Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What the Wednesday?: Radica Gamester Steering Wheel Controller

Hi Folks! Welcome to What the Wednesday?, my weekly photo showcase of strange and obscure side of video game collecting.

Generally, the most cost-effective way to get into game collecting is to buy in bulk. Of course, that sometimes leaves you with an oddball game or accessory that you really had no intention of owning, or in some cases, didn't even know existed. Today's feature is a bit of both.

This is the Gamester steering wheel controller by Radica:

Thrown in with a PS One I bought over the summer, I was happy to have it over yet another  Dual Shock controller (if for no other reason than the novelty factor).

As you can see, it's a purpose-built racing controller. In lieu of traditional analog sticks, the Gamester wheel has a rubberized, rotating grip that you use to steer your vehicle left and right.

I took it for a spin this evening and it was actually a lot of fun. I wouldn't say that it's any more or less precise than using a standard analog stick, but the steering sensation makes for a fun variation on the theme. Also, it's no substitute for a true wheel and pedal setup, but it's 90% easier to live with and looks 15% less ridiculous during normal use.

I found that the wheel could definitely benefit from a few more degrees of rotation (imagine trying to steer your car with a wheel that only turned 30 degrees) and the shoulder buttons--recessed in the back of the controller--to be nearly impossible to use. Still, it beats the hell out of the Wii wheel.

It has a supplemental D-pad on the face to help you navigate menus, and the rumble feature is present and accounted for--maybe even too present. I have no idea what the mode button does. I can only assume it opens and shuts your neighbor's garage door.

Highly recommended if given to you with the purchase of something you actually wanted. Otherwise, I'd be happy to pay in the ones of dollars to buy it on its own.

1 comment:

  1. Now *that* is a wicked cool steering wheel controller. Thanks for sharing!