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Logitech Driving Force Wireless review: Logitech Driving Force Wireless

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Logitech makes three current steering wheel models for the PS3. At the top of the line is the $300 G25 Racing Wheel, a superpremium "simulator-grade" product that boasts a hand-stitched leather wheel, a six-speed shifter, and metal pedals. Further down the line is the Logitech Driving Force GT. It's a more mainstream version of the G25 that still features force feedback and 900-degree rotation, but the wheel, gearshift, and pedal setup are all downgraded a bit--saving you half the price of the G25.

7.3

Logitech Driving Force Wireless

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Wireless operation; one-piece steering wheel sits on your lap with no clamping required; force feedback; relatively lightweight and easy to stowaway; also works with PS2.

The Bad

Build quality and overall feel is a step down from the Logitech Driving Force GT; no battery option, so this "wireless" wheel still needs an AC cord.

The Bottom Line

Logitech's Driving Force Wireless for the PS3 may not be for hard-core racers, but what you give up in performance you get back in ease of use and set up.

The Driving Force GT was still a wired model that required you to connect a cable to your PS3, clamp the wheel to a table or desk, and deal with the foot pedal setup as well. That's why Logitech created new a entry-level model: the Driving Force Wireless. It's a one-piece steering wheel that--as its name implies--is wireless (except for the power cord) and is designed to sit on your lap without any clamping required. The gas and brake "pedals" are flaps positioned just behind the wheel. To hit the gas or brake, you pull up on either flap with your hand. (Wii users take note: Logitech offers the nearly identical Speed Force Wireless, which is optimized for the Nintendo console.)

The Driving Force Wireless lives up to its billing as being simple to operate and easy to set up. You plug a USB dongle into one of the USB ports on your PS3, then connect the AC adapter to the steering wheel, and plug it into a power outlet. (For whatever reason, the wheel doesn't use the PS3's built-in Bluetooth, which is why you're required to use the included dongle.)

To test the wheel, I sat down on a couch, fired up Gran Turismo Prologue, and set the wheel in my lap, adjusting the contoured, expandable lap rest until the wheel felt comfortable on my thighs. The contoured edges keep the wheel affixed to your legs fairly well, but you won't feel the wheel is truly secure, as you would with a wheel that is clamped.

This model offers force feedback, but it isn't quite as strong--and the wheel just isn't quite as tight--as the force feedback on the step-up Driving Force GT. In short, if you're looking for a wheel that has a truer race-car feel to it, this one probably isn't going to cut it, but it definitely enhances the driving experience compared with using the PS3's controller.

Note that the Driving Force Wireless works with the PS3 and the older PS2, as well. The full list of compatible games is available at Logitech's Web site.

In the end, the key selling point is the wheel's convenience factor. To make sure you don't lose the USB dongle, there's a little compartment for storing it when the wheel is not is use. Yes, it would be nice if the wheel had a place for storing the AC adapter, too, but as it is, you only have to deal with the wheel and that power adapter, so packing it up and stowing it in a closet is easy.

Since their release, the gap in price between the Driving Force GT ($150 MSRP) and the Driving Force Wireless ($100 MSRP) has narrowed, with the GT seeing more of a discount than this model. Ultimately, what it comes down to is whether you're willing to sacrifice some performance for easy setup and break down. We suspect more people will opt to go wireless--and pedal-less. But Logitech's got you covered either way.

7.3

Logitech Driving Force Wireless

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 7