It will work with any racing wheel, but only if it's connected to a PC.
If Ford Focus RS drivers can buy a special handbrake lever for their real car, how about one for the millions of sim racers out there? That question has finally been answered by Thrustmaster, maker of video game peripherals from simple hand-held controllers to full-on HOTAS setups for flight simmers and yes, force-feedback steering wheel rigs for those of us who take the plethora of racing games very seriously.
The company now offers a dedicated handbrake to gamers that is said to replicate the action of a proper hydraulic unit in real life. It’s called the TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod, which means yes, it’s officially licensed by Sparco. Furthermore, Thrustmaster says it’s actually a progressive handbrake, meaning it’s not just an on-off switch for locking the rear tires. Pull the stick easily and you can modulate rear-tire lock up to help nail the perfect drift, or just give it a firm pull to spin yourself silly.
In case you’re wondering why the stick appears to more forward as well, this handbrake can also be configured as a sequential shifter. In theory then, you could buy two of these gizmos to set up a proper rally car or drift car experience. Thrustmaster says the TSS Handbrake is a 1:1 scale replica of similar real-life setups, and from the looks of it, the kit seems pretty well put together with 90 percent of the construction being steel, metal, and aluminum. You can even adjust the handle to whatever angle you prefer.
Of course, you can’t just buy this to use with a normal game controller. According to Thrustmaster’s website it works with several of the company’s racing wheels, but there’s also a note that says it will work “with all racing wheels of any brand.” However, before you console gamers get too excited, the handbrake is exclusive to PC only. Specifically, it works with Windows 10, 8, and 7. Sorry Gran Turismo players.
How much will this setup cost? Thrustmaster doesn’t sell direct in the United States, but it’s available through several retailers for around $270.