Anyone have any recommendations for a multi-platform wheel? I've been a GT3 playing fiend lately and I think I spend enough time with the damn thing to justify the cost of a wheel for the PS2. I'm also tempted to start spending time wht NASCAR 4, or to maybe go back and try some of the mods for Grand Prix Legends. I've heard that there are some wheels that work for the PS2 and PC, but I'm wondering if this sort of multi-platform support compromises quality.
Any of you armchair drivers have any advice?
By Sean Tudor on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 07:58 pm:
I had an old Thrustmaster T2 but it was such a bitch to setup I have relegated it to the broom cupboard.
I guess I am not a dedicated racing fan. :-)
By Dave Long on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 08:45 pm:
I'll look around a bit when I get time, Tom. Right now I'm using an ACT Labs Force RS as my wheel/pedal setup. Force feedback is definitely worth the extra bux IMO. This wheel also supports the gated shifter for Grand Prix Legends. Highly recommended. It's what I used to review NASCAR Racing 4 which also has excellent support.
The only problem is that despite its modular cartridge technology that allows it to be used with the Playstation, N64 and Dreamcast, they have yet to produce an RS engine for the Playstation 2 specifically. However, there's a very real possibility that the Playstation RS engine should work fine with the PS2 itself since you can use PS One peripherals on the PS2.
Check out ACT Labs website for more info. They also sell a version of the wheel with no force feedback though I've seen my GPL control improve considerably thanks to this wheel.
As for GPL mods, I posted a link to the jfCarset in one of the other recent threads. Check that out for sure. It adds tons of detail to the cars and brings them much closer to their historical counterparts. It's a fantastic user-created set of enhancements. GPL is still the number one sim for me. I like oval-track racing a ton, but I prefer open wheel race cars to the 3500 lb. tin cans of NASCAR. If someone does a proper CART or IRL sim sometime soon, I'm there. I haven't had the time to check it out, but someone has done a mod for F1 Championship Season 2000 by EA Sports that makes the F1 cars into CART cars. One of these days I'll have a look at that.
Also, if you want to experience my favorite type of auto racing, pick up Ratbag's Dirt Track Racing: Sprint Cars. Sprint car racing is perfectly suited to the PC. Ten lap qualifying heats where you have to finish in the top four to make the feature race. Then a 20 to 30 lap sprint for the win. The great thing about sprint cars is their high horsepower and low weight. There's nothing else quite like it, especially on dirt. On asphalt a supermodified compares, but most people have no idea what those are unless they live in the northeast or well, heh, near you in California. :)
Supermodifieds are even faster and turn speeds near 150 to 160mph on a half-mile oval. Darrell Waltrip, famed NASCAR driver, drove one in an exhibition a number of years ago and questioned the sanity of the regular weekly drivers when he got out. He said it was one of the few times he was frightened by a race car. Maybe someday some group of programmers with a lot of time on their hands and a love of "supers" will make a sim for us. One more untapped form of racing that would make a great simulation.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 12:25 am:
Just FYI, that GT3 branded wheel that Sony sells for the PS2? It's a rebranded Logitech Wingman Formula Force. So I'm guessing that buying a WFF and plugging it in via USB will work fine on the PS2.
Q. What is the GT Force wheel?
A. The GT Force is a direct PS2 port of the Logitech Wingman Formula Force GP wheel. The wheel has force feedback, but no clutch pedal. The wheel has two shifter buttons (one on each opposite spoke of the wheel rather than paddle shifters or a gear shift lever), and it seems that it is Logitech's highest-quality wheel to date. The USB wheel should be priced at approximately $100. GT logos are on the centre cap of the steering wheel as well as on the bottom spoke. Some other racing games have announced support for the wheel, but not every game will have the programming elements needed to support the wheel.
Q. What other wheels are compatible with GT3?
A. At the moment, very few wheels have been confirmed as compatible with GT3. However, we do know that the identical Logitech Wingman Formula Force GP wheel is compatible, as well as the Thrustmaster
By Raphael Liberatore (Sfcommando) on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 03:12 am:
Tom-- I'm in process of completing a Racing Wheel Round-up for CGW. I'll give you my final impressions when we're finished (in about a week). For now, I'll need more info from you: How much are you willing to fork over for a wheel? Does it have to be multi-platform?
I have to agree with Dave- the Act Labs is a good rig. However, Microsoft and Thrusmaster make decent force feed back wheels, too. If you're looking at price, then consider Logitech and Saitek's really inexpensive wheels. If you simple have to have extreme quality aka the best, and willing to spend a small fortune, then Simpros and Thomas Industries are the ones to consider. Mad Catz makes an console only wheel. Save Simpros, Thomas Industies, and Act Labs, the above manufactures tend to go cheap on pedals. This is where price becomes the factor. I'll keep ya posted...
By TomChick on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 01:28 pm:
To answer Raphael's question, I'm not the least bit interested in force feedback (I want to improve control more than "immersion", which I already get plenty of when I like a racing game). It is, however, important that I can use it with a PC and a PS2. I already have an old Thrustmaster wheel (strictly old school, pre-USB analog; also -- like Sean's -- relegated to my closet), but I'm looking for something I can use with my PS2 as well.
At this point, it looks like the Act Labs RS (non-FF) is the best way to go, but I'm a bit alarmed that it's not confirmed to work with GT3. I'll have to look into the other brands you mentioned, Raphael.
And maybe I'll just stick with my old analog TM and get one of those cheapie Logitech things for GT3.
Of course, part of me is saying, 'nah, you're doing just fine with the gamepad'. But this is only because I haven't tried a wheel with GT3 yet. Have any of you guys?
By tim elhajj on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 01:49 pm:
Haven't tried GT3, but all the good word is making it hard not to pick up my very own PS2. It *is* a little alarming that you can't get a decent cross platform wheel.
Tom, about FF. It's really helped me get to a level of percision that I just couldn't achieve without. Not sure how helpful it is for a console, but it's especially nice in GPL and N4.
By XtienMurawski on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 03:40 pm:
"I had an old Thrustmaster T2 but it was such a bitch to setup I have relegated it to the broom cupboard."
Are you sure that's a wheel you're talking about there? It sounds like some kind of marital aid.
Do any of you guys know if GT3 will ever have a port to the Dreamcast? I don't even know if that is the correct terminology, "port to the Dreamcast," as I'm not really up on console speak, but I'm just asking if I'll ever be able to play the game on the DC. I tried out Sega GT but it didn't impress me as much as seeing GT3.
Failing that, are there any decent racing games for the DC that are comparable?
"You build me a car, and I'll win Daytona next year."
By Dave Long on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 03:52 pm:
Sega GT is as close as you'll get to a native Dreamcast game like Gran Turismo 3. However, if you grab the Bleem! for Dreamcast disc that works for Gran Turismo 2, you can then buy GT2 for the Playstation and play that on your DC. Gameplay is virtually identical to GT3 but graphics aren't going to be as good (obviously). However, the Bleem conversion does a very good job of sprucing up GT2. GT2 also has many more cars than GT3.
For racing on the DC, other top titles are Test Drive:Le Mans (indispensible), Metropolis Street Racer, Daytona USA (the arcade game) and a better simulation than GT3 is Ferrari F355 Challenge. Ferrari only models that one car, but it's by far the best driving sim for a console.
By XtienMurawski on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 05:24 pm:
Sorry, but what is this "Bleem!" that you speak of?
And thanks for all the other suggestions, Dave.
By Dave Long on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 08:29 pm:
It's basically an emulator. Have a look at Bleem!'s web site. They have shots of the before and after of their filtering, graphics conversion, etc. through emulation on a Dreamcast of a Playstation. Given how poor the resolution is on the Playstation, their work to make GT2 work on the Dreamcast is remarkably stunning.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 03:27 pm:
I have Bleemcast for GT2 and it is very nice but if you decide to get it by all means do not ever let yourself see GT3 in action. Otherwise you will never want to play GT2 again. I had played GT2 for 3 solid days before I saw GT3. I could not go back. It probably looks about 10 times better, no exaggeration.
Bleemcast for GT2 does make a dramatic difference compared with the PS I saw both back to back. For 30 bucks if you have never played GT2 before it is a lot of fun.
By Gordon Berg on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 03:13 pm:
Just got the bleemcast/GT2 combo for my Dreamcast the other day. The graphics are obviously much sharper, but there's this weird wiggly effect. Sort of like looking at the graphics through a water filter of some sort. I dunno, I guess they're best described as "wobbly."
By BobM on Friday, August 24, 2001 - 11:26 am: