That’s because Saitek plans to release a $300 controller bundle that puts PC players in full command of their virtual agricultural vehicles. It’s the first dedicated controller we’ve seen for a farming game, but Saitek has a history of making very specialized – and alarmingly expensive – controllers. For example, it has a $5,000 cockpit setup for flight games that it says can teach you how to fly a small plane.
Granted, we’re not sure we’d automatically trust Farming Simulator players with a real combine, but the Heavy Equipment Precision Control System does seem quite comprehensive. The bundle – due out this fall from Saitek’s online store – includes a steering wheel with 900 degrees of rotation and a one-handed turning knob, gas, and brake pedals for your feet, and a side panel with 20-plus programmable buttons for various vehicle functions. The wheel and pedals are also sold separately as a $150 set, with the side panel available on its own for the same price.
Courtesy Farming Simulator
“Put down your gamepad, racing wheel, or mouse and keyboard, and wrap your hands around a wheel that truly simulates what’s inside real-life farming machines,” reads the official description. To many, the idea of a dry recreation of farming tasks sounds like utter tedium – especially with a $30 price tag. Add to that a $300 controller set, and some might find the premise downright ludicrous.
But there is a real curiosity being piqued by the Farming Simulator games, as their eye-popping sales figures imply. While the percentage of players willing to pay for the controller bundle is surely small, those who make the investment may find that it really scratches an itch in the process. And empties their wallets along the way.