The modern car enthusiast is spoiled for choice when it comes to indulging the hobby. Whether it be driving an actual car, collecting toys, or playing video games, there are now plenty of means to enjoy the automotive lifestyle; The latter in particular having had quite a revolution over the past couple decades. As soon as the first computer consoles came out in the 80’s, racing games have become a staple in any gamer’s collection. Fast forward to today, there are plenty of options and genres of racing to choose from, with most of them vying to get as close as they can to reality.
Any avid gamer will tell you that to replicate reality from a racing game you’ll need a few key items aside from your game, console, and controller. For starters, you will need what is called a ‘Simulation Rig’. A Sim Rig is a set of pedals, a shifter, steering wheel, and a seat that will emulate your position inside a racing vehicle. With all that equipment in place, you can experience the joys of racing from inside your living room. But what if your rig isn’t enough? What if you wanted to feel the G forces from your favorite racecar or experience all the ruts and bumps of your favorite circuit that’s half a world away? Is it really possible to get even closer to reality in this day and age? Well, the folks over at Pro Simulation Karera (PSK) may just have the tool for you.
A quick glance over their simulation rigs and you’ll immediately notice the bulky legs their whole setup is sitting on. Standing on all four corners of the rig, these 3-inch Motion electromagnetic legs go up and down depending on the condition you subject the car to in game. Through these legs you can feel the thrust and dive of acceleration and braking, the side-to-side G forces of cornerning, all the way down to the uneven surfaces of the track. Pushing the car in-game with this setup in place certainly feels that much less detached.
Once you seat yourself in the Cobra Evolution GT racing seat, you’ll find yourself staring through the cockpit courtesy of three 50-inch LED TVs wrapped around you to give a good panoramic view as if looking through the eyes of the driver. If you’re a bit short in stature (like myself), the GT-styled Fanatec steering wheel may get in the way of your vision a bit, much like if you’re really sitting low inside a racecar. As you engage the clutch and put the car in gear, you’ll feel the whole rig jerk into life once you build revs to take off – exactly like any real car.
Taking off as gingerly and slowly as we could, we were told by the instructors to get a feel of the machine as if you were driving a brand new car. Only difference here is by the second or third lap we were already pushing the car hard enough to try and figure out its limits on the track; Let’s see you try that on the streets and not get into any trouble.
Granted that this whole setup runs on a highly-specced PC*, PSK has a plethora of racing games to choose from so long as they’re available on the PC. For most of the evening we’ve been busy trying our hand at all the different tracks and cars in Assetto Corsa, but they also have other games such as Project Cars and Dirt 2 if you’d prefer playing those instead. In particular, the whole rig comes to life when you play a rally sim such as Dirt 2; It will probably be the closest most of us will get to experiencing the jumps and bumps of a rally stage as the rig will certainly make you feel all the motions of the car during the race.
*specs of PSK’s hardware can be found below
Currently PSK has a pair of identical rigs that can provide the closest racing simulation experience you’ll get in the country. If you’re contemplating on getting one of these yourself, expect to shell out somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.7 million pesos to get all of that hardware inside your living room. Instead of shouldering the price of a brand new car though, PSK’s going rate of Php 1,500/hour seems like a reasonable compromise than having to forego buying an actual car just for the rig.
- Fanatec Steering wheel with quick release (Formula and GT style steering wheels)
- Tactile feedback
- Cobra Evolution GT Professional Racing Seat
- 141-inch wraparound display (Triple 50-inch LED displays)
- 5.1 surround sound
- Motion 3-inch feet (x4)
- 4.5GHz Intel i7 Quad Core CPU (Intel i7 7700K Kabylake 4-Core CPU Processor)
- 2x Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 SLI Graphics Cards (GPU)
- 32GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
- 1TB Solid State Drive (SSD)
- 1000w PSU
For more details, you may reach PSK Pro Simulation Karera at 0915 632 6909 or on Facebook.