The Logitech G25 Racing Steering wheel is an excellent well crafted addition to any hard core race gamers arsenal. My husband "hinted" for weeks just prior to Christmas last year that this steering wheel was his all time dream.
He's a very intense F-1 fan and he's been known to schedule his business trips, pleasure outings and to-do list around the F-1 season. A calendar he has at the office is specially designed to ensure that he never misses a televised race and the year that we attended the F-1 in Montreal with him, it was difficult not to get swept up in the fever of this particular circuit.
The G25 steering wheel is an extremely well designed and true to realism wheel complete with F-1 racing paddles that straddle the steering wheel well within easy reach of the driver to manipulate the 6 speed shifting option and reverse control or the driver can use the wheel in tandem with the 6 speed stick shift which is covered in a smooth leather, that comes with it. Using the stick shift is almost identical to that of a real car and when I race, I prefer the stick shift over the paddles, as it tends to keep me up to speed with standard driving, just in case I should have to ever get behind the wheel of one again. I love speed and this wheel combined with a racing simulator is my opportunity to get on the virtual highway, touring music up loud and just burn rubber!
The wheel requires a Windows Pentium processor with a minimum of 256MB Ram and at least 20 Mbs of free disk space in order to load the configuration software that comes with it. The wheel itself quickly installs via a USB port so at least one USB slot is required. Games such as RFactor, Formula 1, Need for Speed and Grand Turismo work great with this wheel. The Company offers a 1 year Limited Warranty against defects, which is pretty well standard. There is also a G25 Steering wheel available for the Playstation 3.
The gas, clutch and brake pedals are made of durable steel on piston supports that press and depress just as though you were operating them in an automobile. When using the stick shift, you also manipulate the clutch, break and gas as though you were in a real car.
The steering wheel itself is a smooth hand stitched leather and has a full 900 degree steering ratio, able to turn fully 2-1/2 times, just as though you were manipulating a real car. It's designed to allow for long distance racing simulations without causing the driver to become uncomfortable.
The unique thing about this wheel is the Logitech force feedback feature, when used with simulator games, it senses every bump, crash, hit and wipe out (or as sometimes can happen when you aren't watching the road -- a nasty fall from a very steep cliff!) through the steering wheel giving the driver the true life sensation through vibration and movement, that they would feel if they were driving in real life.
The steering wheel calibrates every time the computer is powered on, which is one of the issues I do have with it. When my husband has left the steering wheel connected and decides to run a race using his R-Factor simulator, the steering wheel turns several times to adjust and recalibrate its settings, and given that he has the computer in the bedroom, it does wake me some mornings at 5:00 a.m. when he's trying to get a bit of practice in.
The steering wheel itself clips onto a desktop by clamps that are screwed tight. This allows for quick removal when required. The steering wheel and foot paddles are easily tucked away after each racing session or they can just be left in place for the next time.
Overall, the price although somewhat steep, is well worth the money. My husband has gotten many hours of enjoyment using this wheel for racing and just recently the Ministry of Transportation here announced that the G25 steering wheel will be used in the near future in a new Driver's program to be launched. New drivers in Ontario, Canada will be expected to undergo 15 hours of driving simulation prior to actual road driving. The G25 steering wheel and foot pedals offer the most realistic experience for new drivers and when combined with a simulation program that is patterned after real world roads, hazards and obstacles, new drivers will definitely be more prepared to get behind the wheel of an actual car after using this steering wheel and the simulator.
Our second oldest son and our 16 year old daughter have both used my husband's F-1 game and this steering wheel to log in over 25 hours each for driving. Surprisingly, the effort they put into their computer driving has definitely paid off. Both children stepped into my husband's truck the same day they received their license and drove it as though they'd been behind the wheel for months. Proof that this steering wheel does indeed help to create a true driving experience when combined with a simulating game.
To give you an idea of just how real this steering wheel makes a race or driving session, a few months after my husband received this, he entered an online race that was several hours long. After he completed it, he went to work the following day and began suffering what he thought was chest pains from a heart attack. At the ER everything checked out fine and that evening while behind the wheel of an actual car, he realized that the chest pains he'd experienced where actually from muscles that he'd over worked while driving in the lengthy simulation race.
For those who are looking for the real deal when it comes to experiencing a true life experience with your racing games, the G25 is the steering wheel combination that will make those games come alive and is the only wheel you will need for some time to come.