Logitech G29 high end steering wheel – Like Real?

Logitech G29  Like Real Driving?

While Logitech announced in 2013 the end of production of gaming peripherals for consoles, here it is still back in the race with a new steering wheel compatible with PS3, PS4 and PC (Windows). Logically called G29, it takes the essentials of the G27 and adds a few options.

Logitech did not start from scratch to design its new steering wheel. It must be said that he already had a good basis with his G27 , widely tested on PS3 and PC and generally satisfactory, although the latter has taken a little bit of old since the arrival of the T500 RS from Thrustmaster (then its successors T300 RS and TX ) and the rise of the more discreet Fanatec.

Unsurprisingly, we therefore find a flywheel base identical to that of the G27, comprising two motors and a helical gear drive. Still no brushless motor as on the last generations of Thrustmaster (T300 RS, TX) and Fanatec (ClubSport Wheel Base), Logitech having preferred to keep its original technology. A choice which is not without consequences, as we will see during the practical tests. On the other hand, the rotation detection is always done on 900 ° with a Hall effect sensor.(magnetic field), for more precision and better longevity.

Finally, a small selector located on the top allows you to choose between the PS3 and PS4 mode. No mention of any PC mode on the other hand, which may be surprising, especially since the manual is reduced to a few explanatory diagrams. For more information, Logitech invites us to consult a PDF document on the web page dedicated to the G29 ; no installation CD-ROM, no real manual in the box too bad.

The changes therefore mainly concern the wheel, a sort of mix between that of the G27 and that of the Driving Force GT. From the first, we find the central core with three aluminum branches and leather finish, as well as the LED indicator of the engine speed; of the second the panoply of typically Play Station buttons (cross, square, circle, triangle, L1, R1, L2, R2, Home and now the Share and Option of the PS4 which replace the Select and Start of the PS3) in addition to a directional cross, +/- buttons and a wheel with central button. The finish is generally good, with good quality plastics and serious assemblies, without play.

What can be done G29?

The leather finish is still present all around the steering wheel, which will delight those allergic to plastic and rubber textures. On the other hand, the finish of the seams remains relatively coarse and we still feel the roughness a lot, which may put off some of them, Regarding the fixation, no change there either, and that’s good. The system based on two plastic hooks which clamp the support in a vice is still proving convincing.

No tool needed, just tighten firmly anyway the two plastic screws on the top to ensure a good hold. You can easily fix the steering wheel on a table or desk. Dedicated racing supports (Playseat, Rseat, etc.) benefit from two threads located under the base, which provide more secure attachment to the product.

Since the kinship with the G27 is not denied, we also find the same aluminum paddles for gear changes, which follow the steering wheel in its rotation. Of good size, they perform their function well and produce a small audible click when actuated. Too bad that one cannot choose between fixed and mobile paddles, since there are two schools on this subject and many players prefer that the paddles remain in the same position, so as not to confuse them beyond one complete turn of the steering wheel (900 ° = 2.5 turns, i.e. 1.25 turns in each direction). The wheel is also not interchangeable.

Far absent from the G29, the gear lever becomes optional (59 €). If it has not really improved in quality  it even loses the buttons and the directional cross of the model supplied with the G27, we find this absence difficult to accept given the price positioning of the steering wheel when it comes out (€ 399 ). Despite its shortcomings (lack of precision, great flexibility), it had the merit of existing to offer an alternative to changing gears, especially with a three-pedal crankset, its presence was amply justified. Therefore, don’t expect to take advantage of a rally handbrake lever either, knowing that the optional lever is not designed for this use anyway.

A still convincing crankset

Unlike Thrustmaster, who chose to offer their T300 RS with a very basic two-pedal crankset, in order to reduce costs, leaving the player the choice to buy a more advanced model ( T3PA or T3PA-PRO), Logitech continues to offer a relatively advanced crankset, with three metal pedals, each of different hardness. The accelerator pedal is thus the most flexible and is positioned behind the other pedals, closer to the driver. The latter are a little wider and identical in shape, but the brake pedal has a shorter stroke and a much greater resistance due to a slightly firmer spring and especially a rubber part positioned in stop – like on the optional Thrustmaster cranksets mentioned above. No hardness or stroke adjustment is available. On the other hand, we are delighted to be able to adjust the spacing between the pedals, since the spacing between the brake pedals and

Quite heavy, the crank has rubber pads for good support on smooth surfaces, as well as a bar adorned with spikes for good grip on carpet. The lucky owners of a racing seat will also appreciate being able to fix it thanks to the screw threads provided for this purpose.

Racing on console and PC

In order to evaluate the performance of this G29, we carried out several tests on console and PC. The latest from Logitech has therefore faced its main competitor, the T300 RS, also officially compatible with the PS3 and PS4. We also brought out our antique G25, admittedly a little less developed than a G27, but still valiant despite its age. On PS3, no need to hope for an update of existing games or the console to support the wheel. The G29 is still recognized without problem, but strangely not as a G25 / G27. Alas, it behaves less well than the latter in Gran Turismo 5 and 6, the effects appearing less subtle. For games that do not provide a dedicated steering wheel profile, the G29 is also unusable, since it is not recognized as a gamepad by the console, which would have enabled emulation. However, this is not a big loss, since the few games concerned are not very interesting to play behind the wheel anyway.

Certainly, buying such a steering wheel in 2015 should above all be done to enjoy racing games on PlayStation 4 and the experience here is much more convincing than on PS3. To do this, nothing like a good simulation like Project CARS, perfectly compatible with the two steering wheels. We then benefit from immediate recognition and some adjustments, in particular to set the intensity of the force feedback. The effects are here clearly marked and we can feel the cars going into understeer, thanks to a progressive force which makes it possible to feel the road and to avoid uncontrolled skids. The precision is also very good, allowing millimeter trajectories. If the force feedback generally reflects the different effects of the game well, it is nevertheless a little drier and less flexible than that offered by a T300 RS, which benefits from its brushless motor and a belt drive.

The sensations are therefore a little less faithful on the G29, a little more abrupt, but fans of simulation should nevertheless find their account. In fact, the Logitech steering wheel is largely made up for with its crankset, which is much more pleasant to use than the basic model supplied by default with the T300 RS. The braking dosage is thus easier and the accelerator offers satisfactory precision. Thrustmaster’s flywheel therefore needs a better quality crankset to express its superiority.

Same story in a more arcade game like DriveClub, in which the G29 shows great dynamism, without however adding the smoothness of a T300 RS or the brutal power of a T500 RS. The stability of the G29 crankset is on the other hand an asset in this game where trapper braking is legion. No miracle, however, with regard to driving sensations at the wheel in general, the game gives a certain inertia to the vehicles and makes driving a little less incisive than in a real simulation. It is nevertheless very pleasant to play in this title behind the wheel. Finally, to end with the PC experience, we appreciate the driver allowing the creation of a profile with configuration of each key.

Unsurprisingly, Project CARS is also perfectly compatible here, as is Assetto Corsa. The latter confirms our impressions on PS4, with a precise steering wheel, but less thin and flexible in its effects than the T300 RS.

STRONG POINTS

  • Convincing three-pedal crankset.
  • Quite powerful force feedback.
  • Compatible with PS3, PS4 and PC.
  • Simple and efficient fixing system.

WEAK POINTS

  • Sometimes a little dry backlash.
  • Leather finish seams.
  • Movable pallets, no mechanism to make them fixed.
  • Gear lever now optional.

CONCLUSION

A worthy successor to the G27, the G29 evolves smoothly and always offers good sensations. It does face stiffer competition, however, as Thrustmaster’s T300 RS has been there and is slightly more convincing when it comes to the steering wheel itself. Logitech makes up for it without difficulty, however, with its good three-pedal crankset, although it does not match that of the T500 RS (T3PA-PRO). This unfortunately translates into a high price, even though the gear lever is now optional.

 

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