love how in geekhack there are threads for (almost) every single way to waste time in your pc.
I'm almost a complete noob regarding racing sims, but from what I've read and experienced it goes like this:
- console games are unrealistic. Also I think gt5 is a bit more believable and ofc it has more cars, including about 30 honda s2000's, but I like how in forza every car is "premium" and how some cars handle in comparison to the said game, and in general it feels better made including sound, graphics, menus, online, etc. Forza4 will surely be the best one out there.
- with that said, racing sims on the pc are way better, but it comes with harder difficulty, including both AI and online oponnents. PC is just the way to go here, not only for realism and better games overall, but also because of better graphics, sound and more variety (mods).
I'd start with gtr2 because it has a great tutorial and then move on to rfactor or live for speed and other sims, and just wouldn't go to iracing because, even if I haven't tried it, it seems prohibitory hard. I remember watching a youtube video in which Adrian Sutil says he plays it and that he doesn't win all the time.
- There's no "definitive" or "ultimate" racing wheel, but there are some that are ahead of their competition like a modded g27, the latest thrustmaster and some fanatecs, but fanatec seems to have huge quality issues.
Also you have to consider getting better pedals. Forums say the best deal for your money are fanatec's clubsport pedals, and those work with probably every wheel.
Finally, the big problem about racing wheels atm is none of them supports ps3, 360 and the pc at the same time, so you need to have 2 wheels (and 2 cockpits) or a device which hasn't released yet, doesn't work flawlessly and it'll be very expensive when it's released. I know there's a fanatec wheel on the way, but it's not perfect (rumble) and since it's a fanatec it'll be very hard to find one.
Actually this is one of the 3 reasons why I'm still not very into this: the wheels, planification (racing cockpits, buttons and even gauges), and ofc this will end spending about $2000 in pc peripherals, which goes into car prices territory. I think that by forza4's release at least 2 of those will be solved because this industry is moving very fast since forza3.
- and now on topic, you can buy a manufactured racing cockpit or do it yourself. The second option will be much cheaper and it leads to much better results
here's a great youtube channel for us beginners, and their forums are pretty good as well.http://www.youtube.com/user/simracingtonight