Polyphony Digital and Fanatec have announced a new partnership that will see the peripheral manufacturer create new products for the Gran Turismo racing game series.
In an official release, the two brands commented that they will work together to develop new, officially licensed Gran Turismo products with advanced power feedback technology, to “reduce the distinction between sim racing and real racing”.
The partnership represents a shift in technology for Gran Turismo, from the current track-driven wheels to the direct-drive wheels that Fanatec is pioneering across the sim-racing spectrum.
Fanatec becomes the third manufacturer of peripheral wheels to officially partner with Gran Turismo. Logitech was the first to produce the original GT Force wheel Gran Turismo 3 in 2001, all the way up to the Driving Force GT for Gran Turismo 5 Prolog. Thrustmaster followed, with the T500 RS and T300 RS as the official wheels Gran Turismo 5 and 6, and T-GT for GT Sport.
However, this is not the first connection that Fanatec has had with Gran Turismo. A technical glitch during the Gran Turismo World Tour in Tokyo in 2019 caused the Thrustmaster to pull its T-GT wheel temporarily, with Fanatec stepping in to give competitors CSL Elite wheels.
The news comes shortly after a leak yesterday of a potentially new Gran Turismo brand Fanatec wheels. Interestingly, Fanatec has commented on its official blog that Polyphony Digital, as with previous GT wheels, will be responsible for the “industrial design”, and add some credibility to the images we saw yesterday.
While Fanatec has not yet officially announced any products from the partnership, it is expected to unveil a version of CSL DD Direct Drive specifically for PlayStation 4 and 5, and has also revealed that it will release a first product “in a few weeks” of production starting this year.
However, there will be no end to it, as Fanatec also suggests that it has “bigger plans” to come, and whatever comes out in the coming days will simply be the first thing that comes from the partnership.
This is the latest announcement in what has been a busy year for Fanatec. The brand not only sponsors the 2021 GT World Challenge, it also hosts the first virtual race series that generates real points in that competition. Game equipment that also acts as a real steering wheel has also been revealed, for the BMW M4 GT3 2022 and Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak.
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