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It's hard to tell if flight sims will ever be as popular as they were back in the 1990s, but rest assured, if you're a fan of the genre, not all PC peripheral makers have forgotten about you. That's especially true of Mad Catz, which today announced that the Saitek X-55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. (Hands On Throttle and Stick) will ship to consumers in early 2014 at an affordable price point.
Mad Catz says the X-55 Rhino Hotas was designed to give flight sim enthusiasts the most realistic flight experience possible without breaking the bank. It's styled after modern fight jet control systems and built from the ground up to give gamers a wealth of customizable options.
"Whether flying a modern fighter, single- or multi-engine aircraft, or even a retro single-seat plane, the X-55 Rhino supplies all the control surface options required to achieve the exact level of aerial performance aspiring pilots demand," Mad Catz says. "The X-55 Rhino features enhanced 16-bit hall-effect sensors in the axes, four swappable springs for the joystick so you can dial in your preferred stick tension, and twin lockable throttles with a friction adjustment knob that can be set on the fly."
It connects via USB and is supported by Windows XP and higher. It looks pretty slick, and in addition to traditional flight sims, we could see this being a hit with the Oculus Rift.
Other than saying it's supposed to be "affordable," Mad Catz didn't offer up any pricing specifics. You can, however, sign up to receive a notification when pre-orders will be accepted. Mad Catz says there will be a "very limited quantity available at launch."