By Team SimRacingWorld
4 December 2001
FOOTWORK IS EVERYTHING - BRD launches Speed7 Pedal Controllers
Reigate, Surrey - 4 December 2001 - BallRacing Developments Ltd (BRD) (www.interactiveracing.com) have launched a new product for the racing simulation market, the Speed7 pedals. Retailing at £265 for the pedals, or £399 with the BRD-Sim steering wheel, these products introduce a new level of control for those serious about their lap times!
The pedals were made available pre-launch to previous customers, and the response has been so strong that a second production run may have to be brought forward.
In designing the new pedals the BallRacing team developed a wish-list of all they could want in their ideal pedal controllers, and then they built them! The Speed7 pedals mark a new standard for foot controls, the first to feature extruded aluminium construction, they look unlike anything else on the market. They deliver a guaranteed performance improvement through their precision manufactured hardware and customisable set-up.
The pedal controls represent the first in a line of Speed7 products that BRD hope will revolutionise Sim racing and real world racing. As part of their strategy to break down the barriers between the real and the virtual, these pedal controls are designed not only to improve the simulation experience but also to enhance real world racing training.
Built-in microprocessors mean that the pedals are platform independent. A simple converter box matches the output to the system, so at last gamers with Playstation 2 and PCs can invest in one control set that works for both. The new pedals ship with the PC converter, but Playstation and other new platforms will be available soon. Mirroring the latest F1 technology, the microprocessors are flash programmable which means they can be updated when new platforms or requirements emerge.
The racing genre was one of the earliest to emerge for home computers, and has come a long way since then. With titles such as Electronic Art's F1 series, Codemasters' Colin McRae's Rally and Papyrus' NASCAR leading the sales, it is now a large segment of the PC and console sectors. The growth of the online element of racing is expected to continue to boost this genre.
Players of racing games very quickly find that cornering at 190 mph using the arrow keys on the keyboard or buttons on their console controller is not possible, and so look for a wheel. With many brands of steering wheels the pedals come as an afterthought, tacked on to make a more expensive package. But the effort gone into developing the Speed7 pedals is testament to BRD's belief in the importance of high quality, responsive pedal controls to enjoyable and successful simulation racing.
The BRD steering wheel originally emerged in 1994 when Tim Ball, dissatisfied that no other steering wheels were available, built his own.
That design has been highly refined over the last 7 years, and now the pedals have received the same treatment.
The online gaming market is growing rapidly. Recently Datamonitor estimated that this year's combined online and Interactive TV games industry in Europe and the US will be worth $174 million, growing to an impressive $5.6 billion in 2005. This equates a to substantial compound annual growth rate of 138 percent. One of the core communities developing within this emerging market is that of racing simulations.
Nurtured early on by the ability to race over the internet, the exact size of this community is unclear, but with the growing links between games, motorsport and interactive television, it is emerging as one of the major categories within this new sector.
With the F1 season having come to an end, racing fans look to fill the gap until things start up again next year. Increasingly fans are looking to bring the racing experience into their homes. As the role of Interactive TV expands, and the online capabilities of consoles such as Microsoft's new X-Box become clear, the market for racing simulation is set to grow even further.
About BallRacing Developments
BallRacing Developments Ltd is a family business started in 1994 and based just outside Reigate, Surrey, UK. They have strong links with the motorsport community as their membership of the Motorsport Industry Association reflects. Their partnerships with leading companies such as HP and UGS enables them to create and design using the same level of technology as the leading F1 teams. This also enables BRD to take data directly from teams/manufacturers to speed up the design process. Cutting-edge rapid prototyping manufacture is used to develop all their hardware.
BRD is committed to pushing forward the development of simulator technology as it relates to motorsport and is becoming increasingly involved in the real world applications of simulation for design and for training.
Similarly, their technologies are being developed for interactive television, exploiting the possibilities of driving simulation and racing through digital TV.