Recently, I noted about the exciting new peripherals that are adding to the enjoyment of PC gaming. I discussed updating my mouse and keyboard to enhance online experience with role-playing games – you can read about it here. Our friends at SteelSeries thought that I should add the SRW-S1 Steering Wheel to my gaming repertoire, so they sent me one to try out. Let me state for the record that I am not a fan of racing games. The only types of racing games that I do enjoy usually involve vehicle mounted weapons or stunt tracks. Also, I have never cared for using my PC for racing type games. I reserve my console systems for that fun. I currently have the usual suspects for those systems: Mario Kart, MX vs. ATV, Project Gotham Racing 4 and Gran Turismo. Finally, I have never liked using any of the manufactured steering wheels that any of the systems have produced. They have all proven a disappointment even when compared to using the regular gamepad.
I really did not have a lot of hope for a PC steering wheel, let alone one with so many buttons and dials on it. This thing looks like what I would imagine the steering wheel in the Batmobile should look like. It comes with no software and just plugs into the USB port – pretty simple.
I plugged it in and it was immediately recognized, so far so good. Since I did not own any PC racing titles, I visited the supplied game site of Simraceway.com and downloaded the free race game. Installed and a few minutes later, I was racing online against a full track in Ohio somewhere. The SRW-S1 Steering Wheel handles much like a Nintendo Wii-mote. It is held like a regular wheel and controlled while it is suspended in mid-air. It is surprisingly accurate in the turns and the finger controls for gas, brake and transmission are also responsive. The transmission controls give a click to alert the player of activation. Moreover, there really are all the buttons one would need to control every feature in the game – even the horn.
In closing, the SRW-S1 Steering Wheel is a great addition to any desktop for the avid PC gamer. Not only does it have the built-in Simraceway game, but it also works with just about any of the newer releases on the market. As a follow up, I picked up a copy of Dirt 3; which also runs like a dream with this wheel. Click here for more information about the SRW-S1.