It is always nice to load a list of your favourite band's songs to listen to. Whether you are thirteen or thirty-three and used to play them on a turntable, then a cassette recorder, a walkman, a CD/Mp3-player, and eventually on your computer and iOS (or other OS-command) device. Some things are just made to last.
Logitech have steadily held the top spot in the segment of high-quality peripherals for more than thirty years. And we can confirm they have been making great budget racing wheels, ever since we had the chance to meet with the Formula Force GP non-force feedback wheel in the late 2000. Many of the earlier ones are still in use by retro gamers around the world or at least still usable by nostalgic owners. The only difference is that the top segment is now ruled by the Thrustmaster. Due to their larger supply and, last but not least, aluminium (instead of plastic), astonishing 1080-degree (instead of the decent 900) rotation, not seven, but eight-speed gearbox attachable (yet usable as a standalone unit as well) flagman - the T500 RS PlayStation 3/PC racing wheel set, along with the responsive TH8 RS transmission set. So much for the top and steering wheel sets tendencies. As of present day, Logitech are still the best-recognized worldwide PC gaming accessories brand, and it is due to classic and reliable models, like the one we are to summarize you on in the following review.
It is the Logitech Driving Force GT PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 and PC steering wheel set - the official Gran Turismo 5 Prologue racing wheel. And it is still in production, due to the serious car racing game players' interest, despite of its late '07 release. This might as well be a mistake owing to the many results that instantly pop-up in your browser when searching for 'Logitech gaming wheels'. Currently and well-deservedly, the officially-certified Gran Turismo 5 racing wheel is the abovementioned Thrustmaster T500 RS steering wheel. Which joined by the TH8 RS transmission do make up an amazing set. But also higher-segmented, respectively more expensive one. On the contrary, does the Driving Force GT still rock and how suitable this well-built, classic, black and red PS3/PC racing wheel is as of present day? If mounted on a matching game seat (the pedal unit and overall clamping being its weakest point since day one), can it still compete in the upper-entry level segment of driving wheels? Considering its now more tempting than ever market price of about some £110-140 British pounds. Well, let's find out together. :)
The very first impression you will get after taking the Logitech Driving Force GT out of its box, is that it is heavier and stronger than it looks on the pictures. Actually, it probably is that even the signature box looks surprisingly stylish, but that's not that important. The wheel is nice to touch, as the plastic is sleek and the black 28-centimetres in diameter hard rubber-textured wheel circle is quite comfortable to grasp. Its elegantly curved form embodies both the sports car looks and the convenient grip a class-D or higher cruising sedan provides. It may not be that superior as the T500 RS's 30-centimetered steering wheel, but for the size and class, it's probably the best driving wheel circle still available. The buttons layout seems a bit complicated at first glance, but you are to find it irreplaceably handy after a week's use. You have all the PS3 specialized gamepad buttons: the round L3 and R3, the elliptical L2 and R2, the D-pad, the PS and Select buttons and in addition a 24-position red dial. All these are fully-programmable, and luckily, usable on a PC as well! The dial, also known as 'real-time adjustment dial' can be used for any suspension and braking settings, exclusively in the GT 5 Prologue game title while on the run. Such as: ABS, torque distribution and brake bias. In other game titles it is also usable depending on your preferences how to set it. Once again - because of the extensive PC-software, all the buttons are usable on both the platforms. The gear stick is responsive, yet fixed on the right hand-side and a bit small. Then, there are two tiny sequential shifting: L1, R1 gear changing paddles. They may not be that comfortable as the aluminium paddles on top-range models (like the T500 RS), but do their job satisfactory and in a quick manner. When playing Colin McRae DiRT 2 or any other rally racing title, you can use them for gear shifting and assign the gear stick a handbrake function. Thus, you will save precious seconds. The pedals are plastic, but robust and functional. Even before plugging the set, you will notice that the brake pedal is tangibly more difficult to press. It is the same in real cars, so there is some added realism. Finally, the cool-looking glowing GT logo in the middle of the wheel (also a horn) pleasantly finishes the steering wheel set's forever young design.
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. Probably the only sticky part is the mounting of the wheel set. The force feedback is very strong and mounting it on a table is to cause you unwanted distractions every time you need to make rapid steering angle changes. The pedals unit bottom-positioned plastic teeth cause the whole unit slide and slip even on a fabric surface. So, you either have the option of thinking of a rather innovative set-up on your own, that is to include boxes in front of the pedals, rubber and an unusually firm-positioned table or desk. Or simply mount the Driving Force GT on a reliable and stable, fully-foldable and ergonomic simulator seat, such as the OpenWheeler game seat. You will forget all about any annoying mounting and un-mounting issues and you will have the adequate back and shoulder support you need for long hours of racing. Having properly mounted and installed the Logitech Driving Force GT PS2/PS3 and PC steering wheel, the time of the real in-game testing sum-up has come.
The Driving Force GT performs perfectly in present-day games, as well. We have tried it on the entire Colin McRae Dirt-series, the Need for Speed: ProStreet (may seem irrelevant, but it was the current title at the time of DFGT's premiere), the Need for Speed: Shift 2, Grid (impatiently waiting for its coming sequel) and, of course, the Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and GT 5. The force feedback is immediate and very powerful, though a bit noisy. You will definitely feel the difference between different track surfaces, especially in rallies. Just like in the real world you will also sense any curb-interaction and you will be pleasantly shaken any time you leave the boundaries of the track. Like we've mentioned above you can set the gear shifter as a handbrake and use the gear changing paddles instead. 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.
So, provided with so many digital action programmable buttons, might haptic feedback and responsive pedals, once you have used the classic Driving Force GT for a while, you are very unlikely to be interested into changing it for anything less than a top-range wheel. Like the no-coincidence official GT5 steering wheel - the Thrustmaster T500 RS. Bundled with the TH8 RS transmission and the Gear Shifter Mount-included OpenWheeler+ racing seat, it represents an upgrade of every single DFGT's characteristic. It allows for 1080-degrees rotation, as compared to the 900 degrees of the DFGT, there is a clutch and an eight-speed H-pattern gearbox, along with the aluminum authentic-size gear changing paddles. What's more, you even have the unique option of detaching its standard wheel and changing it with the unique Thrustmaster Ferrari F1 Add-on, for enhanced F1-series cars' and Formula Gran Turismo car's control. If you are a novice, though, you can switch to such finer quality and multi-functional set on a later stage, after having gained some experience. Chances are that you will, hence the virtual driving games today provide remarkable levels of realism once you equip yourself with the appropriate steering wheel and car racing video game seat components.
In conclusion, we consider that any simulator or arcade racing game true fan, who has just recently decided to leave aside the keyboard for writing and the gamepad for shooters, should not hesitate to order the brilliant Logitech Driving Force GT PS2/PS3 and PC steering wheel. It may not be the T500 RS + TH8 RS eight-speed gearbox set or a professional one, yet paired to the OpenWheeler gaming seat, it is more than an ideal driving simulator cockpit to begin with. Definitely better than most of the modern bright-colored entry starter kits - way more functional and proven as durable. If you could get a brand new TVR Cerbera with the top 4.5 V8 420hp engine for the same price like a new VW Golf GTI, which one would you choose? Considering that fuel consumption and maintenance are not an issue. Though such circumstances are way too imaginary we're convinced that any of you who is into getting the best without prejudices, would choose the first ride. It is pretty much the same with the Logitech Driving Force GT - read about it, test it, give it a chance and you'll not regret it. Its worth every single penny if you're seriously into driving.
Because of its universal PC and PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 steering wheels support, though mentioned quite a few times above, the OpenWheeler game seat deserves a paragraph on its own. It is our premium suggestion of a mid-range game seat to get you even closer to actual racing. The OpenWheeler driving simulator is a sterling, long-wearing simulator seat which provides ergonomic body support to gamers of any size. The seat slides on stainless steel rails in order to adjust the pedals set's distance and it's covered with lasting 100% polyester fabric. It is completely collapsible, so that you can place it under your bed or in a standard cabinet any time it's not in use. To give you the best simulator position without damaging any kind of surface your floor is covered with, there are hard-floor protectors included. Whether the standard two-piece-steering-wheel-set holding or the exquisite OpenWheeler+ game seat with a Gear Shifter Mount included, the OpenWheeler PC and PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 simulator seat is the non-compromise component of any genuine driving simulator.
The Driving Force GT can be purchased for £119.95 from Binfieldlad's online store, or for as much as £127.88 from Ballicom Direct's eBay UK store. Do choose us and you can have the Logitech Driving Force GT PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 and PC racing wheel set for some £110.00 with free-of-charge shipping to any UK-address, as early as the very next business day. You will have it even cheaper if you order it in bundle with the OpenWheeler game seat. The bundle price is just £360.00. So, you will save an extra £20.00. Last but not least, both the prices are total and include the 20% UK VAT.
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