Keen to know what sort of hardware setup people have for their virtual racing environment and what they think of it.
I have invested in a Hyper Stimulator – http://www.hyperstimulator.com/personal/features.html
I bought the Challenge Racer model with black fibreglass seat and mountings for after-market controller and pedals.
For the wheel & pedal set I have the Logitec GT Pro – http://www.logitech.com/gaming/wheels/devices/4172
All of this is connected to my PS3.
The Hyper is initially comfortable and certainly looks the goods, but for prolonged periods of play it’s far from comfortable. During winter the chassis is very cold to sit in initially until you start working up a sweat. Being made of MDF some of the joints creak when under pressure. I also painted the chassis myself using automotive spray paint – in matte black and orange – looks a bit like the old Arrows F1 car. The chassis weighs over 60kgs and is difficult to move around the house – hence I have a permanent place for it in my study/home office.
The Logitech GT Pro is a decent wheel & pedal set up for $99 AUD (it was on special at Dick Smiths). The wheel could be a little thicker and at times does creak a little under pressure. Although I have the force feed on 100%. The pedals could do with more resistance; I’ve tried a friend’s G27 with a brake pedal mod which was unbelievable in resistance and feel – it made heal-toeing so much better.
PS3 is fairly low maintenance – only the occasional software update. It has frozen on me a few times but less than what I can count with one hand. I have noticed from time to time in F1 2010 that the frame rate slowed a little – in particularly at Monaco while exiting the pool complex (has anyone else experienced this problem too?)
Short from having hydraulics and active suspension, I think my set up is pretty reasonable and all under $1500 AUD. It gives me a seating position close to an F1 car and certainly requires a level of fitness and stamina to do a full race distance. On some weekends I have known to spend about 5 hours in the cockpit – then regretfully having to see the chiropractor later.