Thrustmaster T500 RS PS3/PC winks at you as being the top Thrustmaster wheel from the very first moment you get to hold its box. The weight of some 18kg indicates the massiveness of the metal beast that's sleeping inside. With a diameter of 30 centimetres the wheel circle is larger than the rivalry in the non-professional segment. The rotation allowed is three full turns or 1080 degrees that defeats all the rivalry as well, hence they are limited to barely 900 degrees.
Like any other PlayStation 3 or computer electronic racing accessory, the Thrustmaster TH8 RS gearbox also has its flaws. The first one is directly related to the PlayStation 3 game play- being compatible with the T500 RS is not that much of an issue neither is the one-title (Gran Turismo 5) support as of present moment. Hardcore Gran Turismo players represent a separate target since PlayStation 2's release of Gran Turismo 2 in 2000, arguably since the very first part of the series was released for Sony PlayStation 1 in 1997.
Playing the Gran Turismo 5 on your PS3 with your own Thrustmaster T500 RS and suitable gaming seat, there is still a downgrade which depending on your driving style can be quite annoying.
The Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On performs perfect in the F1 2011. It won't take you long to break all your records established with the T500 RS's stock wheel. The Ferrari F1 Add-On is just fantastic for precisely controlling an F1 car. The brushed-metal paddle shifters rotate with the wheel that makes high-speed turns with this specific wheel-type way easier. A further advantage here, needs to be taken into account. Accurately reflecting the authenticity - you can up- and downshift with either of the shifters. We found this particularly useful in multiple-lap races.
The Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 racing wheel is the offer generously presented by Thrustmaster, aimed at the non- to mid-experienced car racing and simulator game players. The 270-degree Force-Feedback race wheel comes in package with a brake and accelerator pedals module. It is compatible with Windows PC's and PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 consoles only. It is the Microsoft Xbox support that the Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 PC and PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 steering wheel lacks most indeed. The wheel is definitely heavier than it looks and its built quality is almost perfect.
In games like the F1 2011, Forza 4 Motorsport and Test Drive Unlimited 2, the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia steering wheel performs more than decent. The grip is ideal and all the above-mentioned features do enhance your driving pleasure. Important to mention is that the wheel is pretty adaptable to the environment which adds realism. In lower speeds it is much lighter and minimal turning is required, whereas in higher you need to turn it more and more. This sensitivity's self-adjustment is to prevent you from any unwanted collisions. In arcades with police pursuits involved it will allow you escape and win with less effort.
All the above-mentioned problems and inconveniences will be forgotten for good, once you try the Thrustmaster Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition. Released as the successor (or more appropriately a succession) of the shiny Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia racing wheel, in addition to the diligently-made and stunningly realistic replica of the actual Ferrari 458 Italia Gran Turismo car's driving wheel, it has an extra major advantage. The result of the hard work of the Thrustmaster's design team is magnificent - owing to the fully collapsible stylish black steel-structured stand holding the wheel and pedal units together, a truly functional driving simulator is formed. The stand is height-adjustable, which allows you to use it on any chair you feel comfortable in, without having to hunch over, that in the long-term can lead to serious health problems. Comfort has been among the key terms designing the foldable cockpit. You can store your Thrustmaster Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition under a single bed or in a standard closet any time it's not in use. It is heavy (about 22 pounds), well-built and stable.
The conclusion we have reached is that the Thrustmaster Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition feels great in its segment, the mid-range one. It is definitely better than all the entry steering wheels available.
The single-motor Force-Feedback of the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel is perfect. It makes the whole difference between the gravel and tarmac coated tracks in Colin McRae: Dirt and Colin McRae: Dirt 2, almost as perceptible as it is in the real world. For some reason, we just couldn't set the Haptic Feedback to function on the Richard Burns Rally. This was largely compensated by another distinct feature of the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch driving wheel - the four shifting paddles. This should have been advertised better. Almost every mid to high class wheel is equipped with a pair of digital gear changing paddles. They are by default set for changing the gears, yet alternative set-ups are possible.
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.
The Driving Force GT performs perfectly in present-day games, as well.
You just need a present-day computer or the classic and proven-quality Sony PlayStation 3 video game console to run a simulator, an arcade or a car racing game title of your choice. Then all the rest you have to acquire is: a) some ergonomic support for your body - crucial whatever your age is, and a decisive factor to substitute for a super sport multiple-belt anatomic spots car seat. Such can be provided by a game seat. And: b) a responsive force feedback racing wheel set with a gear lever. There is a bunch of models you can choose from for the latter. We do believe that the ones we are about to review deserve your serious consideration. Namely the Logitech G27 PlayStation 3/PC racing wheel set - the 900-degree force feedback successor of the bestselling Logitech G25 steering wheel.
Whilst you might be aware that Logitech is renowned and respected for many product lines, Fanatec remains the underdog in our tests. In fact, suffice to say, Fanatec's new racing wheels are so realistic that, following years of failed attempts, Porsche finally agreed to license its brand to the German company. You can imagine how the stakes are high, then, with a prestigious name like Porsche backing your product. So we set out to determine if Fanatec is up to scratch.
The Thrustmaster Universal Challenge 5 in 1 steering wheel is just one home video game console away from the ultimate compatibility. It is the Xbox 360. Though at least as cleverly-made and long-wearing console, in difference between the Sony PlayStation 3 which is its direct rival, the Microsoft Xbox 360 has always been a bit exotic in terms of support. You can always find at least a dozen of PS3 wheels any single moment you decide on searching for one, yet barely a few Xbox 360 wheels. Situation is relatively similar with games. However, owners of the Universal Challenge 5 in 1 racing wheel are provided with a good number of choices. It is fully compatible with two sixth generation consoles, two seventh generation ones and your Windows PC.
Summarizing the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel, we believe that's worth obtaining. It may be incomparable to exclusive range selection, even to some mid-range steering wheel sets. However, it has ideal responsiveness, quick functioning motion sensors and a few other nice extras. It's just like you're in an amalgam of a futuristic and fantasy novel using it. The sense you'll get is not simply satisfactory in terms of racing, it's just different. It's a must-have addition even if you already own other wheels, as it won't be offered forever. Yet, you'll always smile having such an extraordinary and fully capable item in your collection in some fifteen years time.
After unpacking Mad Catz Officially Licensed Wireless Force Feedback Wheel for Xbox 360 we were at first a bit surprised by its weight. Despite of its barebone-styled looks and the not-that-much-metal-as-advertised, it has the feel of a real driving wheel, rather than a toy. Expectedly much better than the MC2 racing wheel set. The gear changing paddles, the gear stick and the wheel spokes are metal, the rest is plastic. In general: fair enough.
Mad Catz Officially Licensed Wireless Force Feedback Wheel for Xbox 360 has a self-explanatory name - it is a steering wheel for Xbox 360 only.
The Mad Catz Wireless Racing Wheel for Xbox 360's steering wheel is covered with anti-slip rubber texture along the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions, which results in a comfortable grip. There's an all-plastic desk-clamp mechanism, that can be used for table of desk clamping, but does not seem or feel reliable for extended usage. This is not a surprise, such type of clamping like mentioned in the text above is more of a temporary solution until you get used to using a steering wheel controller or most likely up till your first longer session, when you realize how important firm support is for driving.
The Mad Catz Wireless Racing Wheel for Xbox 360 is a very good alternative for rookies, it is smooth and it has an up-to-date design.
Whatever the way to state it, Mad Catz MC2 Xbox 360/PC gaming wheel's design has a character of its own. 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.
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.
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