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CNET First Look
Fanatec CSR racing combo for Xbox 360Racing sim fans sick of driving with their thumbs should check out this top-tier steering wheel, pedal, and shifter controller combo from Fanatec.
If you're a fan of racing and racing some you probably gone to the point where you're sick of driving which is on and wanna step up to a bonafide racing wheel. I'm Antoine Goodman with Zenith.com. Let's take a first look at the fanatics. CSR wheel shifter and (pedal?) combo. The CSR combo is actually branded with the Forza motorsport logo and there's also an x-box 360 kinect button indicating that it works best with the Forza motorsport 4 racing game in the x-box 360 combo. However this universal wheel and pedal combo can be use with any x-box 360 game wirelessly and connected by a USB to PS3 or PC for racing on those system as well. The CSR wheel has a very thick rim with a flat bottom design, that they're actually really racy. There's also (??) in for the new position that (rigs?) right away from your palm during (10th?) races and aid in grip. There's also a pair of aluminum shift pedals here on the back so like they can take quite a beating. The wheel's brushed aluminum faces dotted with controls that are easily reachable with the thumbs, including this directional pad, the ABXY button bank, shoulder buttons and an LCD display that can be used for adjusting anything from 4 speed back (straight?) to sensitivity from 90 degrees all the up to 900 degrees and the linearity of the controls. You can also set up the 5 different presets of all of those settings for different games or different players. Even at its default settings the wheel offers really good, really strong 4 speed back and it's actually quite accurate for racing. The table attachment clamp at the bottom holds really but if you want a little bit more security you can actually remove it and drill holes in the table or racing wheel stand to even more firm it. The next bit of the package is the CSR shifter kit. Not this kit actually includes 2 shifters. One is a sequential shifter and the other is an H pattern shifter. The H pattern shifter gauge is a little too loosely defined for my taste and I've watched more than 1 3 to 2 down shifter in a race. But I think if you can get a little bit of practice with it, maybe even a little firmer mount, you could probably get used to it. Finally we have the CSR elite pedals which is actually a step up from the CSR components that we've been talking about for the elite series. Now this actually uses almost a completely aluminum construction for the pedals and the base, it's also really heavy steel bottom here to hold it in place. This thing is heavy and that's good 'cause you're basically gonna be kicking the crap out of it while you race. Each of the pedals could be adjusted horizontally or vertically with simple hand tools and you can also adjust the spacing, for example you wanna get the break pedals closer to the gas pedal for that perfect hill into down shift. Now casual gamers are probably gonna get a little sticker shock from the price. The CSR wheel itself is 250 bucks, the shifter kit is $60 and the pedals are about 150 bucks. And we're talking about $460 worth of racing simulator here. Now if you wanna save a couple of bucks you can step down to the non-elite standard CSR pedals for about $80. They use a little bit more plastic in this instruction but they use that same really heavy base that I like and you could probably even skip the shifters 'cause they're not really that great to begin with. Saves you about 60 bucks of off the price. Check out the fore view of the CSR wheel pedals and shifter combo. For even more details about the things that I liked and disliked about each component and how they compare to the previous generations of fanatic racing combos. Until then, I'm Antoine Goodman with Zenith.com and if you'll excuse me I've got a little more work to do.