idea, horrible execution.

    1. Thank You

      Why would they attempt to simulate a load cell as real car brakes don’t have load cell?
      If someone loves sim racing enough to spend $600 there is a good chance they already have a very good PC as well as the CSP anyways. What this wheel is really selling is it’s FFB compared to a lot more expensive wheels. The same with GT2 main selling point is it’s a X360 wheel.

    2. Rotard12a

      “Why would they attempt to simulate a load cell as real car brakes don’t have load cell?”
      Because a load cell feels more like a real hydraulic brake pedal. And the reason they’re trying to *simulate* a load cell rather than *use* one (like the product they’re trying to match, CSP) is clearly because they didn’t think about it until it was too late. So, their solution was to ship the pedals with some foam you can stick in for “non-linear braking”. Hopefully the wording of that made sense

      As for the other comment, that’s what I mean (though I don’t know what owning a nice PC has anything to do with it). The reason I don’t want to shell out cash for the pedals is exactly as you said, I already have CSPs. If I decide I want to buy a T500 wheel, that means also paying for T500 pedals, which I don’t want because I’ll just use my CSP pedals.

      Or were you accidentally responding to someone else’s comment? xD

    3. Thank You

      The CSP also uses a piece of foam to simulate hydraulic brakes. So both pedals uses foam. The load cell by itself only measures pressure/stress while a pot measures distance. Hydraulic brakes works by both distance and pressure; As you increase the brake pedal distance the pressure against your foot increases. CSP load cell uses foam to add distance while a pot uses foam to increase pressure.

  29. L8 Apex

    Looks and sounds good, but when the GT2 Clubsport comes with two shifters and PC and Xbox compatibility for $100 less well…let’s just say I wish Thrustmaster luck.

  30. Askanishkillo

    man, that is a lot of money for a wheel, specially if it doesn’t fully work with other games, g27 is half that, comes with a shifter, and is supported in other games and PC. I think only the rich and fanboys are buying that only for gt5 =S

  31. Tim

    Way to expensive , anything with sony branding or affilation is , my Alpha is the same a sony 300mm lens is like £200 while the 3rd party version is like £140.00

    Jessica is cute i will agree with adam

    1. Sam

      Your wrong man

      if you really watched the video, you will notice the guy from insidesimracingtonight, said “the quality and feel is comparable to that of a 1,000 dollar FREX wheel” which really make this a steal for the price.

    1. Sam’s first look, they say the quality and feel is comparable to that of a 1,000 dollar FREX wheel, which really make this a steal for the price.

    2. dadarjapit

      @bloodstriker: I thought i was the only one who noticed that. lol. But kept my mouth shut anyways. Hahaha

    3. jebbunks

      @9:40 she should not sit down on camera.

      It’s after the holidays, should we cut her some slack?

      No, it’s her job to be sexy.

  32. ColinZeal

    My god it´s expensive!
    I love my G27 too much to even think about another wheeln. When it has 100% support (buttons on the wheel), then it´s perfect for me. =)

  33. Owen.C

    I look forward to there full review, unfortunately it wont be for quite a while :(, hopefully they tie it in with GT5 review part 2.

    1. sonac

      The review date probably depends mostly on release date of PC drivers. It wouldn’t make much sense to review it only for PS3. Maybe they will make a small preview for PS3 and then do a full review after PC drivers are available?

    2. Rotard12a

      @ sonac

      True, I’m sure. Though (right now) it’s not PS3-only, it’s GT5-only, which makes one curious as to whether or not they should have released it now in the first place…

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