Virtual Racing can also be REAL fun!
For many years I've been enjoying virtual racing with my PS2, the game Gran Turismo 4, PlaySeat and Logitech steering wheel & pedals. This stuff really goes well together! It seems like they have a cooperation as you can se the Gran Turismo logo inside the Logitech steering wheel. They also link to each others web sites. No other game comes close to the Gran Turismo car game! And the force feedback in the steering wheel from the PlayStation is simply awesome! It really feels like driving a real car! Add also real surround sound to that! :-)
It may seem a bit drastic to buy the PlaySeat and the steering wheel and pedals. But trust me, it's 100% worth the cost! Car driving with the standard hand controllers is a joke in comparison! From the top of my mind I think I paid NOK 2500 for the seat and NOK 1200 for the wheel/pedals combo. Yes, you can also place the wheel on a table and the pedals on the floor. There are also versions which clamp onto your legs... but in order to get the realistic experience, comfort and control you MUST have a PlaySeat! It is also foldable, so it doesen't take up much room when stowed away. It doesn't look very stable (the steering wheel mount), and it isn't. But that doesn't deteriorate the experience at all, you don't notice it while driving! You don't need a seat model that's fixed (not foldable), that's overkill. Note also that the force feedback in the Logitech wheel is the best, so don't buy the el cheapo product! (it also has full steering lock)
It's now november 2010 and I'm waiting for the Gran Turismo 5 game to finallhy be released (it's been delayed yet again). When it finally hits the shelves I will then also buy the PS3 (I have a feeling the car will need a more powerful PS3 version). I have already ordered a 52'' Philips Ambilight TV with 3D. PS3 and GT5 comes with 3D - so that should be a fantastic experience!!! I see that the PlaySeats have evolved a lot, and there's now a lot of different models to choose from.
We've had "boy's night" several times, which is really good fun! We then use 2(!) PlaySeats with steering wheels & pedals, and drive with split-screen against each other. Plus beer & pizza of course :-)
I can also higly recommend something called Virtual RC. You don't even need to own a RC controller, you can just buy a very cheap dummy USB controller. The game is also free initially with a few tracks. The Oslo track is the only real race track that's included in the starter pack, and was also the first real track in the game. I'm quite proud about that, as I helped them construct it back in 2003 after we arranged the Euros for 1:8 Track at Hvervenbukta the same year. We gave them exact measurements, angles & bumps for the track. Driving it virtually is so close to reality that's it almost a bit scary... and very, very good practise of course before races!
If you like RC aeroplanes, there's lots of good & very cheap PC simulators for that as well! And it saves you a lot of money! Learn to fly virtually before you go out in real life! :-)