Due to all the aforementioned and suggesting that you're still a rookie player (if not - please, take a look at the T500 RS + TH8 RS gearbox for ultimate performance), we have decided to update you on a nice alternative for your introduction to the realistic racing experience. It is among the most budget Thrustmaster steering wheels. Despite, Thrustmaster have a range of proven-quality video game racing accessories. Wheels by Thrustmaster are also durable according to our experience so far and yet quite affordable. The particular wheel we're to brief you on is a replica of the famous Ferrari 458 Italia's driving wheel. All the switches are present, including the revolutionary Manettino controller. It is also the first Microsoft and Ferrari-licensed wheel set - being both an Xbox 360 and a PC steering wheel controller. And in spite of its lack of force feedback, a gear stick and a clutch, mounted on the long-wearing and ergonomic black and red OpenWheeler game seat, it guarantees long and exciting driving journeys way beyond any traditional controller used on an office chair or a sofa. The best is, that after some period of game play you can still use your OpenWheeler racing seat simulator for any different PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or PC steering wheel set available, regardless of the model and the modules it includes (there is a Gear Shifter Mount included with the OpenWheeler+ game seat, but available separately as well). First things first, the right way to gather experience is one step at a time, so our entry-level selection for you is the sleek Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia Xbox 360/PC steering wheel set.
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. 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.
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. And the 'Bungee Cord' automatic centering system will enhance the time it takes to return back to a straight line whenever required. To sum up - fun to drive and precious for gathering your initial experience!
The inarguable disadvantage of the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia Xbox 360/PC racing wheel set is the lack of force feedback. On the other hand, for a tyro, its lack, but the presence of all the function buttons needed, along with the 'Bungee Cord', is more than sufficient. With the Ferrari 458 Italia wheel and a matching game seat, you will get used to focus on the driving first, so that you can more rapidly get the optimum, even the maximum of a good force feedback wheel set eventually. Another con is the lack of a clutch and a gear stick, yet it is somewhat compensated by the smooth, and responsive sequential shifting paddles. The final and most irritating minus is the inability to stable mount the pedals set. It is not a surprise though, since all the steering wheel sets, unlike gamepads or keyboards are meant to be installed on a game seat, rather than holding them in your lap or trying to mount them on your working desk. As a matter of fact, proper support for your body is essential, regardless of the controller you use. Still, it is the simulator racing seat that is to authentically recreate the seat of an actual sports car. Just like the OpenWheeler game seat.
Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia Xbox 360/PC steering wheel is available for £100.00 from Rakuten Play dot Com's JSY Gaming LTD top-rated seller with free delivery, or for £86.30 (with delivery) from eBay UK's seller durhamemporium. If you order it through OpenWheeler UK, the total price is only £80.00. It includes next business day UK-shipping and 20% UK VAT.
The sensible extension to the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia steering wheel, as well as any other PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or PC gaming wheel set is the OpenWheeler gaming seat. Bundled with the Ferrari 458 Italia, you will be provided with good control and perfect support and comfort through long game-sessions. The galvanized chassis along with the 100% polyester texture are a trustworthy assurance that it is to outlive any electronic racing game accessory. Making it the steady component of your driving simulator sets for many years to come. The pedals distance is variable, so a driver of any size will fit. It is also fully-foldable and easy to store, so that you won't need to spare an entire room for it. And there are in-built front wheels and stiff floor protectors, enabling that moving it all around your home is easy and handy.
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