I didn't really play on my PS3 for about two or three years and then suddenly wanted to play it. I don't call myself a gamer by any standards, but I am a big fan of racing games and wanted to get a wheel that would give me a good experience of a real car. The Thrustmaster was my first racing wheel and even though I have only used it for a little less than a week, I think I can post my review on it.
First of all, the design of the wheel. The wheel is partly built of plastic with brilliant grip areas at the side of the wheel, which makes it more lifelike and makes the wheel much easier to grip. It has all the standard controls; a D-Pad, X, Square, Triangle and Circle buttons. It also has Select, Start and Home buttons which are brilliant and it makes using it with the PS3 a whole lot easier. It also has a red switch on the clamping console (which is hidden in the main picture) which toggles between PS3 and PC. I was sceptical about buying it at first because it has a clamping system and, after a use of another wheel (which I don't remember) at my friends house which had clamping, it wasn't on good terms with me. But this actual clamping system is magnificent. It holds on to tables like it will never let go! The pedals connect to the wheel and the wheel has a USB connector that plugs into the front of the PS3. There is a red LED on the bottom of the six little rivets around the Ferrari Badge.
Next, the controls. I just want to say that I have only used it with the PS3 and the score that I gave is affected by this. All of the buttons work brilliantly, the shifter paddles and pedals are brilliantly responsive. It is supposed to have Force Feedback, but unfortunately this feature doesn't work on the PS3. The steering is also very responsive BUT and this is a very big but, it only has a 90 degree steering lock, which is frankly quite rubbish. This is one of the biggest woes of this steering wheel. The wheel has two modes, normal sensitivity (default) and high sensitivity. I use the default selection but I have used the high sensitivity mode and it is impressive! It registers every slight move.
Next - usability. This is a section in which this wheel is weak. It works straight out of the box (as a user expects it too) and it can be programmed, which is good. But what is not good about this feature is that it is very hard to find out how to do it. The wheel itself doesn't come with the full manual, and finding the manual on the website can be hard but just to save users the pain, I will post controls for programs at the end of the review. The programming also resets every time the pS3 is turned off or the wheel is disconnected.
Here are the Pros and Cons in a quick version: Pros - Responsive, good looks, very realistic Cons - Can be hard to use at first, very unclear manual, 90 degree steering lock, lack of Force Feedback for the PS3.
For a first wheel, I think this is quite good and I was looking for something relatively cheap and with paddle shifters, so this ticked all the boxes for me.
I hope that my review was helpful.
Manual for Ferrari GT Experience: [...]
To configure the controls, press the Select and Start button at the same time and release. The LED should turn off. Then press the button that right now holds the control that you want to change to another button e.g. the X button. The LED should start rapidly flashing. Then press the button that you want to put the control on to e.g. R2. The LED will now go back to its normal state and, in this example, the controls of the X button are now on the R2 button.
To change the sensitivity of the wheel, press the Up button on the D-Pad and both the paddle shifters at the same time. If it has gone into high sensitivity mode, the LED will start flashing slowly. To switch it back, repeat the procedure.