If you love cars and home arcade entertainment then it is time for you to own a modern driving simulator. With more than 10 years of development, the driving dynamics are accurate and the photo-real graphics are beyond convincing. Collectors will genuinely appreciate the renderings of these cars, you can pour over every detail inside and out - and the engine sounds are actual samplings well worthy of your home theater system.
Regardless of which system configuration you choose you will be able to compare vehicles from the various manufacturers and trace their development through history. For instance you can load up a 1965 Shelby Cobra and compare it to a Corvette or Lotus form the era. Or you could compare the Shelby to a modern Ford GT, the mid-engined supercar, or a Porsche 911 Turbo. You can also start with the original Porsche 356 and sample versions of the 911 on up through the modern GT cars. The driving dynamics are so real you can actually feel how engine placement affects the vehicles handling and you can learn a thing or two about how minor adjustments to suspension tuning can make a big impact on lap times.
These are not video games where you simply hold down the gas button and bang the car into anything in it's path. These are real cars on real courses and the techniques used by race car drivers actually apply. You can learn how to steer with the gas pedal in a muscle car or how to use engine compression to late brake a corner. You can learn how minor applications of throttle can plant a mid-engine car in a high speed corner and how rear-engined cars have a big advantage during launch. In fact, professional drivers often use these systems to learn new tracks and practice their driving skills. All of this is possible with a basic home gaming platform like the Playstation 2 or 3, the XBox, or a home PC. Add in a force feedback driving wheel and you're in for an experience well beyond what you might expect for a home game room.
All the modern racing games like Gran Turismo and Forza Racing are made to be compatible with force feedback steering wheels. And just like the simulator software, the wheels have seen many years of development and the quality and refinement shows. Real road surface and chassis feedback information are translated through the wheel allowing you to experience 'G' forces, self-centering exiting tunes, pops and jitters from hitting curbing - they even do a fine job of telling you when you've broken traction and are accurate for drifting and doing fishtails. The wheels come with pedals and the latest wheels allow you to make adjustments to the car on the fly. A good force feedback wheel will make a race driver out of you and it will also let you experience the subtle nuance of each car at a level you might not have expected this side of NASA.
Complete your system with a racing chair. The racing chair not only looks cool in your game room, it gives you the perfect mount for your racing wheel and pedals. Look for the right fit for your needs, there's everything from simple collapsible frames to highly detailed arcade style cabinets and everything in between. Get yourself two and host your own races with friends and family. Hook your system up to the net and you can play against thousands of drivers online or friends and family across town or around the country.
Theatre of Magic