The Xbox 360 offers many ways to control your video game experience; this includes the Xbox 360 controllers, the Kinect Sensor and now the Wireless Speed Wheel.
While some may love their Kinect Sensor, and others may be passionate about having a controller in both hands. Both concepts don’t entirely offer a unique way of experience racing titles like Forza Motorsport 4 or Need for Speed: The Run. The Speed Wheel bridges this gap, and allows for a unique experience that not only includes something more to hold onto, but is also well designed and attractive.
Look and Feel:
While holding the Speed Wheel you will notice that its thickness is fairly similar to a real-life steering wheel; however, this can be slightly awkward as a real-life steering wheel is attached to your vehicle. The placement of each of the buttons is also integrated quite well into the design, leaving everything in a comfortable, easy to reach position.
Getting your race on!
While the design is visually pleasant and comfortable to handle, prolonged racing sessions can become tiresome. This is due to the fact that the Speed Wheel has no accessory to attach it to, in order to hold it in place. This results in you having to hold the Speed Wheel in front of you, while steering left and right, in order to progress through a racing title. This can be a slight strain on the arms; however, I did notice that the more you use the Speed Wheel the better you become accustomed to it.
When it comes to accuracy, responsiveness and sensitivity the Speed Wheel is surprisingly accurate. If you turn the Speed Wheel to the left slightly, your vehicle with will move gently to the left, turn it in a fast paced movement to the right, and your vehicle will violently swerve to the right.
How does it work?
The Speed Wheel sync’s up to your Xbox 360 console the same way you would sync a normal controller or wireless device. The Speed Wheel then recognises the pitch you are turning it towards; however, the Speed Wheel only picks up a left and right pitch and not forwards and backwards. This was slightly disappointing, as I would have liked to have tested the Speed Wheel on Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
Powering the Speed Wheel can be a slight pain, due to the lack of a rechargeable battery. While looking at the design, I did not notice any physical way to recharge the Speed Wheel, which is unfortunate as you will need to once again stock up batteries. Another noticeable exclusion was the lack of a microphone jack, which means you will either need a separate wired or wireless headset in order to chat online to friends or competitors.
The Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel is indeed a phenomenally accurate, visually appealing and comfortable device to use. However, it does lack the ability to attach a rechargeable battery pack and there is no way possible to attach a headset to the device.
The Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel is a great addition to any racing fans collection of accessories. However, you will need to become accustomed to holding the device for prolonged periods in mid-air.
Look and Feel: 9.5/10
Control and Accuracy: 9.5/10
Power Source: 5/10