Posted on November 21, 2012 AT 11:55pm
Sensitivity and comfort personified
Gioteck’s FR-1 Wireless Racing Wheel promises a realistic and immersive driving experience, but can its vast number of features help deliver on this bold promise?
Now I’ve never been a fan of racing wheels, the last time I used one was back in the PlayStation 1 days, and since then I’ve preferred a standard controller for comfort and ease of use. However, the FR-1 may have just changed my opinion.
The FR-1 is not only stylish, with its carbon styled look, but also ergonomically designed meaning there’s no worries about ending up with aching arms or back pain after using it, an issue that has always put me off using wireless wheels. Luckily this stylish wheel has none of these problems, I spent several one-two hour sessions with it and didn’t feel any pain whatsoever, but I’m guessing if you’re super hardcore then using it for several hours at a time would probably lead to some arm ache.
In terms of button layout the FR-1 almost ticks all the boxes, the trigger buttons, dpad, and face buttons are all easy to reach, however I did struggle a little with the “Nudge” buttons mapped as L1 and R1 for use with changing gears, I could reach them, but only by stretching, if you’re someone with small hands then you’re going to struggle. Although, if you’re an automatic gear user then I wouldn’t worry about this little niggle. There’s also the option to remap the buttons if you want to.
The wheel also comes with Rumble feedback functionality which really adds to the realism and immersion factor of the peripheral, it’s not the over the top, shake your bones rumble that some use, it’s just the right amount to keep your head firmly in the experience without worrying about hand damage.
When it comes to sensitivity the FR-1 is in its prime, the wheel is responsive and doesn’t require you to turn it upside down just to turn a corner. Movements feel fluid and natural so you won’t find yourself skidding all over the place like the wheel I used all those years ago, there is also an option to adjust the sensitivity if you are unhappy with it. Like most wireless peripherals there are a couple of milliseconds of lag, but it’s not enough to ruin the experience and after a couple of hours with the wheel you will forget that it is even there.
SUMMARY: There isn’t much you can fault the FR-1 on, if I was going to pick something it would be the lack of an analogue stick for looking around the vehicle and quickly flicking through menus, however the dpad will more than suffice for the latter. If you’re after a wireless racing wheel then I highly recommend that you check this one out.
- THE GOOD: Comfortable with precision handling.
- THE BAD: Miniscule lag and hard to reach Nudge buttons.
- THE UGLY: A lack of analogue sticks making navigation tedious.
The Gioteck FR-1 Racing Wheel is a PlayStation 3 exclusive, for more details visit www.Gioteck.com.
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