June 30th, 2008, 00:08 Posted By: bandit
Fanatec Porsche 911 Racing Wheel
Site: Buy from Fanatec
Overview : Porsche licensed steering wheel for the PlayStation 3 and PC.
- The original reproduction of a 911 leather steering wheel gives you the genuine Porsche feeling
- Wireless USB technology which provides latency free signal transmission to the PC/Console and is very robust against interference (Power supply to wheel still needed)
- 3 Force Feedback motors and smooth belt drive deliver sensational realism
- Authentic wireless pedals with clutch and soft-stop brake
- Two gear sticks included: 6+1 Speed H-pattern and sequential
- Compatible with PC and Playstation 3 (6+1 gear stick is only supported on PC and Playstation 3)
Quality/Usability : Fanatec first announced the Porsche 911 Turbo Wheel back in 2007. Finally, it has been released. I was suppose to be a beta tester back in February but never received my beta sample to test. After receiving an email stating that the beta testing is over and to send back wheel, I questioned, "send back what wheel? I never got anything". I contacted CEO and the CEO was nice enough to send me the final production version. The version you'll get when you purchase from them.
- Original Porsche 911 Turbo steering wheel design
- Licensed by Porsche
- Authentic metal Porsche logo on wheel
- Hand stitched leather wheel manufactured according to Porsche quality standards
- Compatible with PC and Playstation 3 (all games which support Force Feedback wheels)
- 6+1 Speed H-pattern gear stick with realistic shifting feel
- Additional exchangeable sequential gear stick included
- Wireless pedals with + 100 hours battery life time (low battery warning on display and optional power supply cable for simulators)
- Realistic clutch pedal with declining resistance
- Pressure sensitive brake emulation with soft-stop
- Diameter of wheel is 300 millimeters
- Gear sticks are interchangeable and can be mounted on the left or right side
- Turning angle can be adjusted in the wheel to 900°, 360° or 180° or in 1° steps by software
- For PC: Strong table clamps with quick release, special non-slip rubber pads, and Velcro strips on the pedals keep everything in place. Integrated nuts allow the strong fixation on a gaming cockpit
- For Playstation: Attachable lap wings and the attachment of the gear sticks to the wheel allow comfortable game play in the living room without the use of a table
- Illuminated button symbols switch automatically between PC and Playstation
- Powerful Mabuchi RS 550 Motor as used in RC cars delivers extra strong Force Feedback effects
- Additional 2 Force Feedback actuators in the wheel simulate motor vibrations
- Extra smooth and silent belt drive without mechanical dead zone
- High resolution wheel sensor
- TUNING functions with LED display
- Saves up to 5 wheel set-ups
- Adjust Force Feedback strength during game play
- Adjust sensitivity independent from the game
As you can see from the above list, the Fanatec Porsche 911 has a huge feature list. Most noticeable is that it features force feedback, works on PlayStation 3, PC, wireless and its licensed by Porsche. YES! Its licensed by Porsche. Rarely do you see Porsche license an item. The wheel carries the Porsche logo on the center of the wheel and has hand stitched genuine leather steering wheel. The quality of the steering wheel is the same as the quality you'll find on an actual Porsche steering wheel.
The Porsche 911 wheel uses wireless technology to connect to your PC and PlayStation 3. The wheel itself is powered through a power adapter. The pedals which contains a clutch, brake and gas pedals are powered either through a PS/2 cable that is connected to the steering wheel or from 4 AA batteries. The shifters are powered through a short PS/2 cable. The wheel contains 3 motors that provide force feedback and vibrations.
The Porsche 911 wheel also includes two USB keys that look like a Porsche key. One is a 1GB USB drive that contains PC drivers. The other is the wireless USB adapter that communicates with the wheel and pedal.
Setting up the wheel is pretty easy and straight forward. You can either use the wheel on your lap via wings or mount it to the corner of a table. The bottom of the wheel has an adjustable clamp depending on the thickness of your table. You can connect the sequential or 6+1 H-pattern shifter to either side of the wheel using two metal bars. The shifters is stiff and makes clicking noise. It wont feel the same as if you were driving a real car. When shifting, since its connected to the steering wheel, it will move. Would of been nice if there was a clamp underneath to clamp it to the end of the table.
As mentioned above, the wheel is powered via power cable. You can use the pedal either via cable that is connected to wheel for power or four AA batteries. If using cable, the length if fairly long. The wireless also gives good strength that there is no lag or interruptions unless the battery is dead.
I felt uncomfortable using the lap wings as it was too low and too close to my body. Some may like it, some may not. If you have a PlaySeat, you can also mount the Fanatec Porsche 911 to it.
The force feedback on the Porsche 911 is fairly powerful. You can adjust the feedback strength as well as turning radius and sensitivity. Turning the wheel gives a motor sound. The steering wheel also felt a little stiff for me and didnt give that real steering wheel feel. Whats nice however was the illuminated controls on the steering wheel. If connected to PC, it will light up with white LEDs and numbers. If connected to the PlayStation 3, it will light up with red LEDs with icons like those found on the SIXAXIS/DualShock3. The bottom spoke on the wheel contains the SELECT/START and directional pad. The top LED display allows you to switch between sensitivity, radius and feedback.
The pedals were spaced nicely but felt cheap. They were made of plastic and the base was too light. I have a heavy foot and tend to stomp on the gas and breaks. The bottom of the base has velcro to grip onto carpet as well as rubber feets to prevent it from sliding on hard floors. But it didnt really prevent anything. The pedals were getting further and further away from me during game play. Fanatec also included a metal plate that can be screwed to the bottom of the base to add extra weight and sturdiness. They also included a non-slip mat as well. This did work slightly better. Back to the pedals. The gas pedal felt loose when pressed on. The clutch and brake pedals were stiff. I would of preferred the gas pedal to be stiffer and the clutch and brake pedals to be less stiff. I had to use my heels to hold the base in place when pressing on the brakes/clutch.
I tested the wheel with Motorstorm, Sega Rally Revo and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. The wheel worked with Motorstorm but the pedals did not. I had to use the buttons on the wheel to accelerate and brake. From what I have been told, Motorstorm does not work with ANY wheel. With Sega Rally Revo, it took some playing around in order for it to work. If I plugged in the wheel before loading the game, pedals would not work. I had to load game up and than connect wheel. The game would then recognize that I am using a steering wheel. Gran Turismo worked flawlessly and without a problem.
Conclusion : Overall, the Fanatec Porsche 911 Racing Wheel feels great and the quality is superb. This wheel costs $350 and is $50 more than its competitor, Logitech G25. I guess thats what happens when you have a licensed product and added features such as wireless and parts. Would have also been nice if the pedals felt more real, the base had some more weight to it and shifters had clamps for more sturdiness when mounted on table. Also, it would have also been nice if there were sequential shifter paddles behind the steering wheel. This would make the driving experience even better. For a final production product, there was no manual or quick guide not in the one I got at least. Supposedly it comes with a quick guide but I never got it and to save on paper, manual is posted on the web. Luckily, I had access to a high quality printer and was able to print out the guide and manual.
Its a big purchase to spend $350 on a steering wheel. But if you're a big car enthusiast or a hardcore racing gamer, you may want to look into this. If you're just a casual gamer and only play racing games for fun, there are probably other wheels out there that can just fulfill your needs.
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