The problem with a lot of steering wheel reviews is that they’re written by people who don’t know the first thing about driving. I despair when I read reviews that complain about wheels which don’t “shake” enough when crashing, or “pull” enough when trying to pile around a corner with your foot down. Unfortunately most of these reviewers have no idea of how a car should feel when piling into bend too fast, and would probably find themselves smashing into a gravel trap with a fist full of under-steer at the first corner in the real world. But as a result of this lack of understanding, a great many force feedback steering wheels lack any sense of realism in favour of artificially tugging, shaking and jarring the driver just to prove their force feedback credentials. I was therefore very pleased to find that Microsoft had not tried to please the driving ignoramus and instead had produced a steering wheel for the true driving enthusiast.
To be honest though, it’s probably not the realism and feel of this wheel that will attract buyers, it’s the fact that it’s wireless. Now, anyone who’s already got an Xbox 360 Premium Pack will be aware of the joys of wireless control. The X360 wireless controller is a real triumph and means that you can leave the controller on your coffee table and just pick it up and play without worrying about a cable dangerously draped across your living room. This steering wheel employs the same concept and uses the same wireless technology to communicate with the console, but it’s not what I’d call a true wireless controller.
The reason that I’d find it hard to label this wheel as truly wireless is that it still employs cables. The lesser of the two cables links the wheel to the pedal box, and to be fair, this isn’t much of a problem at all. But the second cable plugs the wheel into a mains supply, to enable the force feedback to operate. You therefore need to have a power socket somewhere near your sofa. If you’re lucky you’ll have a socket behind your sofa so you can keep the power supply plugged in and hide the cabling under the couch when the wheel is not in use.