Those that own a Playstation 4 were none to impressed when Fanatec announced earlier this year, that their hardware would no longer be compatible with the console. Dropping this news specifically around the console release of Assetto Corsa made the omission of existing Fanatec gear even worse. Months later, in an interview with Gamereactor TV, Fanatec CEO Thomas Jackermeier spilled some of the beans in that an agreement has been reached with Sony.
Thomas tells Gamereactor TV’s Editor In Chief, David Caballero, that when Sony originally announced the Playstation 4, it would be up to the game developers to decide what wheels/peripherals would be supported on the forthcoming console. Somewhere in the minutia of it all though, was a small caveat to this decision from the Japanese hardware giant. This directive to game developers would only last through the “initial phase” of the Playstation 4, giving control back to Sony if they chose to take it…..and they did.
After the initial phase expired with the PS4, Sony decided to change its strategy and let only officially licensed products to have compatibility with their console. This was a major blow to Fanatec users and rendered their sim gear essentially obsolete with the Playstation 4 from that moment forward.
In this Assetto Corsa Porsche Pack press event though, the Fanatec CEO did make mention on the headway they are making with Sony:
…the good news is, we signed an agreement with Sony last week developing a new racing wheel for the Playstation 4 and it’s gonna be, state of the art as well.
So good and bad news here. It is great that Fanatec reached an agreement with Sony and we look forward to seeing the new gear. However, this will leave behind the existing wheel bases and if you want to play a sim/racing game with Fanatec on the PS4, you’re going to have to fork over some more of your hard earned cash.
Thomas does expand upon the new forthcoming wheel base just a little in saying it will be compatible with the PC as well, but not XB1. Fanatec is also looking towards releasing the new wheel base in 2017 before Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo Sport makes its debut, although no further timeline was given. There is also a probability that customers existing Fanatec peripherals like pedals, rims and shifters could work with the base while plugged into the Playstation 4.
We’ll have to see how this all shakes out, but I’m slightly optimistic in the hopes that the new hardware can be used with existing hardware. If you have a PS4, does the option of a new Fanatec wheel base reignite your enthusiasm towards the Fanatec brand? As always, let us know in the comments below.
Gamereactor TV’s interview: