When Evolution Studios declared that Drive Club will support all PS4 wheels, it was surely only a matter of time before a wheel designed specifically for the PS4 would be announced. And now here it is: welcome everyone to the Thrustmaster T80 Drive Club Edition.
Designed specifically for the PS4, the T80 boasts a number of features that take advantage of the console's functionality. Officially embedded firmware will allow the PS4 to automatically recognise the T80, and dedicated 'Share', 'Options' and 'PS' buttons will be included to fully replicate the PS4 controller. In total, the T80 features 11 action buttons plus a multi-directional d-pad.
Aesthetically, the T80 features a large 25 cm diamater with rubber textured cladding on the wheel grips providing an erconomic design, although it looks similar to the Thrustmaster RGT. Unlike the RGT, however, the T80 does not have a clutch pedal, although the pedals are said to have adjustable angles of inclination to suit different driving styles. Likewise, the T80 will not include a gear shifter, instead relying on wheel-mounted sequential paddle shifters.
Steering will be fluid thanks to the realistic linear resistance with automatic re-centering, but there's no mention of force feedback which probably explains the low price point compared to their flagship T500 premium wheel – by comparison, the T80 will retail for €99.99 as a limited edition to coincide with the launch of Drive Club.
As a budget entry level wheel, the T80 looks the part, but the lack of clutch pedal and apparent lack of force feedback will dismay hardcore users – particularly as this is the only wheel that's been confirmed as compatible for the PS4 so far. Indeed, at this stage it's unclear whether or not existing Thrustmaster, Logitech and Fanatec peripherals will be compatible with the PS4, which is concerning for those who shelled out on premium peripherals such as the Fanatec CSR Elite and Thrustmaster T500.
Still, the announcement of the T80 is an interesting development considering only the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport were previously deemed worthy to have a licensed racing wheel developed in their honor, which is perhaps an indication of Drive Club's potential pedigree as the PS4's flagship racing game.