Sim hardware developer Fanatec has announced it will partner with Gran Turismo to “see the two entities work together to develop new racing peripherals that will use advanced force-feedback technology.”

Continuing their run of exciting news in the sim racing world, Fanatec has now confirmed it will be developing hardware for the Gran Turismo series in partnership with PlayStation Studios and game developer Polyphony Digital.

The partnership announcement comes not far removed from the pre-sales of the much-anticipated CSL DD wheel based from Fanatec. The €349 direct drive wheelbase has caused a lot of stir in the sim racing community with its aggressive pricing. The details of the hardware Fanatec intends to provide as part of the Gran Turismo partnership is not known yet, but a Playstation compatible version of the CSL DD seems the most likely candidate.

The news could pose a challenge to one of Fanatec’s hardware rivals, Thrustmaster. Thrustmaster has been the official hardware supplier for the FIA Gran Turismo Championship series in recent years, with contestants using their T-GT wheel and pedal set. In late June of this year, Thrustmaster announced their T-GT II wheel and pedal set, which once again carried the Gran Turismo logo and looked to be the leading candidate for Gran Turismo 7’s official competition wheel on the Playstation 5. It remains to be seen whether developer Polyphone Digital will choose Fanatec or Thrustmaster hardware for future tournaments.

The news came to us via an official press release from Fanatec and their social media channels. The statement was brief, but Fanatec declared their "aim to reduce the distinction between sim racing and real-world racing." No release date was given as part of the announcement.

Gran Turismo Sport is the most recent release in the GT series. Despite nearing 5 years in age, the title still enjoys enormous popularity, with concurrent player counts still close to 200,000. GT Sport was released in 2017 and should be succeeded by Gran Turismo 7 in 2022. The next title in the series is expected to be released on both the Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 consoles.

What do you think of this announcement? Would a comparatively inexpensive direct drive wheel for Playstation interest you? Let us know in the comments below.
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