|SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 Wheel|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Tuesday, 03 January 2012|
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Closer Look: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1
In this section we take a good look at the SteelSeries SRW-S1 steering wheel and talk about some of its features.
The SRW-S1 steering wheel ships in a pretty basic package but gives a really nice view of the product inside. The information is basic but so is the wheel (regardless of all of the buttons). This is one of those ideas that makes you wonder why it took this long for someone to come up with it, but motion control has never been too accurate on consoles so maybe that is the reason why it hasn't been tried before now.
The rear of the box has some information pertaining to the game that this wheel was designed for - Simraceway. I don't know who approached who but the wheel far exceeds the game in terms of build quality and visuals and playability. I will go into a little more detail later, but for now let's just say there are better racing sims available.
The SRW-S1 steering wheel has a really authentic looking F1 theme and plenty of buttons to map to, covering all of the common features found in all racing sims. The buttons have a positive tactile feedback when pressed and are also cleverly color coded to their specific functions, for example the blue buttons all relate to changing your view and the orange buttons are for brake bias control etc.
Accelerating, braking and gear changes are dealt with by these four paddles on the rear of the wheel. The top two paddles are for changing gear and give an audible and tactile click, the bottom left paddle is your accelerator and the bottom right paddle is your brake. Both the brake and the accelerator are spring loaded and pressure sensitive giving you very responsive control in game, the short travel distance of these paddles makes the SRW-S1 hard to use to begin with but as you progress it becomes a blessing in disguise.
The moulded hand grips fit your hand nicely but after extended use feel very dry and powdery. This is not such a bad thing and might be considered a bonus as I have not had any issues with sweaty hands during use. The strip of LED's atop the SRW-S1 only works if supported by the game you are playing and could be considered too bright, the only game that currently has full support for the SRW-S1 is Ignites 'Simraceway' racing simulator. The SRW-S1 steering wheel has quite a small profile, and compared to a full wheel/pedal setup, won't take up very much room at all. My main gripe is that it is constantly tethered to its 2.4m long USB cable which makes packing it away somewhat of a chore. It would be nice if the USB cable were detachable for storage/transport.