Force feedback is being redone for the first time in 15 years. Typically force feedback has been achieved by using a pretty standard set of pre programmed vibrations based on typical events. Take crashing into the wall or driving over grass for example, the vibration would be engage for a set period of time.
The big change in Xbox One Accessories is that they’re moving to an equation language so a developer can push RPM or ABS to the accessory and the Xbox One will take that command and convert it to a real life feeling in the steering wheel. The goal here is to feel more connected with the digital vehicle you’re driving (or piloting) on screen by giving more realistic feedback.
One of the big changes is that accessories will be able to have accessories. This means if you buy a steering wheel, you could then buy a shifter or RPM gauge later on and that would be recognised by the Xbox One and have the required information transmitted to it.
Device pairing gets exciting with the intelligence of the upgraded Kinect really helping out. The Kinect sees which device you’re using and maps appropriately. It’ll know if you’re taking turns with another player and in theory, could switch from a left to a right handed configuration seamlessly as you switch players. That’s just plain cool. Even switching between each user’s view preference would be great without having to dive into menus.
There were two new wheels shown off for the Xbox One, the Thrustmaster 458 Italia which looks like a real F1 steering wheel as well as the Mad Catz wheel with a seriously grippy drift style look. The pedals feature serious customisability. The distance between pedal as well as the throw and stiffness can be adjusted.
Sadly they did confirm the Xbox 360 Steering wheel is not compatible with the Xbox One. The full video of the announcement featuring Major Nelson is available below.