254 of 267 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
First off, I'm a racer. I've been racing since I got my hands on Test Drive III in 1990. Stunt Driver, that same year... followed by the birth of the NFS series. I bought a PS solely for Gran Turismo. Marathon races baby! Anyway, my point bringing up my past is that we've been racing with keyboards and controllers for over 20 years, wheels are a relatively new thing (unless you count that one that clamped to the desk and you strapped a mouse to it). So take that into consideration when you say, "It's hard, the controller is better!"
That being said... it's actually not. I owned a Fanatec Speedster 3 for the Xbox and the learning curve on the Speed Wheel was much much shorter. I had the Speed Wheel down in under half an hour (although some games I'm still fine tuning it... just to tweak it out)... More like 3 races. Think about how long it took you to learn how to control a car with the analog stick!
The responsiveness of this thing is immaculate. I was greatly impressed. There is ZERO lag. There was a video on youtube I watched before I bought this and it showed like half a second lag... well the dude's editing must have been off, because it's 1 to 1. (in fact... I'm gonna go leave a comment on that guys video telling him it's BS!)
The lack of bumpers? I haven't experienced a game* where this matters (in-game), most games that support the wheel allow remapping of buttons. A few games assign the bumpers to shifting, but since they aren't sims it doesn't really matter. Which brings me to the next section, the games (note: I didn't include most of the sims because they've pretty much been covered in other reviews):
The first game I tried. Performance is incredible and blew me away. It was hard to put it down to continue testing the other games!!! Setup is precise, allows for remapping of buttons and configuration of wheel's: deadzone, saturation and linearity. Allows changing of config IN-GAME (as most Codemasters games, I found out).
Not supported. 180 degree deadzone basically, no bumper for special move, no Y-axis for certain moves.
++FlatOut Ultimate Carnage:
Beautiful integration, full configuration of wheel. Buttons are choice between 2 presets (one assigns gas and brake to bumpers... you don't want that one!) . Small glitch is saturation is very low... I had to turn it all the way up (or down according to the slider) just to get decent handling... but decent is an understatement. Two other very small setbacks include; no in-game config and no rumble feedback.
-NFS Most Wanted (2005):
Not supported. 60 degree dead-zone. 7 different button presets for regular controller.
Support, no config. Bumpers as shifting. Standard handling is jittery and too sensitive (although it's like that with the controller also, this game is meh)
++NFS Hot Pursuit:
Total button remapping. Uber-decent handling... actually I had sworn this game off as I really disliked how sluggish the controls were using the regular controller. The wheel brought this game back to life for me!
+NFS The Run:
Supported, but no setup. Remappable buttons. Decent standard handling, although sharp corners require lots of twisting.
+Sega Rally Revo:
Supported as Force Feedback Wheel. Only customization is amount of feedback (which I assume translates to rumble). Bumpers assigned to gears. FYI, glitch in game: don't exit a race mid-vibration of the wheel... it won't stop. I started a new race and it went away. I could have also taken the batteries out I suppose. Handling decent, I never liked this game that much though.
Dead in the water. Not even recognized as a controller. You need RB to access menu anyway.
Recognized, but no customization. Sluggish handling and drifting is hard (but possible... I'm sure after an hour I'd have gotten it down).
Support and 3 button configuration options. That's it. Some sluggishness like in PGR3. 10 degree dead-zone.
No support, and 50 to 60 degree deadzone... however for this game it actually isn't half-bad. It just feels like I'm in the arcade! (btw, after-touch after a crash works with the D-pad)
No support. 45 degree deadzone. Bumpers assigned to either drop or change powerup. Powerups can be fired backward with the D-pad. Not too bad, I'd stick with the controller though.
++Midnight Club: LA:
Support and works well, no wheel config however. Buttons can be remapped. Menus that require bumpers can be navigated with D-pad. Handling impressive!
No support. 180 degree dead-zone... assuming you can even get in a car. "Ghost-mode" requires use of Y-axis.
++Sonic & Sega All Stars:
The Mario Kart of the Xbox!!! Take that Wii! Wheel works great (no config aside from vibration). Super fun!
No support. 180 degree dead-zone. Crap handling indeed.
No support. 180 degree dead-zone. Disney seems to not like the wheel!
+Test Drive Unlimited 2:
Support and auto-recognized... well all the ones that do, do. But in TDU2 you can't get to the controller menu config because you need bumper use (check in the discussions below how to get around that). But it's not that important as the default settings are pretty decent.
No support. Need bumpers to access some menus. Dead-zone 50 degrees, not bad for not being recognized... but gameplay still suffers (not like in Revenge).
Huge dead-zone 180 degrees. Needs bumpers for vital menu nav.
Nail'd, MotoGP and the MX vs. ATV games also don't work.
I'm really really really sad there's no decent off-road arcade game that works with this (I'm not counting Dirt, that's more sim-ish). Excite Truck was one of the few reasons to own a Wii. FlatOut comes the closest... and now with Bugbear developing Ridge Racer Unbounded, I'm curious as to how awesome that will be!
I'll revisit this review later and add NFS Shift 1&2. I've read they are supported but I'd like to know the extent considering the other NFS games don't allow wheel sensitivity settings. I'm only assuming they do since they're sims. In fact I'll add the other sims too just to make this review all encompassing.
F1 2011 is FUN... turning the sensitivity up and zero deadzone and you got a twitchy responsive little zoom-machine of awesome!
BTW... I got this thing earlier today. I'm already leaving a review. That's how awesome it is. I just put in 10+ hours testing all these games so I could leave this review and shut down all the haters as well as inform all the skeptics and anyone curious as to whether or not their favorite game would be supported by it. If you have any questions or if there's a game I might have and forgot to test, leave it in the comments. I'll get at you dawg.
P.S. I'm not just some fanboy jumping on the bandwagon of 5-star reviews. If this thing blows up in my hands or something later on down the road... I'll change my rating. Best believe. Till then: 5 solid stars earned.
P.P.S. Another reviewer said something about his arms getting tired... well I lean forward and rest my arms on my knees, not only does that avoid fatigue, but it allows greater accuracy as well.
+NFS Shift: Works, buttons not configurable. Steering wheel settings accessible in game menu, (not race menu).
+NFS Shift 2: Works, buttons remappable. Steering wheel settings accessible in game menu via bumpers.
++WRC2: World Rally Champion: Works well, total customization and configuration. (not mid-race)
++Dirt 2: Works beautifully. As previously mentioned, wheel config accessible mid-race. Great for tweaking minor settings and getting it set up just the way you want.
++Dirt 3: Ditto. Despite this being the least impressive of the Dirt series. I need to get my hands on a copy of Dirt 1 again. I miss Rallisport Challenge 2.
++F1 2011: Total support. In-game config of everything. This is where the response of the wheel really shines. I grip the thing so hard when I'm racing the plastic creaks! White-knuckle racing!!!
+Ridge Racer: Unbounded: Not recognized but supported. Good standard handling, button config of 2 presets (one assigns stuff to bumpers, one leaves bumpers unassigned). This makes up for the wheel not working in Split/Second and Blur... Way to go Bugbear!
+ NFS Most Wanted (2012): Works great. No fine tuning of the wheel sensitivity but default settings are pretty nice. Buttons are customizable (except the d-pad, so button assignment is pretty much limited to the 4 buttons and the triggers). EDIT: No Rumblz.
++Forza Horizon: Works awesome and full customization as expected from a Forza title. Bumpers not an issue unless applying decals and painting your car (no biggie). Rumblz.
+-NFS Rivals: 45 degree dead zone, menus need bumpers. No configuration or recognition. But it makes the car turn so technically it works.
++Grid 2: as expected from Codemasters, full support. Everything bueno!
-Mayhem 3D: Huge deadzone, still playable if you want a cardio workout from steering. No bumper assigns so no issues there.
I don't know if it's Grid 2 or the controller but several times during play the controller would lose connection (while still on). Haven't had the issue since I got frustrated with Grid 2 (still fine tuning the steering controls, not having good luck: it's very wonky and over-sensitive) or in other games. Also I noticed if you rap the controller hard on the right side it turns off. Will update if the problem persists.
-Dirt 1 aka Colin McRae: Dirt: FINALLY found this game after the awesomeness which is Dirt 2. I was hoping but alas was let down. Buttons are totally customizable but there is no wheel recognition. Big deadzone, may be able to adapt but you'll get lots of cardio in the process.
--Farming Simulator 2013: hahaha yeah, I thought it would be fun. Unfortunately the bumpers are massively utilized in this game. Driving is fun however, but the wheel is not recognized.
235 of 248 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2011
I purchased this wheel last night to go along with my new purchase of Forza 4, which I bought at 8AM on the day of it's release. I played Forza 3 since release, and have been a huge competitive player of Forza for some time now, spending much of my time on my Xbox tuning, upgrading and making cars specialized for certain tracks, and most of my lap times are in the top 1%, albeit at the wrong end of it. I'm not trying to brag here, I'll explain in the next paragraph.
All of the reviews I read about this wheel said that it's for "casual" gamers and wouldn't really suit the needs of anyone who's competitive or plays on the Simulation steering selection
Many reviews, including CNET and IGN and others, really made it sound like this wheel isn't for anyone who is serious about forza, and rather illuminated it as if it's a neat little toy for someone who wants to get someone into the game and doesn't race very often, or plays Wii a lot. I want it to make this VERY clear;
THIS IS NOT THE CASE.
This wheel is fantastic, it simply takes some getting used to. The movement of the wheel is 1-to-1 on the screen, meaning that in "cockpit view" in Forza 4, your wheel will turn at the precise time, precise angle, and in the exact velocity that you turn the Speed Wheel.
My first race using it, I wrecked all over the place. I tried to dive right into an un-assisted A-Class race in a '69 Fairlady Z, and it became apparent to me after a few attempts that I'm going to have to re-learn how to play this game. I proceeded to start a hot lap on Infineon Raceway (Sears Point, screw you infineon) in a A class '65 Mustang that loves to drift, and practiced for about an hour. Soon enough my laps got within 2 or 3 seconds of the top in the game. Later, I posted a 1:45.8-- on "Star in a reasonably priced car" Top Gear Challenge, faster than several times of my competitive friends who race with controllers. No assists on anything I did.
Conclusion; it's a great wheel, a lot of fun, and makes for some fantastic drifting experiences, throwing the wheel from left to right and back to correct and re-correct... incredibly accurate, fast, and fun. The people who reviewed it didn't spend enough time to get good with it. They played for a few minutes and came to an inaccurate conclusion that didn't reflect the true potential of this fun little controller that makes the Wii Wheel look, and feel, like a joke.
Downside: No left/right bumpers or a slot for your wired microphone. The former is annoying because not all the menus in Forza can be navigated without the LR bumpers, mainly in the Community section and decals/paints. However, I can understand the omission of the wired microphone slot, I can see myself getting frustrated and tangled in the wire of the headset while throwing the wheel around.
Pick it up if you play Forza, practice for a bit, and you'll have a blast.
Race with me! TM SlinkyBlue
94 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2011
My Logitech G27 is great for my PS3 and computer, but unfortunately, it doesn't work with my XBox. I can't/won't race with a thumbstick, so I needed a solution to play Forza 4. I saw the Wireless Speed Wheel at my local electronics store (So-So Buy), and if I bought this wheel and Forza together, I received a $25 gift card. I originally thought you needed the Kinect camera, but the salesperson said I didn't, so I bought it!
I really didn't think I would be happy with the Speed Wheel having been spoiled by my G27, but I was pleasantly surprised by its responsiveness and accuracy. Even the "force feedback" vibration added a sense or realism to the racing experience. I don't write many reviews, but I just had to give this thing 5 stars, which is based on its performance when taking into consideration its price and target market.
Two advantages this wheel has over my G27 is that it's wireless and very portable.
I haven't been able to locate the left and right buttons (it only has left and right triggers as far as I can tell), and I sort of miss those, especially when the Forza 4 menus require them. But that's my only issue so far, and maybe I just need to read the manual.
Thanks Microsoft for building this thing.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2011
I have been thinking about getting a serious racing rig which would include a racing wheel with integrated seat and pedals etc. The problem is space and cost ($500-1000). Now, there is no way this wheel would fit in with those plans but it will give you a taste for the next level of racing without much of the cost.
To do that, the Speed Wheel will need to be responsive and precise. This is something that "motion control" has severely lacked. The Wii can barely read gestures correctly, the Kinect is also flaky and laggy, and PS move has similar issues. So, with all this, I was pretty skeptical that a digital motion sensing device could work well for steering controls.
The good news is that motion sensing in the Speed Wheel is in a completely different class the from that on the Wii. The Speed Wheel is both precise and responsive as long as you are playing a game that has good "Advanced Wheel" settings. Games like Forza 3/4, Dirt 3 and a limited number of other car racing games on the Xbox 360. When used with these games, the steering input excellent and as responsive as a standard controller. In Dirt 3, you can (and should) change adjust the sensitivity and linearity depending on the style of driving. For drift heavy events, this can make a big difference. I believe similar settings are available in Forza 3/4 and the wheel probably works even best in Forza 4 since it was pretty much designed for that game. In Forza 4, for example, the lights on the end of the wheel will indicate advanced steering feedback (indicating shift change is needed?).
In initial use, its also unlikely that this device will make you a better driver (much like other racing wheels) because it takes some time to adjust to throwing you hands around to quickly impart opposite lock without loosing all control. But it does feel more real than just flicking a thumb-stick back and forth which is sort of the whole point. Once you learn the basics, your scores will fall back in-line and you may even improve but that will based on your skill not the controller.
One nice improvement on this wheel is the triggers are larger and have a longer and lighter throw. This makes precise throttle and brake control much better than with the standard controllers. The buttons on the right a much smaller than the standard controller and may even be too small for folks with large hands. the D-pad is also a bit smaller than standard but at least it properly oriented up/down to be used for gear changes.
Overall, the motion control of this device is excellent but what about the rest of the package? Well, one minor issue is the lack of bumpers. The reason they left them off is that most games that support advanced wheels don't use them for anything that is not typically mapped to the d-pad like shifting gears. Because you don't have pedals, any LB/RB control would have you lifting off gas/break which is why LB/RB are not often used during racing. However, they forgot that people also need to deal with menus and the LB/RB can also be used for switching settings. You could even use them for linear gear shifts (i.e. paddle shifter) if you use two trigger fingers instead of one. Its possible, if the wheel sells, they could release a 2.0 version that fixed this but I doubt they will have the kind of sales to justify a new production run.
Another issue with this controller is the limited number of games that can be controlled. You might think that arcade racers would also work well. But from what I have seen, that is not always the case. If the game does not have "Advanced Wheel" or support , the steering may have a huge dead-zone (45-90 degrees) and basically make the wheel unusable. And because the controller lacks RB/LB and there's is no way to configure the wheel outside of the games, its nearly impossible to use this controller with many/most arcade racers. You really need the advanced wheel support in-game for this controller to be any good. I did find that this wheel did work surprising well with some arcade racers like NFS Hot Pursuit and Split Second but not with other games like NFS San Francisco or Pure. So, its hit an miss if the game does not support advanced wheels.
I have a bit if a problem with the fact that Microsoft does not supply this list of games along with the Speed Wheel advertising or documentation because anyone buying this for other games will generate and RMA. That is bad for both Microsoft and the consumer.
As far as feedback, the rumble is very light, and it can't give you that kind of feedback you would get from a typical high-end wheel and pedals but you are only spending a fraction of that cost. In Dirt 3, you can turn up the rumble setting to its max which helps quite a bit.
You should really only consider purchasing the Speed Wheel if you are Forza/Dirt fan who wants a different way to play those games. Don't expect to be using this wheel for Driver San Francisco or for driving in GTA 4. But if you really like those games and don't want to get into full racing rig, this is the only game in town. And for that, it succeeds extremely well in what it set out to do.
P.S. I would hope that this kind of precise left right motion control will be built into the next generation Xbox control so that it could be used for more games. I could see this working well for all car games even casual ones. It could also be used for leaning in FPSs etc. Perhaps, this motion control is a test-bed for next gen controller features. I certainly hope it is.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2012
I got an Xbox 360 and Forza Motorsports 4 for the holidays and being a pretty big racing enthusiast I had to get a steering wheel.
I originally had purchased a different wheel, one with pedals and that clamps to your coffee table (Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia wheel) but I ended up returning it and getting this wireless one instead. And I'm glad I did, here's why:
What I realized in researching steering wheels is that for the most part it's an "all or nothing" proposition. Either you get a dedicated setup with a racing chair, pedals, wheel, etc or else you just play with the standard controller. I have my Xbox setup in the living room and I don't want a wheel permanently displayed like a piece of furniture. Nor do I want wires running all over the place. At the same time, setting up one of those "full on" wheels takes a lot of work and you're unlikely to want to go through the effort just to play a quick game or two. As you can imagine, you have to get it out, hook up the cables, plug it in, clamp it to your table... The other downside to those big setups is that you need a ton of space to store them. Even if it's just a wheel and pedals that clamp to the table, they are still bulky and have a bunch of cables so you need a closet or something to store it in.
So that leaves you with the standard Xbox controller, which frankly, isn't great for racing games. It's OK but not great.
This wireless wheel though is the first thing I've seen that's right in the middle of the standard controller and a full, dedicated racing setup. It's small so it can be stored easily in a drawer and there is no time consuming setup process whenever you want to play. Just turn it on and your ready to go.
Considering that though, I figured it couldn't be very good in terms of gameplay but I was wrong! This wheel far exceeded my expectations. There is a bit of a learning curve associated with it, but the steering response is great and very realistic. The portability, lack of wires, and easy setup make this a winner for me. Note that from what I read online, this wheel was designed in close collaboration with Forza 4, so I suspect that it may have better gameplay with that game than any others.
But there are a couple of cons to be aware of:
- When playing on the couch, your arms can get tired holding the wheel up in front of you since it's not mounted to anything. But I find this doesn't happen as much if I play standing up.
- As noted in other reviews, it's missing the left and right bumper buttons. Not a big deal for gameplay, but in Forza 4 these are used when applying graphics to the cars and doing some other setup stuff.
Overall, this is a great wheel but I'm only going to give it 4 stars because of the lack of the bumper buttons.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2011
First off, if you're a hardcore simulation fan and are looking for a wheel to enhance the realism of your games, this is not for you. Think of this more as the offspring of a normal Xbox 360 controller and that tiny steering wheel that came with the Wii version of Mario Kart.
In a nutshell, this is a motion-sensitive controller intended to be used for driving games. And by "driving games" I mean Forza 4. Pretty much anything older than that will only recognize it as a generic driving wheel, which may or may not limit your ability to configure it. I've also tried it with NFS: Hot Pursuit, Dirt 3, and Forza 3, and it works reasonably well for steering, brake, and throttle, but you may encounter issues with getting the buttons set up the way you like for anything else.
The greatest flaw with this controller is that it totally lacks the shoulder buttons (LB and RB), meaning that even in Forza 4 you can't navigate certain menus, and any game that relies on those buttons will have problems. This design decision was just plain stupid, and I'd bet good money that if a Wireless Speed Wheel version 2 ever comes out, they'll include these buttons.
That said, I do like this controller. It's cheap enough that I can still geek out and pretend I'm really driving without spending $500 on some crazy driving rig. It's also nicely responsive, and the triggers used for throttle and braking (LT and RT) are vastly superior to those you'd find on a normal controller. It will take a few races to get used to, but once you've figured it out you won't want to play with the normal controller any more. With Forza 4, it also does a nifty thing where the tops of the "U" light up as your engine RPMs increase, the clutch is depressed, and other things. Very nice.
Still, it's flawed. Lacking LB and RB is the most significant problem, but there are other niggles. For instance, if you sit it on a table, it doesn't sit flat. The triggers extend beyond the base, so the only way to sit it down is with the triggers depressed. Fine if you put it on an armrest, but poor design. The vibration is also quite weak, making it almost pointless to have it turned on.
Also, if you have your Xbox set up so that your controllers go to sleep after a certain time period, it may cause problems. At least with Forza 4, a WSW that turns itself off is recognized only as a generic wheel when you turn it back on. This can be a pain, as the default for a generic steering wheel is quite unlike the default for the WSW (if this happens, you may be able to go into controller settings and change it to a similar setup. #5 worked well for me).
While I've focused a bit on the problems with this controller, the truth is that I quite like it. It is what it is, and what it is is a relatively inexpensive approximation of a steering wheel. It's far from perfect, but it's nowhere near as expensive as the real steering wheel controllers, and it's still fun to use. If you want a real steering wheel, save up and buy one. If you want a cheaper alternative, this isn't a bad one, despite the frustrations.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
I got the 360 Wireless Steering Wheel not expecting too much. In fact, I was expecting the level of control that the wii wheel gives. I was WAY wrong. The 360 Wireless Steering Wheel is so precise and accurate, it makes every turn that much easier and gives you much faster times than a normal controller. Now, I will admit, there is a bit of a learning curve. Just take this wheel into Forza 4 and go into Free Play / Quick Race and have fun. I am not sure how long the batteries will last tho. I have been using the steering wheel for about a week, and its still using the included batteries.
Oh yeah, one more thing. The wheel comes with an installation disk, but it was not needed. The updates are included with the 360 update (one of them, not sure which updated included it, but its there), so the disk isn't needed.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
I got an xbox 360 & Forza Motorsport 4 for xmas and was ready to give up on the game. I could not drive with the stock controller at all! I was constantly crashing or just being lapped.
I unpacked the Speed Wheel, hooked it up, and within one hour won a Class D race! I agree with the other positive reviews here. For the low price I paid, it converted the game from a disaster to a blast!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
Just picked this up today and I really enjoy it. On my PS3 I have a driving wheel (with feedback) and it is great. Unfortunately not compatible with my XBox. Thought about the Fanatec wheels but they are not out yet. Read some reviews on CNET, IGN, etc and decided to go for it.
Having played it with the controller and the wheel, I must say I enjoy the wheel very much. Good control of the car (better than the controller). Now lets not get carried away, Im sure playing with one of the force feedback wheels from Fanatec will be better but for 60 bucks (vs. 500 for a set up), this works great.
Easy to set up (sync just like a controller). Comes with a software disc but if you updated the software on your Xbox since 10/8 you already got it.
Only downside is your arms get a bit tired holding it out (wah!) and no left and right bumpers (which makes decals and other car mods slightly diff).
For me this was a great solution to get a bit of the wheel action without breaking the bank. Worth the 60bucks.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
This wheel works great with Dirt 3 and Forza 4. A definite improvement over a standard controller. The only issue is the missing right and left bumper buttons. This is a minor inconvenience.