Racing game developers like Turn 10 Studios with Forza Motorsport, Playground Games with the Forza Horizon series, Polyphony Digital with Gran Turismo, or Codemasters with their F1 games go to great lengths with the aid of powerful hardware to make sure their games blur the line between artificial and actual reality as much as possible. Despite all of the time and effort, a lot of that goes out of the window the second a player picks up a controller to play a racing game. It's a shame but there really is a disconnect when playing with analog thumb sticks rather than holding a proper steering wheel.
That's why there is a healthy market for steering wheel peripherals from companies like Thrustmaster, Fanatec, and Logitech, and simulator rigs that include seats from Playseat Racing, Next Level, and there a few that aren't really meant for mere mortals.
Peripherals like PC and console racing wheels and rigs help fill in that gap and add a touch more realism to the racing game experience. There were more than a few of these rigs on the E3 show floor so we wanted to show you some of the cool and straight out ridiculous rigs we saw at the show.
RIG: PLAYSEAT RACING "EVOLUTION" WITH LOGITECH G29 RACING WHEEL & PEDALS
This setup is pretty much representative of what most racing game fans may have in their home. Playseat Racing is one of the leaders when it comes to seat rigs, and they're known for collabing with brands like Gran Turismo, as you see here. We found this setup at the Logitech booth where they were showing off their G29 wheel for the PlayStaion 4 running GT Sport. A complete setup like this including the wheel would cost you around $740.
RIG: SPARCO "EVOLVE" WITH THRUSTMASTER TS-XW WHEEL
Found at the Thrustmaster booth where they were running the Assetto Corsa game, this was a big surprise for me. While I knew Sparco was collaborating with Thrustmaster on products, I had no idea they had their own seat rig - though when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that a company like Sparco would jump into this market. This setup is a bit more expensive; along with the Thrustmaster wheel, you're looking at about $1,700.
RIG: NEXT LEVEL RACING GT TRACK WITH MOTION PLATFORM & THRUSTMASTER TS-XW WHEEL
This was another surprise as I was previously unaware of the company Next Level Racing, but it appears they make some pretty high quality rigs. They are based in Australia and have a respectable lineup of rigs in varying price ranges. This particular rig comes with their "motion platform" accessory that can directly bolt on to some of their rigs as well as rigs from other companies like Playseat Racing. The motion platform on its own is about $3,000, making this total setup come out to about $4,500.
Rig: VRX SIMULATORS "iMOTION" IN CUSTOM ENCLOSURE WITH FANATEC CLUBSPORT V2.5 WHEEL BASE & CSL ELITE WHEEL
This is easily one of the most expensive racing simulator setups at E3. It was running Forza Horizon 4, right next to the McLaren Senna on the show floor. This rig was built for Microsoft by VRX Simulators and at its heart is their "iMotion" model. As the name suggests, the entire seat moves to match the driver's actions in the game. On top of that, a custom enclosure was built to house a surround sound system and a spot for an incredibly powerful PC. Combine that with a high-end wheel and pedal set up from Fanatec and you're looking at well over $50,000!
Have you tried any of the racing rigs I mentioned here? What racing game do you think is best-suited for a high-end simulator setup? Do you have your own custom built rig? Or are you fine with a good ol' controller? Let us know! Reach out on Twitter and Facebook at @SuperStreetMag or on IG at @SuperStreet. Take pictures of your setup and tag us!