When you're playing your favorite car-racing game, are you having trouble getting yourself to believe that you're really behind the wheel of a state-of-the-art race car? Well, perhaps it's because of the actual wheel that you're using ... it could also have something to do with the fact that you're sitting on a couch with a bowl of chips, but we'll leave that one for now. Anyhow, gaming gear company Thrustmaster has just unveiled its new Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On, which is a full-size replica of the 150° Italia racing wheel used by real Formula 1 drivers.

The F1, via a quick-release attachment, takes the place of the stock wheel on a user's existing Thrustmaster T500 RS unit. The wheel itself features a rubberized coating, while its facing and "push and pull" shifters have a scratched-brushed metal finish.

Additional controls include two encoder rotary knobs for adjusting car settings, three metal switches for wheel re-centering, two high-pressure eight-directional D-pads, and eight dual detent push-buttons.

If all that sounds like it could get a little confusing, keep in mind that the F1 can be used in two modes. While Advanced mode incorporates 25 action buttons and one D-pad, Normal mode requires players to use a mere 13 action buttons and three D-pads.

The Thrustmaster Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On is designed for PC and PlayStation 3 platforms, and will entail a firmware update for the required T500 RS. It will be available in early October for a suggested retail price of US$199.99.

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