ButtKicker, the specialists in gaming haptic feedback, have announced details of two new products coming to market soon: Gamer PLUS and Gamer PRO.
Designed to replace the outgoing Gamer2 and Simulation kits, the PLUS and PRO can be used on PC, with consoles supported through the use of optical and HDMI extractors sold separately. Both units share similar design DNA, with the PRO aimed at simulation enthusiasts and the PLUS aimed at those using gaming chairs or small-scale rigs.
Haptic feedback can be put to good use in simulation racing, with curbs, collisions, road surfaces and engine speeds simulated by low-frequency sound waves from a subwoofer. Sounds are transmitted to the user through the simulation rig/gaming chair, providing a seat-of-pants feel (hence “ButtKicker”).
Not only can ButtKicker’s range of haptic feedback units be used in simulation racing, they can also be used in flight simulators, FPS games and action RPGs. They use standard audio outputs, so most games can utilize their low frequency capabilities – even footsteps in an action game can be haptically simulated.
Or how about watching a movie on your gaming PC? This way you really experience the thrill and visceral thrills of the Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo car chase. Or Leon. They are quite similar.
ButtKicker Gamer PLUS
The Gamer PLUS features a 90W amplifier with a universal mounting clamp on the speaker to allow easy attachment to the user’s simulation rig. There are also three mounting legs for custom rig builds, but as previously stated, the Gamer PLUS is best suited for gaming chairs and smaller sim rig setups.
It features a frequency response of 5 to 200 Hz with an all-aluminum enclosure on the control unit and speaker system, with a digital display and wireless remote for on-the-fly adjustments.
ButtKicker Player PRO
The Gamer PRO has a 150W amplifier and a mounting solution similar to the Gamer PLUS. Ideally suited for high-end simulation rigs, the speaker packs 1lb of moving mass, twice that of the Gamer PLUS.
The more the moving mass decreases the resonant frequency, which equates to more bass. Which is a good thing for haptic feedback systems!
HaptiConnect is ButtKicker’s new proprietary haptics software package with three price points. These are Base, which is free; Standard, to $29.99; and Ultimate, at $59.99.
Scheduled to release with the new ButtKicker models, the Standard plan is included with all Gamer PLUS and Gamer PRO purchases, with Ultimate costing $29.99 when purchased with either of the new systems.
HaptiConnect uses in-game telemetry to translate suspension and surface tracking data directly into your simulation rig, and offers bespoke plugins suitable for a number of racing games.
HaptiConnect seems to be crucial for getting the most out of simulation, and the Standard package includes plugins for “four of the most popular simulation titles”. We assume one of them is iRacing, but details on the other three are yet to be confirmed.
The new Gamer PLUS and Gamer PRO will be available for delivery on May 1 this year, priced at $279.95 for the PLUS model and $329.95 for the PRO variant, with those outside the US subject to additional shipping charges and/or taxes, if applicable. .
We received one of Buttkicker’s Gamer PLUS units, so expect a review very soon!
Do you use haptic feedback for your sim racing? How does this improve the experience for you? Let us know in the comments below.