The futuristic design is what attracts your attention from the very beginning. Certainly not that sleek like the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia, and having nothing to do with the black horses or any other brand's history, no replica, no Manettino and only diminutive, feeble gear changing paddles. The oval lines do somehow remind you of a mixture between a large city bus and...Jaguar HJ220. Yes, we are aware the shape of Jag's, once introduced as a V12 (in 1988) and later produced as a V6 for less than two years, steering wheel. Still, the best matching dashboard that appears to your mind taking a look at the XJ220 from the outside is this one. That's what we've agreed on, if you are under the age of twenty-five you will probably just stick to the bus's comparison. Whatever the way to state it, Mad Catz MC2 Xbox 360/PC gaming wheel's design has a character of its own. We apologize for going a bit off topic. :) The wheel's layout is between ordinary to not really functional depending on your steering wheels practice. There are 10 programmable buttons with the A (green) and B (red) ones installed on the left side, instead of the right like on Xbox 360 controllers. It'll take you some time to get used to, and because of the wheel cannot really substitute an entire controller for many reasons, including support, you'll experience additional inconveniences. Seen like this, it was arguably a better choice than the lack of such buttons - the way it is with the outstanding Ferrari 458 Italia, for example. All buttons are though nice to touch and responsive. There's also a sequential gear stick. A pretty small one, obvious even from the press shots and with a Lamborghini inspired fake-carbon style shifter knob. Another surprise, but a nice one is the 4-directional D-Pad at the center of the wheel circle. Its black colour and the arrows blend in paint, so PC-gamers may mistake it for a horn. It's actually another Xbox 360 switch - the one that is normally positioned on the left. The right analog stick from Xbox 360 controller's set is absent, confirming the MS Xbox 360 gamepad interchangeability as rarely workable. There's comfy rubber texture all around the wheel, so your hands won't slip regardless of the angle you hold it and the strength of your grapple. The fake speedometer has been a key reason for the MC2 Xbox 360/PC to be neglected even in times there weren't any other alternatives for an Xbox 360 wheel. This very steering wheel set is an Xbox 360 gaming accessory, just like the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia, yet it is not really a toy. It even has vibration and rumble. Again, compared to the Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia, the vibration is tangibly lighter. Either way, nothing to do with the powerful 65-Watt force feedback by the top Thrustmaster T500 RS or the well-built classic Logitech Driving Force GT, but for a £20 - £30 segmented wheel set, satisfactory enough. The gas and break pedals have a rather narrow foot pad. They are analog which usually marks added realism. In this very case kind of. The brake is doing just fine in arcades and relatively good in simulators. The throttle needs to be more sensitive and adequate. Of course, if ultimate performance from an Xbox 360 wheel is expected, you should consider obtaining the brilliant ergonomic OpenWheeler game seat along with the Ferrari 458 Italia or the more budget choice of a driving simulator cockpit represented by the Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia. None of them needs to be placed in your lap and they'll both allow better customization and universal support to your Xbox 360 game titles. They are though more expensive, yet we all know that in the end you get what you pay for.
Installing the Mad Catz MC2 racing wheel for Xbox 360/PC is not difficult at all. It'll be instantly recognized as a compatible Xbox 360 wheel or a gaming wheel set on your Xbox 360 or your Windows PC. No calibration is necessary you are good to go in about a minute. The 270-degree rotation is enough for arcades like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Burnout Paradise (in particular riding the sport bikes there), while the actual steering could have been more precise. In Race Driver: Grid, the sim racing Forza Motorsport-series and TDU2 you will lack the preciseness and the sturdy feel the similar-priced up-to-date rivalry steering wheels for Xbox 360 can provide you with. Especially in sim racing accurateness is crucial. It will be vastly improved with an adequate long-wearing gaming seat and a better-functional, allowing more fine-tune settings wheel set - like the metal frame chassis OpenWheeler game seat plus the Manettino dial Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia wheel. A further argument to support this can be that the MC2 Xbox 360/PC's wheel unit is hardly wide-enough to be positioned in the lap of a standard-size grown man. The integrated suction caps are handy and work ideally, yet you'd hardly want to mount your vibration simulator steering wheel controller on your coffee table if you're to extensively play sim racers and arcades. Switching gears is optimized by the tiny paddles' adequate response. Just like some other details you just need some time to get used to and you'll soon start gaining better scores than with any type of gamepad or a keyboard. The rubber stopper feet of pedals clamping mechanism do need some creativity on your side, to fix them firmly on a carpeted floor. The pedals appear to be robust which is a nice addition to the budget wheel set.
In conclusion Mad Catz MC2 Xbox 360/PC steering wheel set is neither more nor less than a decent alternative for its price. As of present day, however, we'd strongly recommend to overlook the better up-to-date alternatives. Such as the Thrustmaster 458 Italia plus the durable and matching OpenWheeler simulator or the cut-priced Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit Italia. Then, take your prudent decision.
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