For racing games, your PS3 or PS4 controller might not be giving you the kind of handling and control you crave. This is where the Logitech G29 Driving Force racing wheel comes in.
The G29 consists of a floor pedal unit and a racing wheel with a host of controls, including two paddle shifts, a directional pad, a selection dial and PlayStation buttons.
The racing wheel's build quality is superb. It features solid steel ball bearings in the wheel shaft, while the paddle shifts are made of stainless steel. The wheel is fitted with premium hand-stitched leather that gives a great grip and feel. It feels like I am driving a real car. In fact, I wish my car's steering wheel looks and feels like it.
And, you can simply lift your hands off the wheel for it to spin back after cornering - just like in a real car.
The floor pedal unit is also well built with its three metallic pedals for clutch, brake and acceleration that feel even more sturdy than those in some real cars. There is also a clutch for hardcore racing fans, which adds to the authentic driving experience.
Installation is quite simple, thanks to built-in clamps and bolt points that let you easily mount the wheel to a table or gaming racing seat.
If you do not have a racing seat or enough space on your table, I recommend using a sturdy ironing board instead, which is what I did for this review. To avoid wobbling during turns, I wedged the ironing board against my TV console. For the floor pedal unit, I recommend placing it against a wall or something sturdy, for the same reason.
The G29 can be used on PC with Logitech Gaming Software, but it works out of the box with PS3 and PS4. This review was done primarily on a PS4 with recent racing games like Project Cars and F1 2015.
On these racing games, the G29 racing wheel realistically simulates road conditions. You can feel the different surfaces of the track or when going over debris, through the force feedback of the wheel. You can also feel if you are under-steering or over-steering, giving you ample opportunity to correct your steering.
The virtual cars you drive will brake according to the force you exert on the brake pedal. And, soon, you will know not to jam on the brake to avoid skidding.
When you do skid or veer off the tarmac, the force feedback of both the wheel and pedal base will let you know about your mistake with violent shakes.
Compared with playing using a PS4 controller, I was able to steer more accurately and attack corners with greater aggression with the G29, due to its responsive controls.
I also love that it lets me drive an F1 car in manual and change gears using the paddle shifts, just like an F1 driver.
The only downer is its hefty price. You can almost buy another console with that kind of money. And if you want an even more authentic driving experience with a shift stick, you need to fork out another $99 for the Logitech Driving Force Shifter.
COMPATIBILITY: PC, PS3 and PS4
WEIGHT: Wheel - 2.25kg, Pedal - 3.1kg
Verdict: For racing game enthusiasts who have the moolah, the Logitech G29 Driving Force racing wheel is a must-have.
This article was first published on October 7, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.