Consumer electronics company Saitek has recently unveiled the latest iteration of their popular hands on stick (HOTAS) flight simulation peripheral. Dubbed the X-56 Rhino, the new device allows for aspiring combat pilots to replicate exact flight controls in a virtual environment. In fact, the X-56 Rhino is designed to work in conjunction with a virtual reality head mount.
Saitek is renowned for their easy to use peripherals, and the X-56 Rhino only serves to further this reputation. The grip on the X-56 Rhino joystick is meant to conform to the human hand, and each button is slightly different so that they can be easily located without having to look down at the controller. Upgrades for the new HOTAS include mini-analog sticks with six degrees of freedom, VR support, a new paint scheme, and five different spring settings. Saitek’s previous HOTAS was already one of the best in the industry, and X-56 Rhino only further cements their place.
The X-56 Rhino also features a customizable software suite.
According to the official Saitek website,
Saitek's software provides the ability to completely customize all of the X-56 Rhino's axes and buttons. You can adjust dead-bands and response curves to fine-tune axes to respond as you wish; all buttons can assign any number of in-sim commands, such as afterburner, Frame Shift Drive, target lock and weapon group firing. The software also allows programmability for an array of mouse and keyboard commands – from basic single-key inputs to very advanced, timed, and macro commands.
Saitek was founded in 1979 with an initial goal of developing advanced electronic chess games, but the company soon expanded into manufacturing PC peripherals for flight simulators and driving games. Eventually the company was purchased by Mad Catz in 2007, and Saitek’s North American headquarters were subsequently moved to San Diego. To this day, Mad Catz produces most of their flight simulator peripherals under the Saitek name.
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