Announced in the past few days by Saitek, they have revealed that the new product would be called the X-55 Rhino (or perhaps the X-55 Rhino Advanced Control Flight System Mach). We don't know the exact name yet, we are only going on what has been made available to us in the video they published.
They also mentioned that this will be a, "significant new product" for the flight simulation community.
From the video that has been published, we can only presume with the limited visuals we can see, that this product will be a joystick controller. We don't think it's a yoke - at least not in its traditional configuration. We're also unsure whether it comes with a throttle controller (quadrant) or whether it's a stand alone controller.
It's expected to be a "significant" new product - so perhaps it comes with a multitude of expansions such as throttle controller, rudder pedals and other fancy features (after all, the video reveals it's a "advanced control flight system")... and a system usually means not just a stand alone joystick.
Interestingly, the release announcement has come at a time when there are not that many "newbies" entering the world of flight simulation. There aren't enough "big budget" companies to drum up interest in virtual aviation like Microsoft did in 2006 with their release of Flight Simulator X. Microsoft ran commercials on TV - showing the masses that aircraft could be flown on that old dusty PC sitting over in the corner. At the moment, as the years have past, we are seeing fewer and fewer new virtual pilots.
Hopefully Mad Catz (the owners of Saitek) can bring some new life and new pilots into our community of flight simulation with this release and their advertising campaigns surrounding it.
From what we can see so far, the product seems to be aimed at military simulation (gaming) and less focused on realistic simulation uses (like most of us here stick to). Having said that, it's far too early to say - we could have something really special here so sit tight and see what they reveal next.
Saitek have announced they will be taking pre-orders on the 20th November (2013) with a pre-holiday launch date - so get your Christmas wish list ready and be sure to write this one down!
Watch the video below - it's pretty epic in design while still keeping you wondering what we can expect.