by Jason Clark on December 3, 1999 9:32 PM EST
1st Griiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnd (woops), 2nd, 3rd…. That was the story of my first experience driving a 5-speed at age 17. What has changed? I don't grind them anymore :) And, I can now drive a 7-speed 400hp rally car while sitting in front of my PC, using a real shifter.

That's right! ACT LABS, a Canadian-based company in British Columbia, has brought out the first PC based shifter. This takes the PC driving simulations to an entirely new level, where you actually feel like you are the driver. No pressing on some silly buttons to shift or using a paddle shifter - when you are in fact driving a car with a stick shifter.

Ever since the dawn of the PC driving games (i.e Test Drive, Need For Speed), I have felt that there was something missing. Programmers and peripheral manufacturers have constantly been improving the games, and the peripherals used in playing these games. But, for awhile now, we have kind of been at a standstill with just conventional wheels with either a paddle shifter or a little plastic knob attached to a 2" rod that is supposed to be a "shifter". WRONG. Enters ACT LABS. ACT LABS has stepped up the realism level with the new RS Shifter. This shifter features several gear patterns that will pretty much fit any array of setups: 5 speed, 6 speed, 7 speed, and a HI-LO that is essentially the legacy mode.

Features: (Courtesy: ACT LABS)

Default die cast metal
8-gear shift pattern consisting of 7 forward and reverse
Full Gear mode - access any gear at any time
HI/LO Mode - full legacy support for older games
2 accessory gear plates included for 6-speed and 2-speed patterns
Ability to mount after market collector knobs
Mounts on either side of your wheel for Left/Right hand support
Utilizes future-proof Engine cartridge technology
Bundled with Rally Championship 2-track 2-car exclusive demo
Sleek metallic and black shifter knob
Ultra realistic feel with "true" gear resistance
Reverse gear designed for "forced" access only
Functionality & Conclusion
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