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XBox 360 Wheel Review - Superleague Formula - PGR 3 & 4

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Our 54th Episode of Inside Sim Racing sponsored by http://www.simraceway.com. On this show we look at Superleague Formula a PC sim that focuses on Soccer and Formula One. We also look at the Project Gotham series for the XBOX 360 and rate versions 3 and 4. In addition we will review the Microsoft 360 Wireless Racing Wheel and put it through our weighted rating scale. And to round things off we will also have the 9th installment of Top Sim cars featuring the Superleague Formula car as well as the Ford Escort of GT legends converted to RFactor by Historix.

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Really enjoy the show. I've had the xbox wheel for about 2 years and it's still working - more or less. You guys are right - it is definitely better than using the controller and the price is good. It's held up well for both me and my son but I've had a few problems. After the first year, some of the buttons stopped working, so I had to disassemble the wheel itself to fix it. Not sure what exactly the problem was, but when I reassembled it, the buttons worked and still work. About 6 months ago, the right paddle shifter broke off. I can still use manual trans. by reaching in with my index finger and pushing the microswitch that the paddle used to actuate. This requires a slightly different hand position on the wheel but I got used to that pretty quickly. In the last month or so, the upshift switch started acting up as well so that it occasionally shifts more than one gear at a time. Sometimes the wheel actuates other features all by itself, like pausing the game and most frustratingly, downshifting. I've ruined a couple engines because of that, not to mention losing races. I don't know if that is the wheel or interference with the signal between the wheel and the console. Now the left paddle shifter is making some creaking sounds. But I got an email from Fanatec last week that my new Porsche club sport edition is on its way, so it's all good.

I still highly recommend this wheel for people who want to see what a more realistic racing experience is like. If they get hooked, they will, like me, move on to bigger, better wheels. If not, then they haven't spent a fortune. All in all, the xbox 360 wheel and pedals have good bang for the buck.

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Thanks for the post !! Great to hear from long time owners of this wheel .

Darin

Really enjoy the show. I've had the xbox wheel for about 2 years and it's still working - more or less. You guys are right - it is definitely better than using the controller and the price is good. It's held up well for both me and my son but I've had a few problems. After the first year, some of the buttons stopped working, so I had to disassemble the wheel itself to fix it. Not sure what exactly the problem was, but when I reassembled it, the buttons worked and still work. About 6 months ago, the right paddle shifter broke off. I can still use manual trans. by reaching in with my index finger and pushing the microswitch that the paddle used to actuate. This requires a slightly different hand position on the wheel but I got used to that pretty quickly. In the last month or so, the upshift switch started acting up as well so that it occasionally shifts more than one gear at a time. Sometimes the wheel actuates other features all by itself, like pausing the game and most frustratingly, downshifting. I've ruined a couple engines because of that, not to mention losing races. I don't know if that is the wheel or interference with the signal between the wheel and the console. Now the left paddle shifter is making some creaking sounds. But I got an email from Fanatec last week that my new Porsche club sport edition is on its way, so it's all good.

I still highly recommend this wheel for people who want to see what a more realistic racing experience is like. If they get hooked, they will, like me, move on to bigger, better wheels. If not, then they haven't spent a fortune. All in all, the xbox 360 wheel and pedals have good bang for the buck.

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Great episode, as usual guys! I had a few comments about two things that came up during the show...

1) So, where did the name, "Project Gotham Racing" come from? Well, the series' Developer, Bizarre Creations, developed a game for the Sega Dreamcast back in 2000 called "Metropolis Street Racer". When Microsoft launched the original XBox, MGS sought the studio to develop a racing title for launch. Perhaps Sega (MSR's publisher) still had rights to the MSR name, so "Project Gotham Racing" was born. If you played MSR (I still happen to have my copy), you might notice many similarities to the original PGR, including the Kudos system. Anyway, "Gotham" is a synonym for "Metropolis", so that's why I'd say they came up with that name. If you played the original PGR, most of the tracks were on street circuits, as has been the case throughout the series. By the way, here's a GREAT well known Easter egg for these titles. When you walk around the garage, look for an arcade machine in the corner. Walk up to it, and you'll be able to play the arcade machine! PGR3 included the game "Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved", which was also sold as an XBox LIVE Arcade title at launch; however, if you bought PGR3 you already have the game. The retro mode is basically the original Geometry Wars, which could be found in PGR2's garage, but believe me, the REAL action is in Evolved mode. PGR4 also includes a playable arcade game, Geometery Wars: Waves. This game was also sold on XBox LIVE Arcade as "Geometry Wars 2", but again, if you have the game, you can play it via PGR4. Both these game offer frantic, old-school arcade shooter action - I highly recommend you play them! Give them a try, I guarantee you'll get hooked! Heck, it might even bump up the review scores for the PGR games as a result! lol

2) The wireless XBox Gaming adapter for the PC is $19.99, not $39.99. It is also available as part of the "Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows" package (which includes an XBox360 wireless controller and the adapter) for $64.99, so if you purchase this one, it would be like getting the adapter for $15, given that the controller by itself retails for $49.99. The added value to the adapter is that it allows you to use ANY Microsoft XBox360 wireless peripheral on the PC, including the Wireless headset. Unlike the force feedback on the wheel, I believe that rumble support on the controller is dependent on the game. I would venture to say that any of the "Games for Windows" titles on PC will support the rumble feature with the controller. I highly recommend the adapter if you want to use your XBox wireless controller on the PC vs. the keyboard/mouse.

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Couldn't agree with Shawn more. If you are using a controller on the Xbox 360 go out and get this wheel. Have had the wheel for a year now and I have no complaints.

However, I will say that I will have a Logitech DFGT in my house after Christmas so I can access all the PC Sims out their. Specifically, rfactor. Thanks to the crew here at SRT. And, I thank-you guys for that.

My wife..... she doesn't thank-you guys so much. She just says OMG more racing.

Happy Holidays everyone hope it is a festive one. See you on the track

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Another great episode and even though I don't have an Xbox I still enjoyed the review of their wheel. I think that since the "top sim cars" section is getting so popular it should maybe have more time spent on each car instead of just the 1min 30 seconds. I am really looking forward to more of your shows and OH YA.......3 more days and I get my G27!!!!! Merry Christmas.

12/23.......It is just past 8 at night here and I am going to bed now.. Not because I am old and tired (well maybe old), but because when I get up at 5 in the morning I get my new G27....I am like a kid waiting for Santa.

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Another great show guys! Even though it was heavy with Xbox 360 content (I don't own a 360). I got the chance to use the 360 Wireless Wheel on Forza 3 at Best Buy when the game came out. They had the game hooked up with three Samsung HDTV's and they game looked great. I did have problems with the wheel though. First was the force feedback. It really didn't feel like there was force feedback in at all due to the vibration that the wheel makes. It made it really hard to fight oversteer and hard to control. Another problem was the clamp. It had that cheap look and feel and I thought that Microsoft could have done a better job. The final thing is the pedals. For me they would slide a lot and I didn't have feel as much tension with the brake pedal like I can with the Logitech DFGT wheel that I own.

In conclusion, the wheel wasn't bad but could have been better.

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The clamp itself doesn't hold the wheel that well during extreme maneuvers. I ended up using velcro to help hold the wheel in place and used a wood block to stop the pedals from sliding forward. I'm sure to someone used to a higher end wheel, the 360 wheel would be a disappointment. It is, however the only wheel I've used so far and for a beginner, is not bad. And as far as I know, until Fanatec started supplying an Xbox compatible wheel, it was the only show in town. I thought Logitech used to have an Xbox compatible wheel, but I wasn't able to find one.

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Until last week I was MS Wheel user. I bought the wheel back when they included a FFB copy of PGR3 and I had a great time with it. I used it for PGR3/4 and Forza 2 before selling it with the Playseat I was using.

When NFS Shift came out I went ahead and bought a new wheel for that game and Forza 3. At this point I bought a desk from Staples and clamped the wheel to it. At first it was a tad loose and then I just put a 3" piece of wood in-between the bottom of the desk and the clamp and I was able to make the mount tight enough that it never moved.

Now I finally had my Fanatec wheel arrive a week or so ago and of course the MS wheel is not really in that league... but its far more than an acceptable wheel for an Xbox 360. I found the pedals and the wheel better for driving than I did the Logitech DFGT. The GT has a thin wheel that is "notchy" as HELL while the MS wheel has a nice thick comfortable wheel with a very smooth FFB compared to the Logitech. The pedals on both are sub-par compared to the next level of product but honestly they are more than sufficient for the under $100 price. (I had always used the "sponge mod" on my MS Wheel, place a sponge behind the brake pedal to give it more resistance, worked like a charm).

As far as durability goes, I had two wheels with hundreds of hours on the first and probably almost a hundred with the second without any issues. My $360 Fanatec Wheel lasted less than a week before the brake pedal started having an issue.

I REALLY hope there is a decent non-Fanatec solution for the next XBox as I really never want to go back from a six speed and a clutch, but at least there is a very playable first party wheel available for the existing 360.

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Your shows are just fantastic. Over the past year I have downloaded all of them to my ipod. I travel a lot and they are great to view while on the road.

One problem though. Sometimes when I download the show to my ipod I only get audio and no video. Would you know if their is a issue at your end or mine? Out of the last 5 or 6 shows about half have no video on itunes.

Keep up the great work!

Bob

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Bob, I've had that problem on my iPhone with the built-in YouTube player. It seems to me that it's the Quicktime player built into iPods/Phones that has the problem, because if I reload the video one or more times, it decodes properly. I'd say it's the software, and not anything that the SRT gang is doing. :)

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Until last week I was MS Wheel user. I bought the wheel back when they included a FFB copy of PGR3 and I had a great time with it. I used it for PGR3/4 and Forza 2 before selling it with the Playseat I was using.

When NFS Shift came out I went ahead and bought a new wheel for that game and Forza 3. At this point I bought a desk from Staples and clamped the wheel to it. At first it was a tad loose and then I just put a 3" piece of wood in-between the bottom of the desk and the clamp and I was able to make the mount tight enough that it never moved.

Now I finally had my Fanatec wheel arrive a week or so ago and of course the MS wheel is not really in that league... but its far more than an acceptable wheel for an Xbox 360. I found the pedals and the wheel better for driving than I did the Logitech DFGT. The GT has a thin wheel that is "notchy" as HELL while the MS wheel has a nice thick comfortable wheel with a very smooth FFB compared to the Logitech. The pedals on both are sub-par compared to the next level of product but honestly they are more than sufficient for the under $100 price. (I had always used the "sponge mod" on my MS Wheel, place a sponge behind the brake pedal to give it more resistance, worked like a charm).

As far as durability goes, I had two wheels with hundreds of hours on the first and probably almost a hundred with the second without any issues. My $360 Fanatec Wheel lasted less than a week before the brake pedal started having an issue.

I REALLY hope there is a decent non-Fanatec solution for the next XBox as I really never want to go back from a six speed and a clutch, but at least there is a very playable first party wheel available for the existing 360.

Great post.. I never tryed the spong behind the brake. I like that idea.

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Here are a couple pics of the inside of the MS wheel. I was a bit surprised how cheap it was. It seems to me that it is made at the barest minimum of acceptible quality. The zoomed up picture shows where it broke. It is held by 4 of those plastic posts and that is all. Anyone that has an MS wheel should be very careful about banging on the wheel.

img0168yv.jpg

img0176ls.jpg

Here is a picture of the Fanatec wheel taken from a video. I would say it is a bit more beefy than the MS wheel.

fan1k.jpg

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Not to be rude but your just showed a picture of a Fanatec product while discussing "build quality" without using the Fanatec product as an example of "poor build quality". There is probably a law against that!

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Stay on topic guys.. There's a few threads in our Hardware section regardsing Fanatec..

THanks for posting though !

What's with all of the Fanatec bashing, I've heard that they are great, and then I hear that they are crap, albeit the ones that complain about it don't even own a fanatec product.

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Stay on topic guys.. There's a few threads in our Hardware section regardsing Fanatec..

THanks for posting though !

I think it is on topic. The biggest part of the episode was the 360 wheel review. People were talking about the quality of the MS wheel. I showed pictures of the interior of the MS wheel which shows it to be fairly cheap. Since the only wheels that are compatible to the 360 are the MS wheel and a Fanatec wheel, I showed a picture of the interior of a Fanatec wheel for comparison.

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What's with all of the Fanatec bashing, I've heard that they are great, and then I hear that they are crap, albeit the ones that complain about it don't even own a fanatec product.

I wish I can use mine...but they didn't ship the RF Dongle or any cables to connect G25 or 360 pedals that they where suppose to. I been waiting two weeks now for those items they are suppose to ship out after they finally answer my e-support request :? . This is after waiting 6 months for the wheel to come in. Most complaints are their lack of response from user inquiries both in support and product info (tracking/delivery/and missing items).

The FANATEC wheels may be great but I have no idea since mine is totally not useable as it stand right now with the missing items :x . I am not alone in this, just go to the FANATEC forum and see many others are in the same boat...This really makes me 2nd thght about ordering the Club Sport pedals from them :!: .

Sorry OT...now back OT

The 360 wheel that I had was a POS. It lasted less then 3 months after I got it when FM2 came out and it was expensive at the time (well over $100cdn). Its really cheap in construction. Plastic every where...LOL :roll: . It lasted less time then the Logi Momo wheel I had which lasted less then a year. The 360 wheel I have now wiggles on the axis and the paddles do not function. That was after only ~3 months of use.

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Ron your post was very on topic and thanks for the pictures and insight.. Man that thing looks like junk.. lol..

But you get what you pay for..

I was talking about the Fanatec bashing..

I think it is on topic. The biggest part of the episode was the 360 wheel review. People were talking about the quality of the MS wheel. I showed pictures of the interior of the MS wheel which shows it to be fairly cheap. Since the only wheels that are compatible to the 360 are the MS wheel and a Fanatec wheel, I showed a picture of the interior of a Fanatec wheel for comparison.

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Ron your post was very on topic and thanks for the pictures and insight.. Man that thing looks like junk.. lol..

But you get what you pay for..

I was talking about the Fanatec bashing..

Sorry.

The MS wheel insides sure seem like a waste of space. It almost seems like they wanted to make it bigger to make it easier to use on your lap, or to give the impression of more quality.

I did get a lot of use out of the MS wheel for FM2 though. I banged on it a bit too much and it broke on FM3.

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I wish I can use mine...but they didn't ship the RF Dongle or any cables to connect G25 or 360 pedals that they where suppose to.

The Turbo S version without pedals (Pure edition) doesn't have RF dongle included, it only has USB cable for wired PS3/PC connection.

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The Turbo S version without pedals (Pure edition) doesn't have RF dongle included, it only has USB cable for wired PS3/PC connection.

Sorry to go OT

No... I ordered the RF Dongle as an addon part for the pure edition, that was before they added the wire connection option later. Its been ~two weeks since they e-mail me asking what I need and my reply, I still have not gotten the cables or the dongle.

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I was such a fan of the summer shows, but after watching this episode, I must say insidesimracing is just as spectacular in the winter too!

The price point and the fact that you can use a FFB wheel for Forza instead of a controller are about the only redeeming qualities for the MS wheel. I actually used it when I started my iRacing career and thought that although I was not getting FFB, my times would not be drastically improved by using a more expensive wheel. I then bought the G27 and my times improved dramatically over night.

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One thing I'd like to say about the MS Wheel and Forza 3.

I find that I can feel all 4 tires in Forza 3 through the racing wheel. Recently, my wife, purchased me a DFGT wheel and I'm noticing that FFB feels much like the FFB I felt in PG4 or BAJA: Edge of Control. I'm still playing with the wheel settings to try to make it feel much more like that MS Wheel. I just felt that with Forza 3 I new when I was pushing my car to the maximum through the corner and when I wasn't.

For now... with the DFGT wheel weather it is r-factor, GTR2, or even I-Racing It is feeling more like I'm floating on top of the track than in the track. This is particularly the case when I input the wheel settings that Shaun Cole points out in a Tech Tip here on SRT.

Please don't take this the wrong way.... I don't mean to knock Shaun nor SRT. Something tells me that his settings are right for r-factor, because of how precise my racing line has improved. I think it's just how the wheel is designed or it is the software with PC Racing. Tonight, I just signed up for I-racing... because I new that i-racing has the best FFB. I thought that FFB would feel more like Forza 3. It didn't.... It was better than r-factor and GTR 2. The closest I could think of is like the FFB in Grid or Dirt 2. Good, but given that the DFGT wheel nearly costs double the MS Wheel I'm really beginning to wonder if I made a good purchased or not. I'm longing for my X-box 360 and the MS Wheel back.

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