the latest addition to my hobby: Logitech G25. in this post, i put in 2 nicely written review. the first from PSXExtreme and the second from FileFactory. pictures are from Logitech Website. to those new buyers or would-be buyers, do take a look at this unboxing of G25 at i4u. those picstures are almost similar to pictures that i took for myself.
As a hardcore fan of the racing genre, my ultimate desire out of a sim-racer has always been authenticity – and an absurd amount of it. Specifically, out of steering wheels, I had always wanted a wheel that could rotate a total of 900-degrees. Logitech gave us that with the Driving Force Pro. But something still felt like it was missing…how about a clutch and a proper H-gate with six speeds, and a reverse gear? Thus came the Logitech G25 wheel. It not only utilizes improved force feedback characteristics and 900-degrees of control, but also a six-speed shifter assembly, with a clutch pedal added to the mix.
If you were to ask me what game activity I’ve been doing most for the past week, the answer is simple: playing Gran Turismo 5 Prologue with this wheel. This is the ultimate peripheral for die-hard car enthusiasts who are as passionate about sim-racers (i.e. Gran Turismo) as I am. Hell, it’s even the ultimate peripheral for those who are simply looking to have some realistic fun with their virtual-cars, all at no harmful expense as result of an accident. I’ve demonstrated this wheel to a large number of people, both friends and family – and every single one of them as impressed as the last. It even caused a few chair pushes for the next eager player awaiting his turn. Even my own girlfriend found herself engrossed, and to her credit she can drive an actual manual transmission fairly well.
So, as mentioned before, the G25 wheel comes with a separate assembly that features a true six-speed shifter, with a reverse gear that is engaged by pushing down on the shifter knob — just like real life. Attached to the pedal board is a clutch that needs to be pushed in just about half-way down in order to engage – again, much like a real car (but there are some quirks about this I will get to later). The shifter assembly can also be configured to work with a simple up and down touch, but using that really defeats the entire purpose of this wheel.
On the shifter assembly is a range of buttons, as well as a directional pad, all of which are instantly recognized by the game and the PS3 – so navigating is extremely easy and never cumbersome. The wheel itself features two buttons, and two paddle shifters, which will come in handy for when you’re laying down some rubber using a Formula One vehicle in the final Gran Turismo 5.
The feel of the steering wheel is absolutely fantastic, better than its predecessors. You can really feel the weight of your car, and it’s especially nice to be able to correct oversteer by replicating a technique any experienced/professional driver would use. The control over your car is certainly sublime, and it really changes the way you play Gran Turismo 5. I’ve begun setting records using the wheel, and I just cannot go back to using the controller – it just feels wrong.
Being a 350Z owner, I’ve primarily spent most of my time driving a 350Z in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, just to see how well its characteristics translate when using the wheel. The results were quite impressive, as I was able to take immediate command of the car, knowing its breaking point and its tendency to be a little tail-happy. While I’m still working on my heel-n-toe technique, I adapted to the clutch and shifter with ease – pulling off lightning fast shifts nearly each and every time. I say nearly, because the occasional – and very common – 3rd gear miss has happened to me, but learning the correct wrist movements will alleviate that greatly.
Furthermore, don’t expect to sit down in front of this unit and think you’ll dominate it: because if you have no idea how to drive a stick, or have never driven a stick before, you will struggle with this. And believe me, I’ve seen more than one person moan and groan out of frustration – some more willing to learn than others. But, I would say most car enthusiasts should be able to work the assembly with no complications.
I do have a few quirks with the wheel, and the with GT5’s implementation of the wheel. First, working the shifter takes nothing more than a baby’s touch, which isn’t something I found myself crazy over. I’d have much rather preferred a slightly firmer throw. It would’ve been nice if Logitech had designed a feature that would allow you to adjust the firmness of the throws. I’d imagine something as simple as turning a little knob or screw would tighten something up inside the assembly.
The pedals are also stiff, especially the brakes, and don’t show much sign of breaking in and becoming softer. So make sure your placement of the pedal board is smart enough so that it doesn’t move around – because you will apply some decent pressure on those brakes. Again, it would’ve been nice to be able to adjust the spring pressure of the pedals just by turning a screw. You do get used to the clutch and throttle fairly quickly, but the brakes may bother you if your pedal board isn’t sitting securely.
Another little nitpick I have deals more with the game, as opposed to the wheel assembly. It pertains to there being no engagement point when using the clutch from a dead-stop. Where as in a normal manual transmission, when engaging the clutch, the RPMs of the car will jump just a bit, and you’ll feel the car begin to inch forward. This is the engagement point of a clutch, the area where you’ll want to apply the gas and release the clutch as you do. I wasn’t able to do that in GT5 Prologue no matter how much I tried – while releasing the clutch slowly, the RPMs remained dead, and showed no signs of life. Again, it’s not a problem with the wheel itself, but how Polyphony implemented its use in Prologue. Who knows, perhaps the final release of GT5 will have this corrected.
While at just below $300, the Logitech G25 wheel is an expensive peripheral. But there’s no doubt in my mind that it is the very best thing out there for car enthusiasts seeking the purest driving experience out of Gran Turismo 5, as well as a slew of PC games. Because this wheel is designed with a USB interface, you aren’t limited to just using it on your PS3 – it was, in fact, originally intended for various PC games (such as GTR 2). You can opt to wait until Gran Turismo 5 hits later this year, and perhaps the price of the wheel will drop. Or you can pick this bad boy up in March when the American release of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue hits.
Either way, I cannot stress how utterly amazing this product is. Beyond that, I cannot stress how absolutely addictive using it is, too.
1/18/2008 Arnold Katayev
The Rolls Royce of force feedback racing wheels.
Most of the world’s large computer and electronic stores sell racks of game controllers to help us enjoy our favorite hobby. But how many of them are of high quality? Not many, in my opinion. Most are relatively inexpensive, lightweight pieces of plastic designed to go easy on the eyes and the wallet. They’re designed for the masses, to move off the shelves and into the homes of as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. The average or casual gamer is assumed to be the end user.
Fortunately, there are a few companies that recognize the existence of hard core gamers, people for whom the term “highest quality” is an integral part of their favorite hobby. Hard core gamers will spend hundreds of dollars upgrading to the fastest processors and video cards just to play the latest, most hyped, forty dollar game. For such people are controllers like Logitech’s G25 Racing Wheel designed.
The G25 arrived in an attractive and sturdy box covered with glossy photos of the goodies inside. Interestingly, the box is smaller but heavier than the box that contains Logitech’s older and less expensive MOMO Racing Wheel. Inside the box I found the wheel, the requisite wire connections, the three-pedal base, installation instructions, a press kit and a free copy of ISI’s superb racing simulator, rFactor.
The wheel itself looks absolutely magnificent. The wheel mechanism has three spokes and two buttons, with a pair of flippers behind the wheel for Formula One type shifting. The spokes and the flippers are brushed stainless steel. The wheel is wrapped in real leather with prominent stitching. I couldn’t resist giving it the nose test. The aroma of new leather was pleasantly strong like the leather interior of a brand new car.
The G25 wheel is larger than what is currently available from the competition–at least one inch bigger than the Thrustmaster RGT and Logitech’s MOMO Racing. Some racing sim fans might holler about the death of buttons on the G25, especially if they’re used to the Logitech DFP or Thrustmaster’s RGT, but I found the two button format very refreshing, because it is much more realistic, and the greater the realism, the greater the immersion factor, at least for me.
A gamepad-style thumbpad is on the separate shifter mechanism which also contains eight buttons. Logitech was wise enough to wrap the shift stick in leather, again sending a message that the G25 is serious hardware. Finally, the shifter mechanism contains a dial that is used to select how you prefer to manually shift–either sequential or six-speed H-pattern.
The pedal base is heavy. Unlike the MOMO Racing wheel which felt hollow and ready to crack whenever I put too much weight on the base, the G25 felt solid and sturdy. The gas, brake and clutch pedals are metal. I also noticed the distance between the gas and brake pedal is wider than the distance between the brake and clutch. This was a distinction missing from the Thrustmaster RGT Clutch Pedal Edition Wheel, which placed the three wheels an equal distance apart, a set up I found to be sloppy under heavy racing, but maybe my feet are unusually large.
Clearly, Logitech designed the G25 to convey the look and feel of the parts in an authentic sports car.
Setting up the G25 for the first time proved to be a bit more of a chore than with any other wheel I’ve owned. One big difference is the three separate pieces: the wheel, the pedal base, and the shifter. Underneath the wheel housing are several troughs through which you need to run all the wires. Although it was a minor pain in the you-know-what to lie the wires in the troughs, without them there would be an unsightly tangle of wires all over the place. Consider the troughs a blessing in disguise and smart thinking by Logitech.
Another pain in the you-know-what was having to connect the shifter and pedal base in a well underneath the wheel housing instead of in back of it. And despite the care to provide troughs for the wires, once set up on my desk, I found the wires just barely long enough for me to set up comfortably. Longer wires would’ve been helpful. To secure everything to your desk, the G25 wheel base contains two clamps, including spacers for thinner desks. The shifter contains two clamps and a large central screw-bolt. Once all the wires were “troughed”, I attached the wheel base and shifter in a snap. Fortunately, the pedal base contained the same carpet gripping system as the MOMO Racing Wheel. I was ready for action.
Most racing wheels with shift sticks have the sticks affixed to the wheel base just off to the right. By creating a standalone mechanism for the shifter, Logitech has enabled the user to secure the shifter to a lower level than the wheel, which would be more realistic, or to place the shifter on the left side instead of the traditional right side. So whichever is the rule for automobiles in your country, left or right, you can duplicate it with the G25.
With the folks at Logitech showing the courtesy of including a copy of rFactor, I naturally tested the G25 with that sim. I also tested it with GTR2 and NASCAR Racing 2003 Season.
While I have many racing sims, rFactor is the only one I always drive with manual shifting regardless of the type of racing car. For me, the fun in rFactor is to master its virtually unlimited venues offline and online with manual shifting. Both of the G25’s manual modes-sequential and gated-worked well with this sim.
The G25’s larger wheel size and 900 degree turning radius capability made racing feel more natural, more real than I’ve experienced with less expensive wheel and pedal systems. The word smooth comes to mind when driving rFactor. The wheel was rock solid on my desk and the pedal base did not move an inch, not even under frantic racing conditions. Moreover, the G25’s simulated pneumatic brake pedal made diving into corners easier as well as more realistic. I have one criticism of the G25 when compared to a less expensive wheel like the Thrustmaster Rallye GT Force Feedback Pro Clutch Pedal Edition. In both rFactor and NASCAR 2003 Season, the force effects in the G25 felt less engaging. Your opinion might differ, but that’s mine.
The G25 comes equipped with a dual-motor force feedback system that spreads the forces evenly throughout the wheel. But I couldn’t shake the disappointment that such an expensive and well-engineered piece of equipment could feel less engaging with force feedback implementation. Sometimes it felt as if the forces lagged a fraction of a second or two when tires made contact with bumper strips, chicanes or grass and would continue for a second or so after rubber again met smooth pavement.
But forces did not seem to re-engage instantly when I headed immediately back onto grass. This was puzzling, especially when measured against the half as expensive RGT which provides significantly more engaging force feedback particularly in rFactor. Force feedback implementation in NASCAR Racing 2003 Season was about even between the two wheels, although the RGT’s feedback seemed, again, to be more accurate.
Nevertheless, the G25 was superior overall in both sims. The larger and more comfortable steering wheel, the rock solid pedal base, the ability to feather throttle action, and the simulated pneumatic brake pedal on the G25 are unmatched by anything else on the traditional retail market.
The final test came with SimBin’s GTR2: FIA GT Racing. Predictably, force feedback engagement was very subtle with the G25, but that’s not the fault of the wheel. Force feedback implementaiton in GTR2 is, perhaps, the sim’s only major weakness. But as an overall test of realistic driving dexterity, GTR2 is unmatched, in my opinion.
The excellent features of the G25 were highlighted in this sim. I decided to re-do the Driving School challenges with the G25. I found the challenges easier to beat on the first try with the G25’s manual sequential shifting mode. The short-throw shifter and progressive throttle made accelerating and passing a very pleasing sensation. I felt in control during the challenges, especially in wet weather acceleration, braking and cornering. In actual races, out braking opponents on the corner was a breeze with the exceptional brake pedal and the G25’s 900 degree turning radius. While the huge turning radius took some getting used to, once I did both my lap times and proclivity for finding myself out of control in sharp chicanes decreased noticeably. With the G25, I feel like I’m actually driving instead of playing a game.
I’ve owned more than a dozen wheel and pedal systems and played with a dozen more. Although one or two other wheel systems do one or two things better than the G25, in my opinion, the G25 overall is the finest racing wheel and pedal system ever stocked on the shelves of the world’s popular computer and electronic stores. It is big, solidly built, and realistic looking. It looks, feels, and even smells classy. Whether you are a hardcore racing simulation enthusiast or a casual racing fan who just wants the best, the G25 is worth every penny of its $299 price tag. And there’s a bonus if you want it: the Logitech G25 will work with some Playstation 2 racing games.
Outstanding build quality; separate stick shifter; rock-solid pedal base; leather.
Force feedback implementation could be better.
If racing sims are at the top of your list, you’ve got to have a G25.
Dec 17, 2006
Review by Walter Hurdle.