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.

Comments closed
    • cynan
    • 8 years ago

    I wonder how this compares to the new [url=http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Wireless-Speed-Wheel/dp/B0050SY0L2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322088309&sr=8-1<]Microsoft Speed Wheel for the Xbox 360[/url<]. Sure, you only get the standard Xbox controller buttons with the Speed Wheel (minus the left and right bumper buttons - doh, what were they thinking?). But aren't people who are really concerned about having a fully customizable sim wheel going to go for something that clamps down with pedals anyway?

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    It looks like it’s calibrated pretty well with no noticeable lag:

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=210Z3kyLooo[/url<] Steering in the air is pretty strange though.

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      I made the assumption that there would be no lag.

      If there is any perceivable lag, SS don’t have a product, period.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        I noticed lag, maybe 100-200ms worth, it seemed.

        I had forgotten how dull pure racing games are, however. Clever way of refreshing my memory.

          • d0g_p00p
          • 8 years ago

          I’m with you on this. The only racing games I like is the burnout series. Most racing games just seem really boring. It does feel nice to “drive” a car you have always wanted or a car that you cannot have or will never have access to. I view hardcore racing sims like most flight sims, you pretty much have to really be into them to appreciate them. Boring and dull for most of us but pure gold for those who enjoy them.

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    So what’s the funnest racing game with the easiest learning curve? Always wanted to try one of these games.

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      Trackmania, sacrifices realism for instant-action, arcade fun.
      A wheel is probably overkill for something like Trackmania though.

      Codemasters driving games are usually pretty easy to get into with arcade gameplay and plenty of driver aids, yet they can also be configured for a lot of realism:

      – Race Driver: Grid
      – F1 2010/2011
      – Colin McRae Dirt2/Dirt3

    • RostokMcSpoons
    • 8 years ago

    Blimey… so this is PC only? Where serious gaming PCs are almost always big boxes (so not in the living room) feeding a monitor (not a TV) so usually tucked under a desk… to which you could clamp a proper wheel….

    I can see the point for the xbox / ps3 people who are sitting on sofas and beanbags, but the PC people just aren’t going to buy it

    It seems the marketing dept haven’t been speaking to the development dept… but if they are now, they’re probably running around shouting “how the freakin’ hell are we going to sell this? What have you done??? We’re all dooooooomed”

    • cheapFreeAgent
    • 8 years ago

    I see:
    Three fan controllers. One for CPU, one for graphic card and one for the case.
    One button for activating Turbo Core profile and one for energy efficient.
    A couple buttons to increase and decrease things as well. (like display’s contrast, cpu speed etc.)

    I want this !!

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Realism and imagination collide.

    Literally.

    Both are maimed horribly in the accident and your wallet is in a coma.

    • bowman
    • 8 years ago

    I’m sorry but that is completely idiotic. No axis? No pedals? What the flying everloving fuck is the point then?

    • wingless
    • 8 years ago

    My FORCE FEEDBACK Logitech G25 allows me to feel the virtual road a helluva lot better than my imagination and a wheel hovering in mid-air. For the price, get yourself a Wheel+Pedals set.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      I’m inclined to agree. This is more suited to Mario Kart than a real driving simulator. In fact, Mario Kart Wii comes with a plastic wheel to make your Wii remote just like this…heh

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        I found that Wii wheel to be really awful and the game was more fun with a gamecube controller.

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 8 years ago

    I love racing sims. My next computer will probably sit next to my LCD TV in the living room and hooking up my 10 year old MOMO Force wheel could be not only cumbersome but next to impossible. If reviews of this controller are positive I may just be getting one. Yeah I’ll miss having the wheel attached to anything solid and the pedals but I can live with it to be reclined a comfy chair with a cup holder…. 🙂

    • Hattig
    • 8 years ago

    Just steal a sportscar from your local dealership if you want a realistic racing (and police chase) gaming experience.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    Isn’t the entire advantage of a real wheel that you can “feel” the car better… which this now loses… if I understand this correctly it works more like the Wii steering wheel??? which if true means this pretty much sucks.

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah if you are going to use this thing you might as well just use a mouse. Neither of them give feedback, and I doubt it could be more precise than a mouse. You can get a pretty decent wheel/pedals combo for less than $120 too. I raced online in Live For Speed leagues with a $110 wheel.

    • TravelMug
    • 8 years ago

    “the SRW-S1 is designed to be held solely in your hands”

    FAIL! (and for $120 at that)

      • cegras
      • 8 years ago

      It seems like a martial arts exercise where one is expected to hold their arms out at shoulder height for hours on end.

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