Thrustmaster goes modular with HOTAS Magnetic and F-16 grip

The Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS system has been a go-to for many flight sim pilots for a long time now. So long in-fact that it’s been 10-years since the release of the Thrustmaster Warthog and Thrustmaster felt it was time to launch a special 10th anniversary edition as well as change some of the way that they sell their product. That actually brings up an interesting point and so I thought I’d explore that a bit.

The future is modular

Thrustmaster is launching the HOTAS Magnetic Base as a renamed Warthog base but with a new wider appeal. They have also launched the F-16C Viper™ HOTAS Add-On Grip which is the renamed Warthog grip but sold separately so that people can pick and choose their grips (also currently available is the F/A-18C Hornet™ HOTAS Add-On Grip and the older HOTAS Cougar™).

Here are some of the features of the HOTAS Magnetic Base:

  • Detachable metal plate for desk or cockpit-style use, with special 10th anniversary graphic.
  • The base features H.E.A.R.T Hall Effect AccuRate Technology, with 3D (Hall Effect) magnetic sensors for surgical precision that won’t decrease over time.
  • Super stable weighted base (weighs more than 4.4 lb / 2 kg without a flight stick grip installed).
  • The base is compatible with all flight simulation games.
  • Compatible on PC with the following Thrustmaster flight stick grips: HOTAS Cougar™, HOTAS Warthog™, F-16C Viper™ and F/A-18C Hornet™.

The F-16C Viper™ HOTAS Add-On Grip also lists the following features:

  • Life-size (1:1 scale) replica of the real F-16C Viper™ flight stick.
  • 100% metal design incorporating durable, industrial-grade materials for an authentic feel and maximum product lifespan.
  • 19 action buttons in total, plus one 8-way “point of view” hat switch.
  • Native integration in the game DCS via the dedicated DCS: F-16C Viper module (game and module sold separately).
  • Backward-compatible with the two key joystick bases in Thrustmaster’s revered flight simulation ecosystem: HOTAS Warthog™ and HOTAS Cougar™ (sold separately). Easily place the grip on your HOTAS Warthog™ or HOTAS Cougar™ base!

Back in June at FS Expo I had a chance to spend some time with the folks at the Thrustmaster booth (and they sent me the great bang for the buck T.16000M to review) and one of the things that I took away was talk about going towards a more modular packaging route. Their hardware has always supported it but they tended to sell the grip and base together in one package most of the time – now it seems like the direction is changing (in part thanks to VKB and VIRPIL who have done that modular base + grip thing from the start).

Changing expectations

The expectations in the flight sim community are shifting with a wider variety of people interested in doing things like sim-pits or at least mounting some of their hardware.

I expect to see more from Thrustmaster and other companies that embrace a modular system with resources poured into doing the kind of modular options that people want while also being fairly simple to setup and still appealing to a wide variety of consumers including the more casual ones. That’s something that Thrustmaster does really well and I expect will continue to do well over time.

Available January 15

Thrustmaster will begin selling these separated out products on January 15th. For more information see their press release and online store on the Thrustmaster website.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlie says:

    A decade without a proper force feedback hotas from Thrustmaster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      The force feedback issue is an interesting one. I had heard rumblings (pardon the pun) that part of the reason we haven’t seen any for some time is because of a patent that apparently just expired this year. I suspect the cost would have been prohibitive.

      I’d be interested to see if Thrustmaster or others come up with a force feedback system soon.

      Like

  2. Launchpad says:

    To get a completed unit it will cost you $380 while the current completed unit cost $240. And in reality the only other stick is the F-18. WAY more cost effective just to buy the current one on the market…….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Great point Launchpad! That is the thing with Thrustmaster that they often advertise a MSRP but they seem to have enough reach that individual retail outlets sell it at lower prices than the suggested price.

      That will probably happen with these individual pieces as well though perhaps not right away.

      Like

  3. oboe says:

    Glad to see TM going modular, but for me right now a big hole in their lineup is the lack of an F-16 throttle. I’d like to see them use their old Cougar throttle molds and restart production, but of course make it a stand-alone USB device.

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I think this is a start for them. A new throttle for the F-16 seems likely!

      Like

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