Joystick maker Saitek has announced that it is working on custom control devices for a very specific genre of games: farming simulators.
In partnership with Farming Simulator creator Giants Software, Saitek has announced it is working on a tilted, centre-sprung steering wheel designed to mimic those used in tractors - right down to the wheel-turning knob and 900-degree rotation limit. A mini-stick will also be included for out-of-vehicle movement, while bundled pedals provide the stop-and-go motion required to actually do anything with said tractor.
So far, so tweaked variant of the company's existing racing wheel product range. Saitek has, however, something else in mind as well as the wheel-and-pedal combination. 'Saitek is developing a Vehicle Side Panel exclusively for this game,
' the company announced in a teaser post
this week. 'The Side Panel features a Front Loader Control Stick to give you precise control of your vehicle's front attachments and fully programmable buttons for tool attach/detach, tool switching, reverse, lights, horn, cruise control, and more.
While Saitek is accepting interest registration onto a mailing list for the peripherals, they're quite some way from production: the company explains that development is ongoing, and that the community will be asked for its opinion during the process to ensure the device meets expectations.
Pricing for the farming-centric peripherals has not been confirmed, but is likely - thanks to the complexity and relatively niche appeal of the products - to sit above the company's equivalent racing wheel products, and considerably below a real Massey Ferguson tractor.