Thrustmaster was at CES again this year. Although this time they weren’t on the show floor. We caught up with them to check out the TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition for Xbox One and Windows PCs. The wheel launched just a couple of weeks after the Xbox One for $399.
We reviewed the F1 Integral T500, which is a higher-end wheel, and absolutely loved it. One of the downsides to the T500 was that it only supported PC and PlayStation 3. The Windows and Xbox One support in the TX Racing Wheel is a big selling factor, as now you don’t need to own two wheels to play all of your favorite racing games. Don’t let that make you think that this wheel is a lowest-common-denominator device though. Thrustmaster worked directly with Microsoft to support the brand new force feedback technology that the Xbox One uses. Despite the fact that the TX wheel is more than $200 less expensive than the T500, the force feedback still felt great. When we asked them to describe the difference between the two wheels they said that the T500 offers stronger feedback, but that the new TX feels more precise. In our short time with the TX we can say that the T500 definitely offers much stronger feedback, but the TX still offered more than enough. It was hard to say whether the TX felt more precise from our limited test, but it definitely felt good. There wasn’t any slop in the wheel, and there was practically no noticeable dead-zone.
One area where the reduced price is apparent is the pedal offering with the TX wheel. There are only pedals for gas and brake, and the base is made of plastic. They are also pretty low-tech. The brake pedal is not pressure-sensitive, unlike the pedals in the car you drive to work.
The TX racing wheel also continues along the expandability route of its big brother, the T500. The wheel detaches from the base allowing you to swap out different wheels. That includes the Ferrari F1 wheel that we love. They are also working on a GT wheel, which is round and offers a huge array of buttons. In addition to the wheels, they also will have and an upgraded set of pedals. The pedals looked very similar to those that come with the T500. They had a clutch pedal, but still didn’t offer a pressure-sensitive brake pedal. Thrustmaster didn’t have pricing or availability on either of those accessories.
Overall, from our brief time spent with the TX racing wheel, we really liked it. If you’re looking to take your Forza Motorsport 5 experience to the next level, and then perhaps moving up to even more hard-core PC racing simulations (like iRacing), then the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel seems like a great option. Look for a full review from the DMZ in the coming weeks.