Fanatec has confirmed that their often-rumored Direct Drive Wheel will be hitting the shelves in Q4 2017, summarizing some facts on the upcoming wheel.
Using in-house made servo motors, the Direct Drive line will come in different models that will be compatible to the PC as well as possible the Xbox One later one, Playstation 4 compatibility is not planned though.
The wheel is expected to make a first public appearance at the Simracing Expo in September when further info such as the price are expected to be revealed.
Until then, you’ll find a summary of the known facts below.
We are developing more than one base. The main difference will be the maximum torque. The torque range is starting at a competitive level far above the CS WB V2.5 and ranges up to a level most of you will not be able to use for a long time.
It will not replace the CS WB V2.5 and we will keep this model as the best non-DD solution on the market.
The DD wheelbases are the first products of a complete series of hardcore products which are positioned above the ClubSport series. This series will include wheelbases, steering wheels, pedals, shifters and hand brakes in the (very) long run.
The DD will be a typical plug&play product like other Fanatec wheelbases. All in one housing and no cable mess.
Like any other Fanatec product, the DD will be fully certified and lab tested. This will avoid EMI issues and other interference with your other devices. The DD uses a lot of power and huge magnets are involved so this is a very important point which is often not considered until you get a lot of mysterious issues and damages to your whole system.
PC for sure as this is the main market and there is no reason that it should not work on Xbox One. The first generation will not be compatible to PS4.
We have a great relationship with all racing game developers and you can be sure that there will be broad support for this wheel base. Our target is to set a new standard in simracing.
We looked at the current motors on the market and there was nothing which really fulfilled our requirements. Those industrial motors were not designed for simracing. Steppers and hybrid steppers deliver a way too notchy feeling for a hardcore product, no matter how good you tweak the software. Also other servo motors are always a compromise. Therefore we developed complete custom servo motors where we decided what speed, torque, size, power consumption, pricing etc. we need.
All the current ClubSport steering wheels will be compatible. We developed a new QR system on the base to handle the extra power but it will stay a quick release.
There will be no cable from the wheel to the base or to USB. The wheel will be able to rotate unlimited without the risk to snap off a cable or to disturb you while driving.
The CSL and CSL Elite steering wheels will be compatible as well but torque will be reduced if such a wheel is detected.
Please let us know what kind of software you are expecting to get with the DD. What parameters do you want to adjust and how and where do you want to adjust these parameters. We are pretty flexible on this point.
Dates are always a very sensitive subject. In principle you need to understand that the DD technology is not only new to us, our DD wheels are completely designed from scratch and a breakthrough for the whole industry. This involves some completely new technology which had to be invented and everything is customized. A lot of unknown factors are not good to give any solid time projections.
We simply cannot give you any guaranteed dates at this point. But at least you get some indication of our target dates.
There will be a community event where we invite interested sim racers to test and compare our new DD wheels directly to all other solutions on the market. Time and date are not defined yet but it will obviously be before the launch date. More news and how to apply for this test will be posted here.
The external beta test will start after all internal tests are done. We will also make a separate announcement where you can apply to become a tester. We are interested in the opinion of current DD users and ultra hardcore users as well as people with analytic and structured thinking which are able to find remaining bugs and make suggestions for improvements.
Please make sure you already filled out this form.
First public appearance:
We plan to show this product at the Simracing Expo this year.
There will be a significant difference to the current wheelbases we have so there will be different performance levels at different price points. As the current CS WB V2.5 is still priced significantly lower than any other DD wheel on the market (please compare it with a full system incl. steering wheel with buttons) there is still room for us to make a very competitive offer.
Our new DD bases can compete in pricing as well as superior functionality and performance.