Racing fans have recently had the option to compete professionally without the means of buying a car and finding a track. Thanks to eSports racing from the likes of Project Cars, Codemasters F1 series and Gran Turismo, players can now purchases highly-realistic racing wheels and setups to bring the track into their rooms. Logitech has been in the market for quite some time with an excellent line of wheels. The G27 was the go-to during the last generation that was more affordable to the mainstream. For the current generation, they have energized the technology for its G29/920 line of wheels and built on the excellent foundation of its previous wheel.
Logitech released the G29 for the PlayStation 4 and the G920 for the Xbox One. Both are with the PC and offer the same technology other than the face buttons. All of the buttons are on the front of the wheel including a directional pad for easy access. The G29, which was provided by Logitech for this review, even offers a share button on the wheels so literally every option is easily accessible. There are also LEDs that indicate RPMs when it’s time to shift. The wheel plugs in via USB, but does lack a headphone jack. To use wired headphones, players will need to plug it up to the DualShock 4 controller and set it near them. It would have been nice to have this integrated into a spot on the wheel or its connections.
The wheel is comfortable and wrapped in leather. It features a metallic wheel stripe that serves as a visual cue for steering directly on top. Many real life racers will put a piece of tape for this reason. The wheel also features high quality, metallic paddle shifters that are crisp to pull the trigger during shifting. As for steering, the Logitech G29 offers 900-degree rotation, which is the same as any car on the road. The steering feels completely free and players will not be limited in making wide corners. The dual-motor inside the steering unit provides superbly-realistic force feedback. This allows for players to feel every bump in the road along with sensing a loss of traction fairly easily. The technology is excellent for the price of the unit.
The other accessories with the G29 include the pedals and an optional shifter. The actual pedals are also metallic and include an accelerator, brake pedal with resistance to simulate hard braking and a spring-loaded clutch. Much like the G27, the G29 includes a carpet-grabber to help keep the base still. It does have holes for mounting to an actual setup, but that might not be feasible for a lot of people. The base of the unit is plastic and light, and needs to be heavier as I consistently have issues with keeping it in place. This might be one of the areas were costs were cut to make the unit more affordable. The steering housing is also in a non-attractive plastic casing. It would be nice to have some sort of eye-catching design with it, but the wheel, itself, is attractive enough.
Speaking of attractive, the six-speed short-shifter accessory is a very nice piece of hardware. It features a small and round leather handle. Shifting is compact, quick and fluent and reverse is achieved by pushing down on the handle. It retails for $60 and is really worth it for the full experience. Problem is, games like Project Cars and F1 lack cars that feature real shifters, as the more modern race cars go with the paddle system. Unless you have a seat setup for your wheel, the steering housing and the shifter will clamp down to a desk or table. They do lock into place so they do not get loose. I had problems, however, with the shifter falling off of my table. I might be a bit on the hard side on the components, but it wouldn’t take much to lose a comfortable position with the shifter and the pedals. Ironically, I’ve had no issues with the wheel coming loose, which is the most important aspect.
This line of Logitech wheels retail for $400, but can be had cheaper at retail outlets. Even at $400, it offers just enough for the price and can be a steal for around $250. Most importantly, players need to make sure they can host the setup. This isn’t a wheel you just put in your lap and drive with. You have to have space and reasonable mounting options. Real seat setups can cost more than this wheel. The technology behind the G29/920 and the options are what you’re paying for and you will be happy that you did not cheap out with an entry-level wheel.