Gaming companies are leaning in pretty hard when it comes to racing/flight simulator games at CES 2024 — we saw several companies with dedicated controllers (wheels, pedals, flight sticks, etc.) and racing/flight sim cockpits for those so dedicated to immersion that they need a full setup.
Cooler Master showed off its Dyn X cockpit, which features a heavy-duty steel frame and a fiberglass racing seat that can be adjusted to fit 14 different driving positions for different racing styles (including Formula, GT, NASCAR, and Trophy Truck). The Dyn X is just the frame, but it has pre-drilled mounting points for a racing wheel/flight controller and pedals, as well as for a shifter mount and a monitor mount.
It's also compatible with Cooler Master's Dyn X Motion System, which lets you mount the Dyn X frame to a motorized rig — which costs an additional several thousand dollars. Cooler Master says the Dyn X Motion System is compatible with "most actuators on the market," including Sigma Integrale, D-BOX, and Qubic System. Pricing isn't final, but Cooler Master said the Dyn X alone will cost "around a couple thousand" when it launches.
Of course, that price only includes the frame and the seat. Everything else — controllers, monitor mount, monitors, motion system and actuators, and, of course, PC, you'll need to purchase or provide yourself. According to Cooler Master, the full setup we saw at CES cost upwards of $25,000.
Thermaltake's take is more affordable — but, again, this is just the frame and chair. The GR500 racing simulator cockpit is smaller and lighter than the Dyn X, with an aluminum and steel frame and a fiberglass bucket seat that moves backwards, forwards, and reclines. It's not as adjustable as the Dyn X, but it does have an adjustable pedal mount and pre-drilled mounting points for your racing wheel/flight stick, shifter, and pedals. It doesn't have mounting points for a monitor mount; instead, Thermaltake is selling a Triple Racing Monitor Stand separately.
Like the Dyn X, the GR500's pricing isn't final, but Thermaltake said it would likely cost around $799 — which is still pretty expensive, but not too much more than some of the higher-end racing wheels and flight sticks we've seen. Again, that's only for the frame and the chair. All accessories, screens, and PCs are sold separately.
It's kind of difficult for me to imagine a world in which anyone has room for a full-size racing simulator cockpit at home, but I live in Los Angeles. My colleagues who live in places like Kansas and Colorado assured me they have plenty of room for something like this in their basements. Naturally, I've taken this to mean they're volunteering to review the Dyn X and GR500 when they launch later this year.
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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware covering peripherals, software, and custom builds. You can find more of her work in PCWorld, Macworld, TechHive, CNET, Gizmodo, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, SHAPE, Cosmopolitan, and just about everywhere else.
when a sim costs more than an actual car thats just "wth" to me.Reply
the full setup we saw at CES cost upwards of $25,000Reply
Yeah, I'll take 4.
This is insane!!
The fact they were using a G29 and said it was $25K makes me raise an eyebrow.Reply
I have a more simplistic approach, but using the Index and a GT Omega Racing cockpit. No fancy moving around, but it's still an amazing experience with the VR headset.
And actuators on seats is a fairly "solved" problem, so you can go with 3rd party seats/cockpits and assemble one yourself for, arguably, cheaper. I've never seen a full solution for cheap though, so it is deinitely north of 6-7K for that alone, for good force feedback.
"Get next-level"? They've been there. Motion rigs have been available for a while and you can get much cheaper setups than $25K that perform just as well, if not better.Reply
You can spend $2.5-4K for a 3 DoF base and couple it with whatever peripheral mounts for well under their listed price even if you include the computer. DOF Reality has a number of options that range all the way up to 6 DoF and a complete setup with that base would still likely be well under $10K.
Here I thought you were based in Tokyo or Singapore, where space issues are reported to be another scale, yet!Admin said:Both Cooler Master and Thermaltake showed off racing simulator cockpits at CES 2024.
Racing simulators are about to get next-level : Read more
I've seen plenty of Paris flats, where extra space for something like this is unthinkable ...as an exclusive space allocation.
But when you can turn your kitchen into a shower (very typical in Paris), you can also turn a racing seat into your office, I guess. Pretty sure you can hang a baby sleeper between the wheel and the headrest as well and save on a crib: I'd say the main answer to the space problem is discovering additional use cases...
Over the decades I've found racing games to be the most disappointing of all, somehow they simply fail to replicate almost everything about my real-world driving experience and do not allow me to go beyond that, which is what I'd want them for. Instead I find myself far below, a complete idiot when driving within the games, even with rather potent hardware and a Logitech wheel that certainly wasn't cheap.
In real-life I'm no Schumacher, but certainly a German who's driven between 150 and 190 mph rather regularly without killing me or anyone else, again for decades. What made this possible (apart from the Autobahn) is mostly bodily sensors, which give a broad spectrum of force cues at a level of precision and detail that's hard to replicate, not just from the seat, but from from brakes and most importantly the steering wheel. Surround sound and vision, exact mirrors etc. are crucial to create the brain-twin of your environment you need to plan where you want to go in a crowd etc. I've used high-res VR headsets in an attempt to get closer, but while they are pretty amazing for helping to maneuver big long trucks, they are near useless for high-speed racing on the Nuremburg ring.
There are activities even more difficult to replicate like biking, running or swimming but I've basically given up on driving in games: the uncanny gap has only widened since the Need for Speed started out.
Warehouse-shop around the corner here in Berlin has mostly Next Level Racing:Reply
It sure does add up quickly.
But there are some sim-centers (like amusement arcade), which make use of Actoracer in particular:
Don't know about the rest of you but to me the monitor image doesn't look like looking out of the car windshield. Windshields are curved vertically, not just horizontally so if this is for car simulations only (and it seems it is), then it's total overpriced crap.Reply
Also, not having side mirrors and rear mirror doesn't really help the immersion. I expect better for $25k.
You're looking at the Thermaltake one not the Cooler Master one. It would be nice if the pictures themselves were labeled.-Fran- said:The fact they were using a G29 and said it was $25K makes me raise an eyebrow.
Ah, thanks. That actually makes sense.thestryker said:You're looking at the Thermaltake one not the Cooler Master one. It would be nice if the pictures themselves were labeled.
Just being honest here, if you have a minimum of assembly skill actually making a frame for a racing rig isn't particularly difficult. Some square tube stock, a drill, some fasteners make that aspect pretty easy-peasy. You can also readily select a racing seat or custom seating without having to blow a wad doing those parts. It seems to me that the real money here aside from a base PC comes down to the controls and monitors.Reply
The adjustability and options for additional hardware are interesting aspects, but that is sure a chunk $.