June 6th 2011 9:00 pm PT

Announcing the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel

As we get ready for the Xbox E3 Briefing to begin later today, let’s kick off the week with a hardware announcement. It’s the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel and it goes on sale later this year for US $59.99. I‘ve uploaded a few photos so you can take a look at it for yourself.

 

Here are some details from the press release:

Launching in early October, the Wireless Speed Wheel is completely wireless and controlled intuitively with precise steering, standard controller buttons/triggers, and haptic feedback with rumble.  The device is compatible with all racing games right out of the box*. The Wireless Speed Wheel will be available for $59.99 (U.S. ERP) and will ship to retailers worldwide beginning September 26, 2011. This device combines a fun and immersive driving experience with the biggest racing game of the year, the best rated “Forza Motorsport.”

With trigger buttons for gas and brake, combined with a rumble feedback, the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel provides intuitive standard controller buttons that immerse the driver into the game, whether you like to white knuckle it down the race track with your hands at “10 and 2” or “9 and 3.”

The new Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel balances the realism of a wheel with the feel of a controller for greater user edge in game play.  It includes buttons for game specific functions including triggers, ABXY and D-pad along with green bands of lights on each handle to provide visual cues when necessary.

For more information on the Wireless Speed Wheel, visit www.xbox.com.

*Limited functionality in some games. See www.xbox.com/wsw for details.

If you have any questions about it, post in the comments and I’ll try and answer them.

 

Update: The Wheel can now be pre-ordered.

E3, Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

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  • http://twitter.com/Uff182 Andrea Candini

    Unbelievable: people is still waiting for a proper steering wheel on X360, a wheel that can compete with Logitech Driving Force GT in terms of price and all that Microsoft comes out with is this crap.
    Bad bad bad: just another peripheral for casual players.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IRFUBIS2L457PTEQWGJXBBMV3I Mark Whobrey

    What is that design atrocity ? We want a wheel. Not a horseshoe with a fishing reel glued to the inside. I poop on this ! This product is a bad idea. You have to hold it up. That is going to get very tiring after a while even if it is light. Holding up a controller like that for any reasonable gaming session is putting the body in an unnatural ergonomic position for too long.

  • http://twitter.com/FindexSha Findex Sha

    I will buy that. Looks good for the price.

  • http://twitter.com/GrimWeafer GrimWeafer

    why would consumers want another accessory when there is already a racing wheel and not to mention kinect?

    • http://danielalexan80.wordpress.com/ Dazzle369

      The Original Wireless Steering Wheel has been discontinued. This replaces it, and not very well.

      When I saw major nelson showing off the Kinect’s head tracking for Forza 4, he was using the original steering wheel, not this speed wheel.

      I took that to mean that Microsoft was going to bring back the wheel, with improvements.

      For almost the same price of this wheel, you could get a Logitech GT, a quick Google would show anyone why this new Speed Wheel is a joke for people who actually like driving games.

      A joypad is a better replacement.

  • Anonymous

    Major… this is a disapointment… hard core gamers want a serious steering wheel, with pedals and a realistic feeling… oh well… all other disapointed posters below: you can buy a Logitech G27, and then purchase a F-1 converter… it lets it work on your 360, and it does a darn good job, failing that, find a Logitech Drive Fx… mine is still serving me great… and it will feel better than waving your arms in the air… :(

  • Anonymous

    WTF is that? Do I throw it or something?

  • Anonymous

    WTF is that? I am really worried about Forza 4 now if this is a serious product. 

  • Anonymous

    Where are the pedals, stick shift and handbrake? Not to mention a clutch?

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  • Anonymous

    I think a lot of people are missing what this is aiming for…mainly Forza 4. The “point of reference” is for kinect feedback, and the loss of the left stick and bumpers (which most racing games use for switching views and camera angles) is covered by the kinect showing you where your head is turned (from the demo). Most “hard core” racers bought the previous wheel/pedals, but honestly it was a very poor selling product, and can easily be found cheap used and online. I like the idea of a different kind of driving “controller”, as I never liked the little toy wheels, force feedback or not.

    • Simon Smillie

      So why do you like this product? If any thing, it looks more like a toy, and has about all the features of a Wii toy.

      • Anonymous

        I like the idea…holding judgement until I can see/ hold one. Wii wheels are hollow plastic, and ALL arcade wheels (including Logitech) use a small scale wheel…I have a hard time seeing how this will function, but I like that someone is making things to enhance the kinect experience.”driving” with empty hands feels too weird!!

        • Andrew and Lee Bartja

          I don’t think it will be responsive enough to be only Kinect tracked. If it has some type of eternal gyroscope or something, and it is accurate enough, it may be a decent replacement for those of us who just don’t have the room or set up for a full wheel in our living room. Myself, I want a wheel, but I would not want to use a lap mount, but I cannot have a wheel stand. If they made this work, and it could be better than the standard controller, than I would consider giving it a try.

  • adam papas

    would bee great if one of the top of the handles had another button for clutch… that would have been a real winner, though… didnt seem to work out that way… gotta love how they ask the community for their opinions, to help their business

  • http://www.facebook.com/rellus.gellor Russell Gorall

    Worst MS E3 ever.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Guenette/746170297 Paul Guenette

    Has the Xbox team considered creating haptic touch gloves that could be used with the Kinect, to open it up to the FPS market? 
    The idea came to me after seeing the trailer for the new Star Wars game for Kinect.  It magnifies a flaw in the interface that could be solved by having gloves that could track your finger movements similar to how one would control a keyboard and mouse.
    Used with the Kinect, it could be used to detect the subtle hand movements to move through the environment similar to PC gaming and the larger body movements could be tracked with Kinect for the dodging, kick, punching or jumping.
    It would also make RTS’s viable because with the gloves it would be like having the keyboard and mouse to move and track your units, and instead of having to use the keyboard for special commands you could use the voice recognition and simple hand gestures.
    It would give the user a controller without having to tie both hands up to push buttons and with haptic touch feedback, it would give the user, the sensation of physically touching something and maybe even holding it.
    Just a thought, instead of making plastic wheels like the other guys are doing.

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  • http://danielalexan80.wordpress.com/ Dazzle369

    The Wii’s steering wheel
    made sense for the Wii’s controller. It made sense for games like Mario Karts.
    I have both, and it’s fun to play.

    I have a 360, I have
    Project Gotham 4/ Forza 3 Ultimate. I was ready to buy the Original Steering
    wheel, before it got discontinued, then I couldn’t find it anywhere. The 3rd
    party wheels or the 360 just didn’t match up.

    I can’t express how disappointed
    I am.

    All I can say is, how does
    this match up to Gran Turismo 5 and the Logitech Drive Force GT.

    The PS3 has multiple
    choices of wheels for those who just want to have fun driving, and wheels for
    the enthusiasts.

    The Speed Wheel caters for
    people who want to play Mario Karts. Forza 4 isn’t Mario karts. Mario Karts is not on the Xbox.

    • http://www.facebook.com/martoony Nick Martelli

      there are 4 other 3rd party options with full setups

    • http://www.facebook.com/martoony Nick Martelli

      there are 4 other 3rd party options with full setups

  • Anonymous

    one question major…lots of complaints about the button configuration, but zooming the reverse side picture makes it appear the rb/lb are above the triggers. Can you confirm or deny??

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  • qqq zzz

    muahahhahha xbox becoming wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii …… worst microsoft E3 in the galaxie

  • http://profiles.google.com/dfpg86 Décio Gonçalves

    No arcade game again? *sigh*

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edwin-Villamizar/100000159065279 Edwin Villamizar

    jaja lol, Este control va a fracasar, es mejor acelerar con los pies el realismo
    es importante, yo no imagino jugando forza con las manos al aire como
    seria en kinec, llevar este control seria parecido como en kinect. nada
    mas levantes sus brazos por 2 minutos al frente sin tener nada de
    soporte a ver si no sienten fatiga. Me encanta el kinect pero para
    juego de conducciones basura, este control tambien.

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  • http://twitter.com/SangHeeLive Tomas Burian

    Sorry but this ‘wheel’ leaves me completely cold. I own the original MS wheel and yeah it’s not perfect but I’m really happy with it. It’s a definite handicap that the old and the new wheel share and that’s a lack of analog sticks. In some games like Burnout it’s quite annoying to navigate through maps with just a d-pad, not to mention it would be cool to be able to look at different angles while driving. This one’s got kinda hype design, though. I give them that.

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  • http://twitter.com/boeboelord Boe2

    Second week in a row with no xbla games? That’s….sad

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Mull/100001131576296 Andy Mull

    I admit I’m worried about this one, Major.  I’m assuming it’s got some sort of gravitational sensor in it to tell when you’re turning, but my biggest problems with the original wireless wheel were the pedal angle [I have big feet, and with my heels in the heelrest hole, my ankles simply don't bend that way] and that it’d slide all around my lap when not tethered to a table…very difficult to be precise without an anchor point, and in all-out sims like Forza or F1 2010, precision is essential.  

    With a custom rig [including lowering the pedal angle], the old one quickly became my controller of choice for racing games…I imagine all it really needed was some refinements, but the high price point likely didn’t help adoption.  I’m not going to write this off, but to say I’m skeptical is an understatement.

    Granted, my reaction to E3 thus far has been cold in general.  Rather than helping developers harness the tech, customers are being asked to buy into making gaming more complicated.  Controller-free gaming works well for some genres [dancing, minigames, lightgun rail-shooters], but not for others.  It’s an absolutely amazing piece of tech, but it’ll see more of its potential realized by augmenting existing controllers, not replacing them.  Let us look at the apex ourselves, or check for traffic without the disorienting jump outside the car.  Let us use a voice hotkey in an RTS instead of breaking off from a fierce battle to build reinforcements.  Let us use our fingers as a cursor, instead of waiting for the cursor to get there via thumbstick.

    Let us replace the complicated bits of the control scheme with something more streamlined, rather than replacing the easy bits with complicated gestures.  Refine our control methods, rather than ask us to replace them, and it’ll do wonders for the tech’s adoption.

    I’d be happy to discuss further, but that’s at your discretion, not mine.

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  • Anonymous

    My goodness, how could MS go so wrong? 
    They were one of the 1st companies to produce a top quality force feedback wheel back in the day, and released a perfectly acceptable force feedback wheel for the xbox.  Now the only way to get a good wheel experience on the xbox is to pay £300 for a Fanatec GT2 (which is amazing BTW) but that is not the point. The PS3 has a number of options for proper force feedback and this gives it a clear advantage.
    MS PLEASE either launch a proper force feedback wheel again OR allow 3rd party generic peripherals to run on the console. Not many people are insane enough to cough 300 quid for a wheel. Once you get used to force feed back rumble does not cut the mustard, .

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=650752577 Ben Chod

    I like it in principle. It drops right in-between traditional controller and wheel. As long as it works well with no lag in response I’ll be getting one. I bought the Xbox racing wheel when it came out and hated it, peddles were sliding away, and the force feed back made for oversteer. Let alone the inconvenience of digging it out of the cupboard, setting it up then after 10 minutes switching back to the normal controller. I think you may have a hit with this. Just make it work. 

  • http://www.moddb.com/members/accessgranted AccessGranted

    Since the comments to the Fable 3 demo are closed I will complain here that the demo still doesn’t work since I downloaded it yesterday. Hey Major could you tell Lionhead to release a non-buggy demo? I loved Fable 2 though and will not buy Fable 3 or the upcoming Fable if we don’t have working  demos. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000485595078 Mitchell van Manen

      im pretty sure the upcoming one is a kinect only one :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/martoony Nick Martelli

    i love the idea! its perfect for people who don’t want a complete racing set up but want the precision steering a wheel can give. but how does the device work? is it tilt based? do the lights give kinect two endpoints to see your turns?

  • Anonymous

    great, but what its the point of this, the idea its that kinect makes you a controller

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=650752577 Ben Chod

      You don’t need a Kinect to use this. It works with accelerometers. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/a.ramineni Anand Ramineni

    Love this! It’s more than a controller, but not a whole wheel which is a pain to set up. And a great price too.

    And it DOESN’T require Kinect! Seems to be some confusion.

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