The Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia Xbox 360/PC gaming wheel's diameter is a good 11 inches. It is a 7/10 reproduction of the actual Ferrari 458 Italia's wheel (pictured on the box, similarly to the Forza Motorsport 4's one), and with a weight of 8.4 pounds there's no cheap toy-like sense holding it. The polished plastic and the rubber cover help for a permanent steady and non-sweaty touch. The GT-styled gear changing paddles, though plastic are stylish and responsive. And the eight digital action buttons evenly positioned around the wheel, are clearly displayed and programmable.
The steering wheel besides being identical to the sterling Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia video game driving wheel set's wheel, is a 7/10 scale copy of the real one. It is lavishly coated in a grippy, padded rubber, so that your hands will not sweat, regardless of your gaming sessions' average length. There is at least one more obvious advantage, apart from the stand that differs it from the steering wheel system. It is the exclusive G.V.S.(Global Vibration System) technology applied, so that vibration is enabled. The modus operandi of this 16-bit precise technology is the following: it functions all the time the vibration is connected (by a simple USB included in the box, not an extra AC/DC adaptor) and because of it the vibration can be felt throughout the entire cockpit, including the steering column and the pedal set. A clever and a rather handy innovation! The vibration itself, expectedly, cannot outweigh a force feedback system to any well-experienced gamer. For a novice to a mid-experienced one, we believe it is the right choice, by no means a compromise. It is strong enough to feel the differences between the different road surfaces in rally games or to alarm you when you've left the boundaries of the racing track. At the same time, it's not too harsh to cause any pain in your wrists.
With a diameter of just 8 inches, Thrustmaster Universal Challenge 5 in 1 steering wheel is visually smaller than most of the driving wheels you can find. It is as much as whole 4" smaller than the flagship in Thrustmaster product line, T500 RS. And it's all-plastic on the outside. Despite of these, and the corresponding toy-like appearance, it has a handy layout and a stylish Ferrari black on yellow symbol. The 270-degree rotation is the ordinary one for the segment. There is a useful D-pad, 6 fully-programmable buttons, and Start, Select and Mode switches. Full remapping is available for all the buttons, the gear changing paddles and the pedals. The gear changing paddles are also pretty accurate.
We must say too that Fanatec's racing wheel design offers a welcome change, and, indeed, we still can't adjust ourselves to it. To begin with, unlike the G27, the S wheel works with the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC that means it's the most accessible wheel tested. Eight buttons are large as well as easy to press, with four each side of the steering wheel, and, furthermore, they even glow according to which console the wheel is plugged into.
The main flaw Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel has is directly related to its unique shape. If you use it to play while sitting on your couch, you will get tired quickly holding the wheel in front of you in the air. There's no way to mount it on a game seat as there's no axis or a cut-sized dashboard part to do so. Sitting in a gaming seat, however is recommended, so that you don't tilt too much on any side, preserving you from any unwanted harm. An ergonomic gaming seat like the OpenWheeler will do so, without restricting any of your shoulder movements unlike a recliner.
The Wireless Force Feedback Wheel for Xbox 360's main advantage is also contained in its name - the wireless connectivity. It works adequately within the sight of your screen in a large room. There's a power cord for the pedals unit - a bit too short (some six feet), but extension cords are not expensive. True, such one should have been provided for the price. The wheel circle is generously covered in thick rubber for comfortable handling. The gear stick is detachable and it can be positioned on either side of the wheel unit, an invaluable advantage for all these drivers around the world used to driving on the wrong side of the road, and a clever option indeed. The paddles are responsive and adequately-sized.
Games like Shift: Unleashed, Project Gotham Racing 4, Forza Motorsport 3 and the state-of-art, Forza Horizon are all compatible with Mad Catz Wireless Racing Wheel for Xbox 360. Despite of the limited turning circle of 270-degrees, the wheel is very rigid. The paddles are responsive and quick and good words can be said about the gear lever's preciseness. Either of them should have been a bit larger, though, an improvement applied in Officially Licensed Wireless Force Feedback Wheel for Xbox 360.
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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