Author - Jerry Paxton

G940 Flight Control System Review (PC)

Hardcore sim-pilots can easily drop a few hundred dollars on a good flight stick, yoke, or throttle quadrant. Rudder pedals usually cost even more. However, in the last couple of years, a whole slew of more affordable peripherals have been released to the marketplace. Usually, these peripherals are sold separately or in flight stick/throttle bundles. Rare is it that rudder pedals are included in the mix – until now. Logitech has an all-in-one flight sim solution for your geeky mitts to get a hold of in their new G940 Flight System.

All of the peripherals in the G940 Flight System are of good construction using a mixture of metal and plastic, with a good amount of rubberized plastics where grip is of concern. The throttle and stick even have screw holes to mount them to your home cockpit or desk! This already puts Logitech ahead of the crowd as most peripheral makers in the market don’t think to add such a useful feature.

Unlike most combat-sim flight sticks out there which model themselves after the side-stick in the F-16D, the flight stick of the G940 is setup similar to the one found in an F-15 fighter. Its rubberized plastic grip is very comfortable and the many buttons and hats on the model were easy to navigate with my fingers. The Force Feedback is exceptional and can be so strong it lifts the unit off of your desk! I believe this is one of the reasons Logitech included screw holes on the base. However, I would have also liked to have seen Logitech include some sort of desk clamp that did not involve me screwing into my desk top. One issue that still persists in some games such as Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X is that there is no return to center force during flight. This problem has plagued Force Feedback sticks since their creation. Thankfully, it does not happen in every game and, even when it does, you will get used to it soon enough. At the base of the flight stick can be found two trim wheels and a trim dial. I found these to be a bit too sensitive by default for practical usage in Lock-On: Flaming Cliffs and Flight Simulator X, mainly due to their small size. You will need to adjust their sensitivity to get good results with them.

Logitech has also taken the dual-throttle layout of the F-15 and used it in the design of the G940’s throttle quadrant. The throttle can be used in both single and twin-engine simulations as there is a locking toggle bolt at the base of the handle which allows the two throttle levers to move independently or with one another. Like with the flight stick, the buttons on the rubberized grip work very well with crisp detentes and response action. There is a bank of 8 buttons at the base of the throttle quadrant which can be programmed for whatever purposes you desire. They glow a pleasant green color and are also used as status lights when the G940 first boots itself up. The throttle levers themselves are smooth all throughout the transition from nill thrust to full afterburner and never “hitch up” or get stuck.

The rudder pedals are of a high-quality, metal construction that feel excellent. I was not expecting them to be that good, as rudder pedals are so often cheaply made. However, these have a smooth rotating action as well as the ability to tilt forward for use as toe brakes.

Both the throttle and rudder units plug into the flight stick which is then connected via USB 2.0 interface to the PC. Setup is very simple and the G940 can be used in plug and play mode or with the Logitech software package included in the packaging. By way of the software, you can assign the system three different modes, accessible by a toggle on the throttle quadrant. That means that you can switch the functions of your buttons and switches on the fly. I found it best to assign the three modes to navigation, air-to-air, and air-to-ground setups while flying in Lock-On: Flaming Cliffs. You really get a full HOTAS (hands-on throttle and stick) experience this way and it is a blast to use. In the new DCS: A-10C Warthog flight simulator, there were some issues assigning various controls to the G940 setup, but a quick skimming of the forums helped alleviate this issue.

Overall, Logitech has a great quality product in the G940 Flight Control System as well as a huge value for about $250 dollars – no other quality HOTAS build includes yoke, throttle quadrant, and rudder pedals for that low of a price. For  You can find the G940 Flight Control System at retailers like Amazon.com.

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New Rob Zombie Coming to Rock Band

Harmonix has announced that some new tracks from Rob Zombie, White Zombie, and The Darkness will be making their way to the Rock Band Music Store come October 25, 2011 – just in time for Halloween.

Available on Xbox 360, Wii™and PlayStation®3 system (October 25th, 2011):

· The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” X

· Rob Zombie – “Living Dead Girl”

· White Zombie – “Thunder Kiss ‘65”

· White Zombie – “Super-Charger Heaven” X

(These tracks will be available in Europe on PlayStation®3 system October 26th)

The tracks will be available for purchase individually on Xbox 360, PlayStation®3 system and Wii™. Tracks marked with “X” will include Pro Guitar and Pro Bass expansions for $0.99 per song.

Price:

$1.99 USD, £.99 UK, €1.49 EU (160 Microsoft Points) per song
$2.00USD (200 Wii Points™) per song
$0.99 USD (100 Wii Points™/80 Microsoft Points), £0.59 UK, €0.79 EU per song for eligible Pro Guitar/Pro Bass upgrade

** Dates for Rock Band game tracks are tentative and subject to change. **

*Available on-disc, via download and disc export. Internet connection and export key purchase required. Wii™ Shop Channel has more than 1,500 song tracks available for purchase on the Rock Band platform on-disc, via song import, and download. Not applicable to Nintendo DS™.

Naval War: Arctic Circle Beta Sign-Ups

Paradox Interactive has announced that they are now taking beta sign-ups for the closed beta test of the upcoming naval warfare sim, Naval War: Arctic Circle. Applications are being accepted for a limited number of spaces until midday on Friday October 28th. You can sign up for the beta test at Paradox’s official beta website.

Razer Introduces Synapse 2.0 for Q4 Release

Razer has announced a cloud-based storage system which will save all of your Razer peripheral settings online, allowing you to access them from anywhere you have an Internet connection. This system will be known as Synapse 2.0. For those of you wondering about Synapse 1.0, that was invented back in 2006 and is Razer’s on-board memory solution for saving peripheral settings. The system will also automatically updated Razer firmware and drivers so that gamers don’t have to worry about remembering to check for updates.

“Razer Synapse 2.0 is a testament to our drive to continually innovate for the benefit of the gamer and end-user,” said Robert “RazerGuy” Krakoff, President, Razer USA. “Razer Synapse 2.0 gives gamers a convenient, single cloud-based platform to access, maintain, and store settings for all of their Razer devices. On-board memory, with its limited storage for user profiles, becomes obsolete when Razer Synapse 2.0 offers essentially unlimited space for all of your hardware settings.”

Synapse 2.0 is scheduled to be rolled out later this year. Checkout the official Synapse 2.0 website for more information.

New Screenshots from Confrontation

Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive have released five new screenshots from their upcoming tactical strategy title, Confrontation. Confrontation will release exclusively for PC early 2012.

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World of Warplanes Forums Launch

Wargaming.net has announced the launch of the official forums for their upcoming World of Warplanes. The flight action title is currently in closed alpha testing.

“We are now on the initial stages of World of Warplanes development, and the feedback alpha testers can give us is of crucial importance,” said Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi. “With their help, we will make a huge step towards finding the ideal game balance.”

Checkout the forum link for more information!

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon DLC Includes Pumpkin Skin

Namco Bandai has announced that a new DLC pack for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon will be available to download for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 25, and includes a fictional state-of-the-art support fighter, the ASF-X Shinden II, as well as two new aircraft colors (even a Halloween skin for the F-14D)!

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