Gran Turismo creator criticises the current state of sim racing

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With a huge variety of platforms like iRacing, rFactor 2, and Assetto Corsa coupled with the rise of racing esports, sim racing is more popular than ever.

Modern sim racers are so realistic that professional racing drivers often use them to hone their skills when they aren't racing for real.

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Despite its popularity, sim racing isn't accessible to everyone. In a recent interview with Japanese media reported by GTPlanet, Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi criticised the lack of accessibility in sim racing.

Kazunori Yamauchi thinks sim racing should

One of the biggest barriers to sim racing is the steep cost. To get the best experience, you not only need a powerful PC, but also a high-end direct-drive racing wheel.

Unfortunately, these aren’t cheap - a Fanatec GT DD Pro will set you back around £1,000 with a wheelbase, wheel rim, and pedal set.

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Both the Fanatec GT DD Pro and the upcoming Thrustmaster T818 are the most affordable direct-drive wheels on the market. But they are out of reach for players getting started with sim racing.

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It’s an expensive hobby, but Yamauchi wants sim racing to be accessible to everyone.

“High-end wheels are fine, but I think we need something that is easier for everyone to pick up,” he told Japanese games media.

“Of course, I know it’s a good experience, but it’s not something everyone can afford. For example, the first [Logitech] GT Force…there were quite a few of them, because it was cheap.”

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We’d argue there are plenty of affordable racing wheels on the market. You don't need high-end hardware to start your sim racing journey.

They may not offer the best experience, but entry-level wheels like the Thrustmaster T128 are a good gateway for sim racers on a tight budget.

Mid-range wheels like the Thrustmaster T300RS and Logitech G29 also provide excellent force feedback for a fraction of the cost of a direct drive wheel. There are plenty of options to suit different budgets.

Sim racing "will end as a market”

Of course, sim racing setups don't end with a direct drive wheelbase. For enthusiasts who want the most realistic experience, the costs soon mount up when you start adding premium pedal sets, wheel rims, and racing rigs.

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“It’s wrong to ask everyone to do that,” Yamauchi said. “I know that there is such a world of simulation, but it’s not the majority.”

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Although the market is booming right now, he went on to say there’s a danger that the sim racing craze will end if it isn't accessible to a broader audience.

“I want many people to play. There is such a narrow but rich world, but if you focus only on it, it will end as a market."