It's a well-established fact that if you're going to play a driving game properly you need a steering wheel, pedals and - if that game isn't entirely comprised of vehicles with silly flappy paddle gearboxes - a gearstick. And until now if asked I'd have said Logitech's G25 was the best of its kind; but now there's a new contender and though it's only two better numerically, the G27 looks about as slick as a wheel, gearstick and pedal set-up can get without being inside a car.
Some of the changes are fairly obvious. A series of LEDs which can function as either a change-up indicator, or rev counter have been added to the steering wheel, which now has six buttons on its face - improving on the two of the G25. The gearing in the G27's force feedback motors now use ‘helical', rather than ‘spur' gears which means probably nothing to anyone reading this, but will result in lessened noise from the system, and smoother steering, without sacrificing realism.
The gearstick is also upgraded form the G25, with stronger self-centring and, says Logitech, a "more positive feel to for each of the gear engagement positions." That should, it's said, make changing gear ‘blind' that much easier.
Further changes are present in the pedals. While the same rigid, metal construction remains, the arms now have extra holes in them, enabling adjustment left and right as and if wanted, and the clutch and brake standoffs are raised. Both of these alterations are claimed to improve heel and toe downshifting. Whether any game will be able to reward such dedication remains to be scene, of course.
The downsides? The G27 is going to cost £329.99 when it launches in September for the PC, PS3 and PS2 - the Xbox 360 bizarrely not supported. Let me remind you - as if I need to - that is significantly more expensive than a PlayStation 3. With GT5 not long away from being release, it's probably a good time to make sure you're on Santa's "nice" list.