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Gadget Review


G29 Driving Force Steering Wheel (PS4 / PS5)


Manufacturer: Logitech
RRP: £269.99
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With the release of Gran Turismo 7 (GT7) in VR on Playstation VR2 (PSVR2) there will be many new driving sim customers who will be itching to take the immersive experience to the next level by purchasing a dedicated steering wheel. One of the most reliable and most championed wheels over the years has been the Logitech G29. Originally released in 2015, does this kit still have what it takes to appease a new generation of driving fans?...


For an entry level wheel you can't fault the G29

As an entry level wheel, you still can't beat the G29. It's the perfect starter kit, and has a few more features than you might expect for the price. It comes with the wheel and pedals, but if you're after even more immersion then you can purchase the Driving Force Shifter gear stick separately. This will enable you to manually change gears. This, again, adds even more immersion to the racing experience.

Gaming rigs / dedicated cockpits are not in everyone's price range, so it's great to see that the G29 can be used out of the box, or attached to a rig if your budget will allow. You can secure it onto a table or desk by using the integrated mounting clamps. This helps to hold the wheel securely in place in the correct driving position. The pedals can either be fixed to a rig, or simply placed on the floor. There are retractable carpet spikes to prevent it moving, but you'll still have to be careful how much pressure you apply because it doesn't take that much force to move it.

The wheel impresses, straight out of the box, with a 280 mm rim which is clad in leather. It has an impressive cable management system that means everything is housed securely out of sight. The built in shifters do the job, but there's no feedback to make you feel like you're changing gear. A Hall Effect sensor reads the position of the wheel, which results in reliable control precision. The wheel also uses force feedback, which helps give the driving a little more weight. What it does here is pretty good, but obviously it is not as realistic as more expensive wheels. For an entry level wheel it's pretty impressive and certainly offers enough feedback to let you know what the car is doing. While the wheel does self centre, it's painfully slow and you'll be finding yourself doing most of the work yourself. But once you get used to how it handles you shouldn't find this to be too much of an issue.


The potentiometer pedals mean braking doesn't feel realistic

While the pedals don't feel particularly high quality, they're much better than a lot of the current cheap alternatives on the market. There are no bells and whistles here and no real resistance to speak of. The brake does get a little stiffer the more you press down on it, but it still doesn't realistically reflect the real experience of driving. The pedals use potentiometers to convert your actions into information for the game to extrapolate from. Potentiometers - the cheapest of the three main technologies in sim racing pedals - have a tendency to degrade over time. The G29 includes a mechanical sensor which measures how the brake has been pushed in. The game then analyses how the pedal travels and then converts this into braking force. As this is not how real cars brake, the end result doesn't feel natural. It's something you can get used to, but it's not ideal.

Because potentiometer pedals use spring/dampners to reproduce the resistance, it makes it harder to train muscle memory in order to create the perfect brake pressure. While this is fine as an entry level set, a quick look online will result in many options to upgrade these pedals with slight teaks in tech. Or, should you really get bitten by the bug, you can always upgrade to a much pricier load cell based kit. Load cells measure the pressure applied to the pedal. They then send the strength of the breaking signal to the game, resulting in a much more realistic driving experience. It's easier to create muscle memory here and overall will greatly improve your racing experience.


The G29 can be used out of the box, or attached to a rig

You could look at the mid-range Hall Effect technology-based pedals, but as these are similar to potentiometer based sets, you'll still have an issue with muscle memory as the technology still doesn't accurately recreate real-life hydraulic car driving. In addition most manufacturers only use the technology for the clutch and accelerator pedals.

For casual gamers, or as an entry level set up, you really can't fault the G29. It's cheap and does a great job of adding another level of immersion into the gaming experience. If you're looking for your first piece of kit, then this is perfect. It will give you a taste of real driving at an affordable price. But be warned, once you're bitten by the bug you'll be looking at upgrading to a more realistic piece of kit and that can get very pricey. But as it stands, I'd argue that the G29 is still the king of entry level wheels for today's market.


Darren Rea

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