reviews\ Jan 14, 2003 at 7:00 pm

Saitek RX600 Wireless Wheel - PS2 - Review

Saitek’s RX600 Wireless Wheel propels PS2 gamers down the cordless cyber console highways

Gameplayers are experiencing a newfound freedom on the highways and byways of cyberspace. The wireless revolution has hit the driving sim market, and this is a very good thing.

The RX600 Wireless Wheel for the PlayStation2 is the Saitek entry into the field and while the wheel lacks peddles, the wheel itself keeps the overall Saitek design and incorporates comfort, easy button access and quick reaction relay to the console system.

Top that off with the Saitek easy-clap system that can act as a lap brace (though it is not all that comfortable) or quickly attach it to a table or bench for stability.

This is an amazingly simple controller to attach. The main housing on the wheel needs four AA batteries. There is a dongle that plugs into a controller input on the front of the PS2. Plug in the dongle, turn on the PS2 and you are ready to go.

Several games were used to test the wheel, including the tradition racing game and games like Wavy Rally. In every instance the wheel performed well, with the data transfer seemingly instantaneous. However not all games work with the wheel. Reign of Fire was one such game. That game relies focuses on the vehicle-mounted turret to control the vehicle and the turrent works on a double-axis scheme. Though attempts were made to configure the controls to accommodate this, they failed.

The RX600 Wireless Wheel is a solid gaming device that eliminates the cords and gives players the freedom to move anywhere they want. The rubberized wheel grips have a comfortable feel, and the reaction time seems instantaneous. The battery life is up to 50 hours and the wheel works with the console system from a distance up to approximately 30 feet.

Saitek does a tremendous job of making affordable peripherals that deliver high performance to gamers. The RX600 Wireless Wheel is just another example of that commitment. Yes, there are a few setbacks, but the overall performance, comfort and design of this product is very good indeed.

The wheel is comfortable in the hands, and there is easy access to the buttons. While the game lacks peddles, the peddle controls on the steering wheel shaft do an adequate job in lieu of the peddles. Saitek’s clamp system mounts this wheel easily to a table or bench.

Only one system was available for demonstration so it is not apparent whether all wheels operate on the same frequency, which would make this a one-wheel-per-household controller.

Verdict: 8.9
The wireless response time is almost instantaneous. The only drawback is that when doing a hard turn, the hand peddles are tough to keep a firm grip on. Counter that with the wireless convenience and the former is only a minor setback. This is a very comfortable, well-designed peripheral device.


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