As a matter of fact, there is at least one and it is proudly unveiled by Thrustmaster! Based on the growing realism of car racing games, closing laps and making hat tricks just like a real pilot without having to leave your home is now possible. All you need is some matching hardware, a racing wheel and last in sequence but not in importance, an adequate support to your body, that a game seat can provide you with. Brought to your attention by the highly-acclaimed US-leader in flight control and car-racing simulator equipment is the Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 steering wheel. It is officially licensed by Ferrari and it represents both a replica of the Ferrari F430's driving wheel and an affordable racing wheel set.
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. It has aluminium gear-shifting paddles and ten programmable buttons. The pedals module, though housing metal pedals, could have been manufactured with a higher quality. Yet, there is hardly a single other racing wheel at the Ferrari F430's price-range to compete it. It also has a very convenient mounting mechanism, mechanically adjustable Force-Feedback and it calibrates automatically every time you plug it to your hardware. But what about actually operating it?
The first and probably the most fundamental disadvantage is the turning radius of the 11" racing wheel - something customary for the class it is positioned. In difference between top-ranked alternatives, such as Logitech G27 or Thrustmaster T500 RS, it allows merely 270-degree rotation instead of 900, or the magnificient 1080 degrees (three full turns) the 12" in diameter T500 RS offers. On one hand, you do not need to cross your hands regardless of the turns you take. On the other, having a couple of full turns possible (just like driving a real car) there is far less possibility of damaging or even breaking the wheel, so you should have this in mind using it. There is marvelous grip provided by the superior rubber coating, which will improve your playing comfort causing your hands to sweat considerably less. The real disadvantage is the lack of a gearbox and a clutch, still it is an indicator of the price-range. And honestly, the manettino replaces a gearbox module quite well. Nevertheless, if you are a professional simulator player, you do most likely already own at least one Thrustmaster T500 RS which is some four times more expensive (though of higher quality), and you are not expected to be interested in this very review at all. To formulate it simpler - Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 racing wheel set is an excellent budget alternative in every single way, naturally not as good as top-ranked wheels, like the T500 RS.
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. You will have to do it for every game you are to play and there are many games which do not really support that many settings. Regardless, the level of control you can gain is itself worth getting this very wheel. Nine other digital action and very responsive buttons do help making your game play an enjoyable experience. What's more, the Engine Start button not only does start the engine, but it is also an 8-directional D-Pad. Once again - a very convenient layout for a mid-range racing wheel. All these buttons, once you assign them, will be strongly appreciated in games like Colin McRae Dirt-series, F1 2010, NFS Shift 2 Unleashed and many more. And the D-Pad can be used for various camera views, etc.
The Thrustmaster Ferrari F430's biggest advantage is probably its high-class Force-Feedback system. Despite of being operated by a single motor it functions extraordinarily well. There are three positions possible: off, low and high. After a lengthy test on different terrains on Dirt 2, we have arrived at the conclusion that the low-setting is more than sufficient for most car racing game players. The high-position is to unleash rather strong vibrations by the mighty Haptic Feedback motor. Still not that powerful to actually harm your wrists. Even if bouncing through the rugged terrain tracks in Colin McRae Dirt 2 for long hours, there is not that much heat generated. That is why, the rubber-coated wheel does provide you with a good, non-sweaty grip. Of course, leather would have looked nicer, but it would make it more expensive to produce. The aluminium shifter paddles are responsive and not flimsy at all - an additional strong point the Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 PC and PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 racing wheel has.
There has to be at least a single flaws-paragraph in every objective review. So here are all the shortcomings we have found. First, the pedals module should have had a clamp or any other kind of locking mechanism. This would prevent them from sliding. Of course, you can experience such a trouble only if your space is so deficient that you do not have the option of using a gaming seat - the way the Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 racing seat and any other racing seat is meant to be used. Also a great convenience considerably upgrading the realism of your driving or racing experience, but more on this in the paragraphs to follow. Every modern up-to-date gaming seat is foldable, so the locking mechanism is really not that an omission. And similar to a leather (instead of rubber) covering of the wheel, it would have mainly raised its price, rather than making it better in any way. Second, it would have been easier and definitely quicker for PlayStation owners if the F430 PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 video game driving wheel had a direct PlayStation button. The third and final disadvantage I can think of is the length of the USB-cable attached to the electronic gaming seat system. If you are to use it with a big screen TV, you should obtain an extension cable. A 16.4 feet high-quality extension cable can be purchased for about 14 GBP from the Amazon UK, and this exhausts the complaints list.
The current price of the stylish black rubber on matte, polished silver plastic and aluminium Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 racing wheel varies in the range of £90-95 up to £110-120. You can find it for £89.99 on the Box's web store. It appears to be most expensive on Shop 4 USB Amazon UK's store at £116.89. You are very welcome to order it from us, at the cut-rate price of merely £150.00 with all taxes included and free of charge UK next business day shipping! The 20% UK-VAT are included in the price, as well.
In order to sink your teeth into the virtual car-racing and simulator world of 2013, getting a good working Force-Feedback racing wheel set is not enough. Times when the whole family sat in front of a CRT screen television with gamepads in their hands, trying to enjoy a classic arcade or a two-dimensional shooter game and position themselves as comfortable as possible on the couch, even on the floor, are long gone now. Today's racing games do occupy your attention to a considerably greater extent. Reality has never been higher, yet constantly improving and just like in a real car you do need a steady support for your body, to concentrate on the actual driving. For this very reason, regardless if you plan to spend just an hour per week or a couple of hours every second night you come home after work, sitting on a chair and having to mount and unmount your racing wheel set over and over again is a waste of valuable time and efforts. Having once invested into an up-to-date hardware and wheel set, there is just one extra item you need to get the most of your games. Long hours of game play will be quite more fun if spent on an appropriate gaming seat. Hence there are literally hundreds of suggestions when you first google this, prior to recommending we have decided to stick to some criteria throughout the search. The ones we agreed on as most relevant for the average virtual racer. It has to be as universal as possible (or in other words - height adjustable), it has to be suitable to any PC or PlayStation 3 steering wheel, at least to all the popular ones and last in sequence but not last in importance - it has to be fully foldable, so that you can store it in a standard non-tallboy cabinet. Certainly, it also has to be durable being more of a long-term investment and possibly low- to mid-priced, so that you do not have any guilty conscience issues afterwards having spent too much on a thing although essential, yet particularly related to your free time. All this taken into account, we're glad of having discovered the OpenWheeler gaming seat.
The OpenWheeler PC and PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 gaming seat is the ultimate accessory to any PlayStation 3 steering wheel. In addition, it is compatible with any PC driving wheel, including the Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 racing wheel. It provides you with advanced backside and shoulder support - crucial both for professional gamers spending a lot of time on the track and for novices to soup up their skills without experiencing discomfort. The ergonomic support and durable materials the zinc-coated chasis' OpenWheeler gaming seat is made of, along with the adjustable wheel height and pedals distance make it a valuable addition to your gaming equipment. It is also fully-foldable and it has stiff floor protectors and in-built front wheels, so moving it is as easy as pie. Furthermore, its exclusive polyester paintwork perfectly matches the Ferrari Scuderia red and black traditional colours. Add it to your Ferrari-licensed Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 video game racing wheel and you will get closer to the evergreen driving pleasure, only a true Italian supersport car can provide you with.
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