My wife, who knows my passion for gaming, put one of these Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel’s under the Christmas tree for me and I have been enjoying trying it out with the racing/driving games I have in my collection at the moment.
The wheel is a nice small compact size measuring approximately 7 1/2 by 6 inches. As you can see in the image above it has a center element that has your Xbox Guide button on the front along with a Back and Start button on either side of the guide button. On the back of the upright portion in the middle is the button to connect your controller to the Xbox 360 console.
The left and right upright stalks have a non gloss finish where your hands hold on at and the left stalk has the typical D-Pad on the front and the left trigger on the back. The right hand stalk has the traditional XYBA buttons on the front and the right trigger on the back. Missing from the controller are the left and right bumper buttons but in my testing that has not been an issue. Some who play racing and driving games are remarking that they miss those buttons for some functionality such as looking to the rear and some menu options in the games.
The batteries, two AA, insert at the bottom of the wheel at opposing angles and add a little heft to the center bottom of the wheel which is nice. You connect this speed wheel to your Xbox 360 console just like you would with a standard one. The wheel also has vibration feedback motors.
As mentioned I do have a few racing/driving games and have tried the wheel out with each of them.
My current driving games:
- Shift 2 Unleashed
- NASCAR 2011 The Game
- Need For Speed Hot Pursuit
- Need For Speed the Run
- Burnout Paradise
The speed wheel worked well with all of them and control sensitivity varied with each game. I did not dive in and adjust sensitivity settings although that would likely help with some of the over steering I was experiencing. There was also a limit to how sharply you could turn the car by turning the wheel hard in one direction or another. You must still work with your speed and braking to help with the steering of the cars and it was easy in some situations to find myself steering back and forth to try and straighten up the car.
I was able to easily use the buttons on each stalk to to initiate boost, hand brakes, change views and those types of things while still maintaining control of the car.
There is a learning curve to using the wheel because it totally changes how the car reacts but it is much easier to hold the car to a certain racing line once you get the hang of how much you need to move the wheel left or right to have it turn and react.
Honestly, I do not miss the need to constantly be pushing a D-Pad button or left joystick to hold a line in NASCAR 2011 the game and I was honestly surprised the wheel worked with an older game like Burnout Paradise.
So if your looking for an alternative control method for your racing/driving games this wheel may just be the trick and the entry price for it, currently $49 at Amazon.com, is much better than the cost of some of the fancier setups you can get. I most definitely recommend this for casual gamers. Hard core gamers on the other hand are not likely to appreciate this as much because it floats and therefore is less realistic than a mounted steering wheel and pedals – which also can cost a few hundred dollars as well compared to the $50 for this device.
Now lets hear from you – if you’ve tried the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel with any other games and it works please share the game title in the comments below – thanks.