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Hardware

The ButtKicker Gamer PLUS and PRO take sim racing haptic feedback to a new level

ButtKicker Gamer PRO

ButtKicker, the gaming haptic feedback specialists, has announced details on two new products coming to the market soon – the Gamer PLUS and Gamer PRO.

Designed to replace the outgoing Gamer2 and Simulation Kit, the PLUS and PRO can be used on PC, with consoles catered for through the use of separately sold optical and HDMI extractors. Both units share similar design DNA, with the PRO aimed at hardcore sim enthusiasts and the PLUS catering for those using gaming chairs or small-scale rigs.

Haptic feedback can be used to great effect in sim racing, with kerbs, crashes, road surfaces and engine RPM simulated by a subwoofer’s low-frequency soundwaves. The sounds are passed through the sim rig/gaming chair to the user, providing a very seat of the pants feeling (hence ‘ButtKicker’).

Buttkicker Gamer PLUS
ButtKicker Gamer PLUS

Not only can ButtKicker’s range of haptic feedback units be used in sim racing, but they can also be used in flight simulators, FPS games, and action RPGs. They utilise standard audio outputs, so most games can use their low-frequency abilities – even footsteps in an action game can be simulated haptically.

Or how about watching a movie on your gaming PC? That way you really get to feel the gritty, visceral car chase thrills of Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. Or Leon. They’re quite similar.

ButtKicker Gamer PLUS

The Gamer PLUS has a 90W amplifier with a Universal Mounting Clamp on the speaker to enable easy attachment to the user’s sim rig. There are also three mounting feet for bespoke rig builds, but as stated previously the Gamer PLUS is best suited for gaming chairs and smaller sim rig setups.

ButtKicker Gamer PLUS

It features a 5-200Hz frequency response with full aluminium housing across the control unit and speaker system, with digital display and a wireless remote for on-the-fly adjustments.

ButtKicker Gamer PRO

The Gamer PRO features a 150W amplifier and a similar mounting solution to the Gamer PLUS. Ideally suited to higher-end sim rigs, the speaker contains 1lb of moving mass – double that of the Gamer PLUS.

More moving mass decreases the resonance frequency, which equates to more bass. Which is a good thing for haptic feedback systems!

ButtKicker Gamer PRO

ButtKicker HaptiConnect

HaptiConnect is ButtKicker’s new proprietary haptic software package with three levels of pricing. These are Base, which is free; Standard, at $29.99; and Ultimate, at $59.99.

Timed to release along with the new ButtKicker models, the Standard plan is included with all purchases of the Gamer PLUS and Gamer PRO, with Ultimate costing $29.99 when purchased with either of the new systems.

HaptiConnect uses in-game telemetry to translate suspension and track surface data straight into your sim rig, and features bespoke plugins tuned to suit a number of racing games.

ButtKicker Gamer PRO

HaptiConnect appears to be crucial to getting the most from simracing, and the Standard package includes plugins for “four of the most popular simracing titles”. We presume one of these is iRacing, but details on the other three have yet to be confirmed.

The new Gamer PLUS and Gamer PRO will be available for shipping on the 1st of May this year, priced at $279.95 for the PLUS model and $329.95 for the PRO variant, with those outside the USA subject to addes shipping costs and/or taxes where applicable.

We have received one of Buttkicker’s Gamer PLUS units, so standby for a review very soon!

Do you use haptic feedback for your sim racing? How does it improve the experience for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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