Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Wheel: test and review

The steering wheel featured Microsoft has suffered this year a makeover. If the name has not changed (the changes do not deserve in fact a reference to a version 2), it still enjoys some improvements, the most important is undoubtedly an adjusted price.

The establishment has no particular difficulty, as long as one respects the recommendations of the manual. The steering wheel should always be attached to a support (table, desk, etc.). The compression mechanism is formed of a screw to adjust the overall spacing (the wheel can be attached to the supports from 1.6 to 3.5 cm thick) and a rapid clip to lock all . The pedals, as a unit, simply laying the ground. Then simply connect the wheel to the pedal by the RJ11 cable provided and power the steering wheel using the supplied AC power.

It remains only to install drivers and programs (running without a hitch). It should be noted that under Windows XP, the steering wheel is directly recognized, the Sidewinder drivers are built into the operating system (it will still install Central Sidewinder to enjoy the profiles and programming).

Very pleasant to use

Á use this wheel turns very nice. And the new rubberized grip, bright red, significantly improves the grip. The six buttons (three for each inch) and two box gearshift buttons (located under the steering wheel like in Formula 1) fall naturally under the fingers. The pedal is stable and not leaking in support. Only reproach is the slightly excessive height of the pedals, which requires placing the pedal far enough seat for better comfort.

The force feedback, very effective, significantly majorises immersion in games that make it an advanced use. Thus, in RalliSport Challenge, players can experience the shock and road trips, but the grip on snow losses. It should be noted that this force feedback can be enabled / disabled on the fly, simply by pressing the center button of the steering wheel. It can also be set finely enough in the pilot: four power levels for force feedback and refocusing the steering wheel, the settings are independent. This driver manages other parameters: Field of inertia, sensitivity, pedal operation. The programming of eight buttons through a simple and effective module programming by combining programmed keys or shares (registration of shares), the latter offering plus some additional options (repeat, simultaneous execution of other programmed actions, maximum priority the current programmed action). The profiles can be saved, some are available for installation.

An excellent product despite the little innovation of this “new” version.