SteelSeries wheel targets sim racing crowd

Anyone who's really into driving games will tell you that the best way to improve the experience is to ditch the dual analog sticks of typical game controllers in favor of a proper racing wheel. I tend to agree, but as someone who owns a wheel, I also know that they can be cumbersome to store and awkward to set up properly—especially when playing from the comfort of a couch. If I'm only going to be doing a few laps at the end of a long day, odds are I'll reach for a controller rather than bothering with my wheel. Perhaps I should be reaching for SteelSeries' new SRW-S1 steering wheel instead.

Like standard game controllers, the SRW-S1 is designed to be held solely in your hands. There's no need to clamp the thing onto a desk, and there are no pedals to position on the floor. Motion sensors track the steering, and a pair of paddles under the user's fingertips control the brake and throttle. The wheel has a definite racing vibe, which is fitting considering the fact that Indy stars Dario Franchitti and the late Dan Wheldon helped to test it.

SteelSeries designed the wheel with racing sim Simraceway in mind, but it should work with any PC racing game. Most of the extra buttons and knobs are customizable, too.

With a $120 street price, the SRW-S1 costs about the same as relatively affordable wheel-and-pedal setups. I'm tempted to grab one to check out, but being a PC-only deal, the SRW-S1 won't help with my current Forza Motorsport 4 infatuation.

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