Holiday Goodies Received...

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forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006

Well, its that time again where we must know what everybody got for the holidays, gaming or otherwise. It was a good year for my gaming expansion this time around. Here's what I received:

For the Xbox360:
Wireless Steering Wheel
Viva Pinata
Star Trek Legacy
Saints Row
Rainbow Six Vegas
Battlefield 2 Modern Combat

For the DS:
Yoshi's Island

For the Genesis and Sega CD:
Power Supplies off Ebay, finally, Yippee!!!

Now, my only problem is finding time to do anything!

Cheers

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mrCustard (not verified)
With the upcoming (or

With the upcoming (or possibly delayed) wireless controller dongle, you will be able to use the 360 steering wheel on the PC, as well as regular wireless 360 controllers.

Joystiq post

Gamertag: Custardo

forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
It is a bit pricey, at 150

It is a bit pricey, at 150 bucks, but well worth it once you see how PGR3 works with it. Oh, and you do get PGR3 with it (already bought it a long time ago though, sigh...).

I hope more games will be supported as well.

Oh, I forgot to mention, it has a jack for a headset too.

One last thing, the "reply" doesn't work in the Forum section and I got kicked to the Drupal message a minute ago.

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forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
I was thinking the same

I was thinking the same thing, about using the wheel to teach about driving, especially with the gas and brake setup the way they are. All MS needs to do now is come up with a game to simulate a typical town with stop signs, lights, interstates, nasty drivers, etc, hahaha.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
It's interesting you say

It's interesting you say that, Matt. Sierra, ever on the cutting edge of PC entertainment before they were bought out, released a rather well-done driving simulator complete with steering wheel and pedals. It was indeed intended as a driving simulator for student. I know I would have loved that rather than the 1950's-era simulator and projector system I was subjected to in the late 80's...

Certainly an ideal application for the force feedback 360 steering wheel on Xbox Live Arcade would be ports of Hard and Race Drivin' and games like Outrun, all of which made superb use of force feedback. That would be another reason for me to jump onboard (it's rather pricey, so you definitely need compelling reasons to go for the wheel; also, that's the one thing I can't properly simulate on my arcade cabinet - driving games).

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Wow, that wheel sounds

Wow, that wheel sounds awesome. Sounds like it'd be ideal for teaching kids how to drive, too. ;-) Definitely much better than the ol' Pole Position cabs.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I'm actually not surprised

I'm actually not surprised you need to plug it in for the force feedback. Even the old Microsoft and Logitech force feedback joysticks for the PC had external power supplies. I guess to generate sufficient force you really do need the electrical assist. Honestly, I've never been happy with steering wheels outside of the force feedback (or free spinning) ones in the arcade. The Coleco wheel was a nice novelty, but was by no means a real wheel, and the one I have for the PS1 certainly doesn't help with the gameplay by any stretch of the imagination. All the ones in-between and after really did nothing for me (though the Logitech one for the PS2 certainly looked impressive, but again, I wouldn't get the wheel for just the one game (GT 4) unless I was truly into it).

If more games support this 360 force feedback wheel, I'll be there. I'd probably need more than Forza 2 or a revised PGR, though. If the next Burnout supported it, I think I'd definitely be there!

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Well, I just spent about an

Well, I just spent about an hour and a half with the wireless wheel and PGR3. The first day I tried it I didn't really give it a fair shot as I, guess what, didn't read the book! This time I set the wheel up on a small table using the included clamp-down attachment. I plugged in the wheel to power as you don't get force feedback on batteries. Note that you can use it on batteries alone, but again, no force feedback. The next most important step is to always, and I mean always, check the game options to ensure you're setup for the wheel.

At first I raced with the outside, behind the car, perspective. This is fine when using the handheld controller, but isn't too good for the wheel.

When I switched the view to the smaller of the two speedometer/tachometer views, it was like the heavens opened up! You had full and normal control of the car you're driving to the point where the speed sensation was like coming off the top of a roller coaster drop.

It does feel like you're inside the car and actually racing the thing. Here are the sensations I felt and you can tell me if it sounds like "real force feedback", as I'm not really sure if I can compare it to anything.

You feel:
- When the game starts the wheel "tightens" up nicely and you actually get a full 12 inches of movement. The first day I tried it I didn't have the game setup for wheel operation, so, hence what appeared to be limited movement.
- Slight vibration in the wheel as you sit in idle waiting to start the race.
- Jarring effect when you hit something and the jarring comes from the front and both sides, depending on what and where you impact.
- Rumble effect when you run off the road onto the rumble strips.
- You lose wheel sensation when you go airborn or when you skid out, just like you do with a real car.
- It's kind of hard to describe, but you feel a sensation of the wheel tightening during portions of the race where you take a turn hard or accelerate rapidly, which feels like what I can imagine to be traction.

The footpedals are positioned on a foot-square platform that is very sturdy and has a lip on the front side where you can set the back of your foot. I never had to take the back of my foot off the pedal base when I switched between the gas and brake. Nice touch by MS.

I can't wait until Forza 2 comes out.

Cheers

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Interesting about the wheel.

Interesting about the wheel. How is the force feedback? It's supposed to be real force feedback, not just rumble. I'm obviously a MUCH bigger fan of the former. I haven't used a good force feedback controller since I moth-balled my Microsoft Sidewinder joystick...

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Well Matt, I have to admit,

Well Matt, I have to admit, I only put "gaming-related" things on my wish list to the parents, wife and other relatives. I can't get enough of the stuff!! I've been online for the past 3 nights playing Chromehounds with guys from work. Besides Gears of War, it has to be one of the best games I've ever played. You get instant gratification from spending several hours building a hound and taking it onto the battlefield to find out it kicks a@@ or is a waste of good metal!

I've logged about 2 hours with Viva Pinata and it's a great game as well. My 5-year old sits there and stares at the screen while all the strange looking creatures come into the garden I'm tending. I hope more of this type of game comes out for the 360. It's sort of a cross between the Sims and Command and Conquer, hahaha.

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forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Re Bill's wondering how the

Re Bill's wondering how the wireless steering wheel works out: I connected it up right after opening the box and put in the PGR3 game that had the wheel drivers loaded onto it. After about 15 mins of test driving one of the cars I had in the garage, my first impressions are that the wheel is very "tight". By that I mean there is less than 6 inches of total left to right movement and the responsiveness is kind of scary. It will take me awhile to transition from the controller to the wheel and footpedals. I tried locating Forza to try out with the wheel, but couldn't find it anywhere, yet. More to follow.

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