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Saitek (Slightly) Upgrades Its HOTAS Lineup With The X-56 Rhino

Saitek is back with another set of hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) flight peripheral, and it’s called the X-56 Rhino. But if the product image looks somewhat familiar, it's because not much has changed since the last iteration.

In the past, the company’s top-tier HOTAS model was the X-55 Rhino, which had a nearly identical design to the new version. However, Saitek said that the X-56 has some new features. In addition to a new paint job (the X-55 had a military-styled paint scheme), the new peripheral also includes two small analog sticks--one on the stick and the other on the right throttle. These seem to replace the buttons that were initially placed in the same location on the X-55, and they allow you to have the so-called "six degrees of freedom" movements (pitch, roll, yaw, forwards and backwards, up and down, and left and right).

The previous model also had green backlighting available, but the X-56 will have RGB backlighting, so you can have your choice of illumination from 16 million color variants.

Other than that, the X-56 Rhino seems to have the same layout as its predecessor. Even the stick includes four different springs for various resistance levels. Saitek believes that this new model would be the perfect fit for VR games, most notably Elite: Dangerous. You can pre-order it Amazon for $249.99 ($339.99 CAD), and it comes out on May 30.

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  • spectrewind
    Not fooled. This is a MADCATZ product.
    Recommend waiting for a few Amazon reviews before buying...

    When you click on the support links at the SAITEK website, it redirects you to MADCATZ.
    The X55 and X52 are heavily documented on the Internet with abysmal quality control (high DOA count) and horrible tech support.
    Reply
  • beoir
    Agreed Spec. There is nothing posted about them acknowledging customer complaints and upgrading build quality. I'd hold off on buying.
    Reply
  • Zircon57
    I basically only read this article to find out what HOTAS stood for. I have no idea about the quality control, I haven't used a flight stick since I last played IL-2 Sturmovik in 2002.
    Looks flashy certainly.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Saitek has been making these since before 2002. Though MadCatz has been making good controllers and peripherals for years as well, so I'm not sure why the despair if either of them is actually manufacturing this.
    Reply
  • egmccann
    If I spent as much time on a sim as I used to... maybe. These (and a good set of rudder pedals) would be just the ticket. (They were also fun on Mechwarrior, back in the days of dialup, Kali and the Registry.)
    Reply
  • spectrewind
    Saitek has been making these since before 2002. Though MadCatz has been making good controllers and peripherals for years as well, so I'm not sure why the despair if either of them is actually manufacturing this.

    ... And they stopped in 2007 after being acquired by MADCATZ. There is no 'either'. Moreover, as I stated previously, the SAITEK support website redirects users to the MADCATZ site.
    Since the acquisition, rampant quality problems reported (amazon, reddit, just a couple to look for).

    Personally, I'm on my 4th X52 Pro within the 2-year warranty, with one of the warranty swaps being DOA.

    Do your own research, it's your money...
    Reply
  • falchard
    I have had a 3/3 record for MADCATZ devices failing on me. So I really wouldn't recommend since Saitek is apart of MadCatz. I used to like the Eclipse keyboards as well.
    Reply
  • beoir
    It would be better for them if they got interviewed by site like Tom's Hardware and answered the hard questions about the hardware quality and if they fixed them. Otherwise just pull this new version until the issues are fixed, or forget it all together until they can get the Star Citizen controllers out. Honestly, with all of the bad reviews for the X55 on the web who are they trying to fool?
    Reply
  • pegnose
    Don't know about yours, but my X-55 already has an analogue stick on the right throttle.
    Reply
  • stingstang
    My X52 pro gained a full right Z-axis problem on month 6 of owning it. When I tried to contact customer support, they just ignored me. Serious...they ignored every attempt of contact.
    Reply