In the real world
We compared the TS-PC Racer with the T300RS, the model that has been seen as the top of the range model before the TS-PC came along. The T300RS is almost half the price of the TS-PC though, and comes with pedals to boot. We’ll have to admit straight away that this won’t exactly be a fair comparison.
This shows when we start F1 2017 and put the TS-PC through its paces. With the Force Feedback level set to 90% in the drivers, you really need to put some muscle in to using the wheel. The TS-PC manages to give constant counter-pressure to simulate the force you feel on the wheel when going in to corners. The 40 watt motor has a lot of torque and the force that the TS-PC generates is a lot stronger than the T300. It won’t cause you muscle aches, but after an hour of intensive racing you can definitely feel you’ve been working the wheel.
The extra amount of torque doesn’t mean the TS-PC has lost speed compared to the T300RS. It’s quite the opposite, the TS-PC feels quicker and also manages to give constant pressure and additionally lets you feel small effects like driving over kerbstones.
Just as is the case with the T300, you can feel that the TS-PC uses a belt-driven system, it is noticeable as the belt slots in to the gears, especially when there is low amounts opposite push. A big plus of the TS-PC is the fact that there is (almost) no wiggle around the centre-point. Our test wheel has been used before for demos and conventions, but despite this fact, the wheel still felt like it just came out of the box. There is almost no dead zone to speak of and because the uses belts instead of cogwheels, like Logitech does, you won’t be able to hear any rattling of cogs as they interlock with varying degrees of pressure. In terms of feel, the TS-PC is very close to the T300, but stronger. If we look at force, the TS-PC even outperforms the older T500. The latter is a lot less subtle and less accurate though.
The wheel of the TS-PC fits nicely in our hands. The alcantara grips are fairly rigid, which makes the force feedback effects even more noticeable. Alcantara is also nice to the touch and absorbs sweat, so you won’t be left with clammy palms. Downside is that you might find little specs of black rubbing off the wheel, especially when it’s new.
We can’t say we particularly like the brightly coloured buttons, but we can understand why Thrustmaster did it. It makes it a lot easier for the creators of games to indicate which button you should be pressing, to activate a pit-limiter for instance.