Sure, using the standard Xbox controller will get the job done, but to do the job right and get the most rewarding gaming experience you need the right tools. And for racing games, say for example Forza Motorsport 4, the right tools are a wheel and pedal setup. But what happens when for whatever reason it's just not going to happen? Perhaps your spouse says no way to having all that in the living/family room or you just don't have the room to store a wheel and pedal set, which is admittedly rather bulky, even more so if you add a racing seat into the mix.
If this sounds familiar, we would definitely recommend picking up the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel. It looks and acts like a proper steering wheel and it's hardly any bigger than the standard controller. The gas and brakes are controlled with RT and LT buttons on the backside of the controller, just like on the standard controller. (There are five preset configurations to pick from if the default one doesn't work for you.)
I have been gorging myself on Forza Motorsport 4 for the last few weeks and decided to change things up a bit by trying out the wireless U-shaped wheel. After a quick software update and pairing to the console it only took a hot lap or two to get comfortable with the layout and button locations. Although the weight is similar to a standard controller, it feels lighter somehow. I think it has a lot to do with the wider grip needed and the bulk of the weight (the two AA batteries) is at the bottom of the controller. I found it cool that because of the low, central position of the concentrated weight of the controller it sort of self-centers itself, making it easier to get the vehicle to drive in a straight line, something I struggle with at times.
With the Speed Wheel car control felt a lot more natural, and it immerses you into the experience of driving that much more. The steering modulation is so much easier, with what feels like a wider range of motion that makes turns much smoother, and easier to make minor adjustments in steering angle. With the display mode in cockpit view, as you turn the wheel your driver avatar turns the wheel the exact same amount. Try it out; it's eerily cool. And if you play with a lot of body English, it's nice to know that the forward and backward movements of the wheel I know I use to try and influence the direction of the car in fact have no effect. This is especially true when I do a little spontaneous lawn or gravel grooming, made painfully obvious by the rumble feedback you get through the wheel.
Another big plus is the fact that the Wireless Speed Wheel is compatible with all your favorite Xbox racing games. (Note that the Speed Wheel does not contain shoulder buttons-LB and RB on the standard controller-which may limit functionality in some games). And at the very reasonable $59.99 MSRP it also makes sense if you're on a limited budget (and who isn't these days). The Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel will be available in October 2011 at your favorite game retail store or online.