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Logitech intros gaming steering wheel with shifter paddles, other gaming gear

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 0 comment



Los Angeles (CA) - Logitech has announced some new gaming peripherals at E3, including the G25 high-end racing wheel, the more affordable looking DriveFX for the Xbox 360 ; and added a new high-end mouse and keyboard to their portfolio.

First up is the high-end, high-price G25 steering wheel. Coming to the US and Europe for the expected price of a Wii (console, of course) at $300 (no European pricing has yet been announced), the G25 oozes style.

Made of stainless steel and featuring real leather, the G25 boasts a six-speed gated shifter, clutch pedal - and Ferrari-style shifter paddles mounted to the steerinhg wheel. two high-torque force-feedback motors ; an 11" wheel ; and a full 900 degrees of rotation.

The G25 is Logitech’s first driving wheel to include a six-speed gated shifter, complete with a push-down reverse gear. This offers "a new level of control," says Logitech. One can quickly shift into any gear as you decelerate going into turns and accelerate out of them - rather than cycling through gears sequentially or hoping an automatic transmission selects the most appropriate gear. Advanced driving techniques such as heel-and-toe downshifting are made possible with the included clutch pedal, Logitech assures us.

The G25 is compatible with the PC and PlayStation 2, though the list of games that support the full features of the wheel is limited at the moment, but it will work with all games that support even basic driving wheels. Logitech is promising that more games are in development which will take advantage of the six-speed shifting mode, and at the moment rFactor and Live for Speed are your best bets on the PC. The G25 will be available in October, which is a bit late for PS2 users considering the PS3 will hit 17 November.

Also announced was the far cheaper, $100 DriveFX Wheel for the Xbox 360. The wheel uses axial-feedback technology - with a powerful motor built into the base of the steering column - which translates the feedback commands of the game into axial forces that make the steering wheel respond, we’re told, realistically to the car’s dynamics, creating a sensory experience similar to that of a real steering wheel and column.

Conventional Xbox driving wheels use small vibration motors embedded in the steering wheel grips, offering what Logitech terms "an unrealistic buzz" in the driver’s hands. For $100 Logitech will presumably fulfil all your curb impacting fantasies. The DriveFX will be available in Europe and the US in July.

Of Mice and Keyboards

Logitech also announced that they’re expanding their high-end G-range of mice and keyboards, with the G3 ambidextrous laser mouse and the back-lit G11 programmable keyboard.

The G3 will be a more affordable take on its G5 and G7 bigger brothers, with 2000 dpi resolution transferred via a 6.4 megapixel USB connection. The mouse is smaller than usual, and can be used by right or left handers, and will feature the weight tuning we see on its bigger brothers.

The G3 will be available in the US and Europe beginning in August, costing $60 in the US. Yes, yes I wish they’d give European pricing as well.

Finally, the G11 keyboard will again be a more budgetary offering over (or rather, under) the G15 keyboard. The G11 comes without the built-in display of the G15, but otherwise it’s the same, featuring 18 programmable buttons and an LED back light to ensure that the gaming can continue well into the night.

The G11 will be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in July, with a price of $70 in the US.

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