When Fanatec brought the mainstream racing wheel market to its knees with affordable direct drive technology, both Logitech and Thrustmaster had to respond. Now Thrustmaster finally has!
Image credit: Thrustmaster
Console wars are so a decade ago. Now the go-to brand loyalty conflict comes in the form of direct-drive racing wheels, and whilst there are plenty of niche brands within the world of PC sim racing like Moza, VRS, Simucube, Heusinkveld, there are three brands at the forefront.
Previously, direct drive seemed to be too inaccessible for the average sim racer. Fanatec’s most powerful DD wheelbases were in excess of over $2,000. So, when they brought out the CSL DD it sent out a warning sign that this technology was being going to be available to a wider market. With that, Logitech and Thrustmaster were forced to respond.
After Logitech revealed their G PRO in September, all eyes were on Thrustmaster to see what their entry into DD technology would be. Now it’s here in the form of the T818.
What are the Headlines?
Let’s run the numbers. Fanatec’s CSL DD wheel produces 5 Nm or 8 with a booster power supply, Logitech’s peak power is 11 Nm. However, while the Fanatec CSL DD wheelbase on its own is €350 and with a wheel bumps it up to €500, and the Logitech wheelbase with a wheel is well over €1,000, the T818 in a bundle with a wheel is a solid €650.
Considering it only produces 1 Nm less than the Logitech for considerably less cost, and is only about €150 more than the Fanatec but produces twice the power, it may be tempting for aspiring DD buyers to look Thrustmaster’s way.
In a livestream that our own ChampionJoe sat down to watch, some more details were revealed. One point against the T818 may be that it doesn’t have console support, which may defeat the purpose of affordable DD wheels.
There is no word yet on any potential Thrustmaster developing console-compatible versions of the T818 at some point in the future.
Where to Buy One
The ability to pre-order to T818 is through the Thrustmaster website, with deliveries for orders made now in Europe expected to be fulfilled before Christmas. European orders made after Christmas will be delivered in January, whilst the US market will have to wait until March to get theirs.
Will you be pre-ordering the Thrustmaster T818? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!