Installing the T500 RS is easy - it is plug-and-play for a PlayStation 3 or a Windows OS 7/8 machine. There's an adequate length USB-cable included. Some may criticize it for the lack of display compared to the Fanatec alternatives, but such isn't really necessary and in the long-term it is another component prone to aging and troubleshooting. There is a good multi-functional control panel software for the purpose. Now, let's see what a plugged in and installed T500 RS is capable of.
Installing the Thrustmaster TH8 RS gearbox is as easy as pie on your Windows PC - no software whatsoever, you just plug it into an USB-port. The latter is somewhat of a disadvantage for PlayStation 3-only gamers, due to the PlayStation 3 limited (two to four) USB-port availability. For an additional charge, expanders are available on market. To cash even the professional racers' dreams, there is an extensive Advanced Calibration fine tuning software included. Installing it you are to access exhaustive customized settings of deadzone, gearstroke, etc. What's more, the transmission unit has internal memory, making all these settings usable on a PlayStation 3. There is even an extensive Calibration paper manual for the game players ready to take some extra time to learn how to get the most of their racing delight.
Installing the cutting-edge Thrustmaster Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On PS3/PC on your slick T500 RS PS3/PC wheel base requires a Windows PC internet-connection, to update the T500 RS's software. Not that much of an inconvenience, it is all done in a few moments and this is a one-time update. Once having done this, all you need is to load your preferred game, take an appropriate position in the OpenWheeler game seat and start your racing adventure. No need of a helmet, the severely restricting your upper body movement, HANS (Head and Neck Support) device or any seatbelts.
The substantial innovation Ferrari introduced with their F430 sports car - the manettino luckily is also present in the Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 racing wheel. Derived by the Formula One wheels, it represents a dial mounted on the right hand-side underneath the central part of the steering wheel. Its functions include a variety of settings to the suspension and the quickness of response of the gear shifting paddles. On the Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 driving wheel set the manettino can be set similarly. There are also five positions, just like on the real one. Perfect driver assist and traction control will be enabled once you set it up.
There's an addition 'Engine Start'-button which is also a D-Pad with eight positions and the Manettino dial, that can be used for traction control, driver assist and various other fine-tune settings, just like in the real GT-car. Luckily the Xbox 360 direct guide button is also present. Because of it, the installation of the 270-degree rotation Ferrari 458 Italia steering wheel set is as easy as pie. The wheel is momentarily recognized when connected to your Windows 7/8 PC, once you have plugged it in and linked it to the machine with the USB-cord provided. The pedals elegantly finish the Scuderia black design. They are both drilled and have good resistance.
We have tested the Thrustmaster Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition on a couple of titles, like usual the ones we suggest will be of greatest interest to its future owners. These were: Colin McRae: Dirt 3, Forza Motorsport 4 and Need for Speed: Shift 2. The wheel was instantly recognized on all of them and the control was more than satisfactory, especially on the Forza Motorsport 4 and Shift 2. Like mentioned above, the contact between the 11.2 inches (28.4 centimetres) diameter steering wheel and your hands is perfect. We've felt the 270-degree rotation peachier than it is on the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia driving wheel or any other mid-range gaming wheel, unless mounted to a proper game seat. Simple as it is, due to the cockpit structure, the Ferrari Vibration GT is quite ergonomic, way exceeding any furniture installation options generally used by novice-gamers after having spent some hundred British pounds on their starter kit-wheel sets. The secure and stable journey you'd have using the cockpit will help you cut down precious seconds of your lap times. The vibration engine is adequate and the arrangement of the: A, B, X and Y (located where the turn signals on the real glorious Ferrari f430 successor, the Ferrari 458 Italia are) digital function buttons is very handy. Identically to the 458 Italia and Ferrari F430 Thrustmaster wheels, the Engine Start button is a D-pad and the Manettino dial is ready to be set up for driver assist, traction control or other fine-tune settings you decide.
The Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch's layout includes four shifter paddles (two digital and two analog) and an overall of 10 action buttons with 14 locations. The clamping system uses a single screw, which made us constantly regulating it in an attempt to use the wheel on a desk. This, in addition to the uncomfortably light pedals module (sliding, regardless of the surface) can be really frustrating when in the middle of a race. That's why, if you'd like to enjoy your car races with the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel and eventually with a higher ranked wheel, we do strongly recommend suitable housing.
Connecting the Logitech Driving Force GT video game racing wheel is intuitive and quick - the shortest way to tell of it. The wheel auto-calibrates every time you turn on your computer or PlayStation 3 console.
The pedals are precise and, summing up, the set felt comfortable with all the famous sim racing, arcade and rally games we've tested it on. Because of the many easily-reachable buttons it will surely do great in a number of other games.
Connecting the Logitech G27 driving wheel set to your Windows personal computer or to your Sony PlayStation 3 is easy. Despite the lack of a direct PS3 button, that we believe would have made it even quicker. Once you have installed the Logitech Profiler software (and updated your drivers) you can alter pretty much anything using it - restrict the 900-degree rotation the G27 offers, assign a various button, etc.
We found that the design of the S wheel couldn't be more different from Logitech's G27 - all the buttons are directly on the wheel, the shifter is attached via metal bars, the wheel can be turned on or off, plus it has an LED on top so immediate adjustments can be made to the strength, turning radius, and more besides. In fact, the only real similarity in terms of design can be found in the red stitching on the wheel, as well as the size though it must be admitted that the S wheel is three quarters of an inch larger.
The wheel is light and easy to handle, all the buttons are neatly-arranged on your wheel rim and you're provided with a compensation for the lack of for force feedback or vibration - the Bungee Cord system. You can't really feel every bump on the track using it but it whenever you make a sharp turn going off-track for example, your wheel will self-center at the blink of an eye. It's convenient and the sense is similar to vibration from gamepad controllers. The gear changing paddles are tiny but precise. Having enough practice you'll learn to operate them using either of your index fingers only and speed up your races.
There are some budget, as well as not that budget Xbox 360 wheel choices from the San Diego-headquartered video game peripherals manufacturer Mad Catz. Mad Catz wheels are less popular than the Thrustmaster wheels, and there's a reason - quality and game title support. Despite of this in the lowest pricing tag one of the common choices younger or less experienced gamers make, the Mad Catz MC2 Xbox 360/PC racing wheel blissfully rests through time. It was the first racing wheel set compatible to the Microsoft Xbox 360, so being the very first certified Xbox 360 steering wheel that you can still acquire, we believe a short test and a summary just need to be present.
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