Video games and video game systems, like all forms of technology, progress at an incredible rate. When you compare the video games that were released ten years ago to what we have today, the differences are astounding. It’s also now much more socially acceptable to play video games or spend a considerable amount of money on a system. While consoles like the Xbox One or the Playstation 4 are great, custom-built gaming computers offer arguably the best experience. While a console may cost $400 dollars, a custom gaming computer can easily cost over $1,000 dollars. Many gaming enthusiast, myself including, would argue that they are worth it if you are serious about gaming. They easily offer the gamer a better experience, but just how expensive can a system get? How much is too much? Well take a look at this racing simulator that Hammacher Schlemmer sells. It’s priced at $185,000 dollars and is arguably the most realistic racing simulator that money can get you.
Hammacher Schlemmer is an online retailer that sells a variety of different consumer goods, however they are best known for their over-the-top, “rich people” toys. Some of the products that they sell are thousands of dollars, and this racing simulator is one of their most expensive items at $185,000 dollars. That’s a lot of money to spend to play a video game. With that kind of money, you could get a Porsche 911 Turbo S, the new Mercedes-AMG GT S, or even the Audi R8 supercar. So why would you spend that kind of money on a racing simulator? Well, this system can essentially offer you the most realistic driving experience without any of the danger involved. You can use a variety of different vehicles and then race them on real tracks that have been adapted for the system, totally risk free.
At $185,000 dollars this racing simulator is certainly not a “toy”. Professional racing drivers and automobile companies often use these types of simulators to train on, for example. In fact, the Ford Motor Company has been using this exact simulator at various automotive shows recently. It allows them to give consumers a semi-accurate way to experience what it would be like to drive their upcoming Ford GT, without having to use the actual vehicle.
The simulator all starts with it’s main body. While it may not look like it, when you are sitting in the systems monocoque fiberglass chassis, it feels like you are seated in a real car. The chassis is complete with a real racing seat, a real racing steering wheel, paddle shifters, and pedals. All of those parts are legitimately from racing manufacturers, and feel like the real deal, because they actually are. The simulator also has a realistic feedback system. That means when your using it, it requires the same amount of force to change the gears, accelerate, or turn the steering wheel as seen on real sports or race cars. It vibrates and provides realistic feedback to the user. Additionally the chassis of the simulator is suspended in the air by what looks to be a hydraulic system of some nature. The entire unit can roll, turn from side to side, and rotate completely 360° with up to 0.5G’s of acceleration. The “video game” is then displayed on not one, but three high-resolution monitors. The simulator offers the user to “drive” 12 different vehicles that include the new Ford GT, stock cars, Formula One vehicles, and F3 cars as well. It also has a few tracks loaded up as well. You can play on Nascar tracks or race on the Nürburgring. Combine all of those features with the units 500-watt audio system, and suddenly this is probably the most realistic racing simulator ever.
Still, as impressive as this simulator is, you have to wonder who would actually buy this. This unit really only caters to some of the wealthiest individuals in the world, given it’s price tag. Sure it’s cool, but is it actually “worth” it. Well, that’s up to you. You could also potentially construct your own simulator for a fraction of the price. There are plenty of companies out there that sell racing seats, real steering wheels, and real pedals that can be hooked up to a computer. Sure, your DIY-simulator won’t be able to rotate from side to side, but it’ll be much cheaper and you can play other games on it as well. But if you want the most expensive and realistic simulator on the market, this seems like your best bet. Check out this video to see it in action, or head on over to their website to pick one up. I’d personally rather have a real car for that kind of money, but I’m sure that if you can realistically afford this simulator, you probably already have a nice car (or three).
Photos from hammacher.com