byTim Stevens||June 9th 2011 at 8:58pmJune 9th 2011 8:58 pm
Okay, so the U-shaped contraption you see above won't get a motorsports enthusiast's blood boiling quite like the Fanatec CSR Elite wheel we tested earlier, but for a lot of gamers the CSR is a bit too much. The Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel, on the other hand, is rather more manageable -- and affordable, with a $59.99 price. It's a simple, lightweight thing, with an over-sized trigger on the back of each grip. These have very low resistance, so they tend to clap against the back when you mash the throttle, but this plus a long throw means it's easy to be precise on the gas or brake. And that, of course, is what they're intended to be used for. On the right prong are the four face buttons, on the left a D-pad. Start and Back are in the middle along with the Guide button, but sadly the L and R shoulder buttons didn't make the start.
That's a mighty shame, making us wonder what compatibility will be like for racers that use those for up- and down-shifting. Regardless, with Forza Motorsport 4 the wheel works like a charm. There's an almost imperceptible amount of lag between you turning the thing in air and your reaction being conveyed on screen, but it's not a problem. The triggers feel great and, while shifting using the D-pad is a little clumsy, it works. Ultimately and predictably the Speed Wheel doesn't deliver the most hardcore of racing experiences, but it'll be a lot more couch-friendly than your average wheel and pedal setup when it ships this October.