Logitech has introduced two new steering wheel peripherals: the high-end G25 Racing Wheel for PC and PS2, and the DriveFX Axial Feedback Wheel for Xbox 360. The G25 is an elaborate peripheral that consists of three sections: the wheel itself, a six-speed gearshift, and a weighted foot pedal base that sports an accelerator, a brake, and a clutch. The wheel is wrapped in leather, boasts full 900-degree rotation, and features "simulator grade" force feedback, according to Logitech. The entire system connects to the PC or PS2 with a single USB cable. Serious racing fans will need to shell out a whopping $300 for the G25 when it drops in October.
I got a chance to take the G25 out for a test-drive at Logitech's booth, and I was pleasantly surprised. The force-feedback function was far better than the simple buzzing you get with most controllers, and the wheel had some real heft to it, as if you were actually controlling a vehicle instead of manhandling a piece of plastic. I played a PC racing title using manual transmission, and the clutch was fully responsive, allowing me to downshift into turns. I'm not enough of a racing fan to pay $300 for it, but those who do may very well find it to be the Lexus of gaming wheels.
The more modest DriveFX is a two-part system (wheel plus accelerator/brake foot pedals) notable for being Logitech's first steering wheel peripheral for the 360. It has "axial-feedback technology," an upgraded vibration technology that is intended to better simulate the driving experience. The Logitech DriveFX will be available in July for $100.