Thrustmaster Ferrari Cockpit – Hardware Review
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Developer: Thrustmaster
Publisher: Thrustmaster
Platform: 360, PC

Thrustmaster Ferrari Cockpit – Hardware Review

Good: Design, Comfort
Bad: Lack of force feedback, Rotation circle
User Score
10.0
(10 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (10 votes cast)

Racing in your living room, a concept that is getting more and more realistic by the coming of the new generation of simulation games. We get to pilot F1 cars or even the cars we can only dream about, be it in realistic environments or the more arcade-like settings you can only see in your imagination. All of this opened the door for better and better racing hardware to take us one step closer to our ‘dream’. The sad part however is screwing around with a comfortable setting in which you are able to put your steering wheel and your pedals. We were able to test the Thrustmaster Ferrari Cockpit which takes care of this issue for you, but will the overall hardware be good enough to make it one great whole?

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Note: The Ferrari Cockpit was already available for PS3 as a wireless version. The model we will be discussing is the wired xbox 360/PC version.

When opening the gigantic box of this piece of hardware it’s pretty easy to see that this item simply looks wonderful. The steering wheel itself is a 7:10 scaled replica of a Ferrari F458 Italia and the developers ‘spared no expense’ in creating something beautiful that gives you that extra touch of realism. (Yes, I know a real steering wheel doesn’t have xbox buttons on it, but shh! – It’s surely worth mentioning that some of the buttons have a nice camouflage. For example the D-pad is disguised as an engine power button) The finishing touches on the steering wheel itself to make it soft in the palm of your hands and the smooth design of the actual construction that connects your wheel with the pedals. The pedals and the ‘floppy’ triggers with which you change gears are made out of metal to give another extra touch to the design of the cockpit. After taking a long look at this piece of hardware art you will notice something out of place, a battery hatch, on a wired piece of hardware? Yes, a battery hatch you can actually open whilst it does not need battery input. The developers however took out the iron connection pieces for you to insert them but it still feels like they forgot to remove it but hoped no one would see this small, yet noticeable flaw on this magnificent replica.

The overall size of this piece of harware will surely make you wonder on the actual ‘storage’ when you lose the need of racing games for a while. The Ferrari Cockpit is quite easy to ‘shrink’ in size when simply folding it together which makes it’s size a lot smaller.

After a few basic tests and what not (even before actually playing a game) it was quite clear that the Ferrari Cockpit puts it’s focus on F1 games. The fact you can’t make a full circle, like it is the case with a real F1 steering wheel pretty much gives that away. After the basic explanation I will discuss a few games of different racing genres to see if this steering wheel is a one trick pony or not. The overall basics are quite promising: There is decent resistance on the breaking pedal for you to be able to feel in control when wanting to reduce your speed without going for a full stop. The buttons are decently placed and easy reachable. (Even with my hand size that is comparable with a leprechaun.) You can tilt the steering wheel and put it at the desirable height and like the design it creates one big whole. The designgers kept an all important fact in mind aswell and that is keeping your set-up from moving too much when playing with it. The weight of foot of it all is roughly around 10kg which takes playing too careful off your mind. A few ‘negative’ aspects are to be mentioned however: The complete rotation span will take away a few realistic aspects when playing simulation games and the lack of force feedback might be a party pooper for some. The lack of the second aspect mentioned however is pretty understandable when looking at the overall price of this package and it effortlessly gets you your money’s worth.

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Tested on:

F1 2012:

As stated above, this game is created with a focus on F1 games and it pretty much hits your desires spot on. There is hardly and delay on the steering and the on screen action and you feel like you’re pretty much in control at all times. (And yes, I was actually better when racing with the steering wheel then when playing with a controller.) You are able to follow that all important racing line and the resistance on the break pedal will make it a lot easier to control your breaking speed when being compared to a traditional/standard controller. Simply put, a great addition if you’re a fan of F1 games.

F1 Race Stars:

F1 Race Stars still uses the F1 engine but can be considered more like a hybrid-F1-Mario-Kart-kind-of-game and is normally not easily matched up with a steering wheel to play. I wasn’t expecting too much but was actually pleasantly surprised by the results. I’ll be fair if I say the game is still a tad easier with an actual controller but it’s still very playable with the Ferrarri Cockpit. Only a few things will work a little harder than you’d like, like shooting a power-up at an opponent behind you or tapping the gas pedal to activate your boost. Overall a game still fun to play with your hardware still attached to your xbox.

Forza Horizon:

A game that is considered to have an arcadish feel instead of the real sim aspects of a normal simulation racing game. Again the game feels like a very playable experience with the Ferrari Cockpit but tends to lack a bit on the ‘navigation’ department, seeing you have to use your map a lot. Placing marks on your map with the D-pad isn’t really the way to go here. Except for this small annoyance the game will pretty much stay a fun experience for you to use your hardware.

Own opinion:

Being someone who has ‘intermediate’ experience when it comes to racing wheels I was pleasantly surprised by the Ferrari Cockpit. Not only in comfort but in handling this piece of hardware made sure I can enjoy my racing games in a new way and even make a hard game like F1 2012 an ‘easier’ experience. Personally I missed any kind of force feedback but then again, for this price you can’t really complain about the lack of it. If you’re a fan of racing games but don’t want to go ‘pro’ this steering wheel will provide you with hours of fun. For the die-hard simulation fans amongst us some aspects might be a little bothersome, which doesn’t take away the fact that this set-up is a great experience.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (10 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Thrustmaster Ferrari Cockpit - Hardware Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 10 ratings

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