Steering Wheel

Like with the Official Arcade Stick, the official Dreamcast steering wheel was not actually produced by Sega but licensed to Agetec.


Initial thoughts when coming across the controller is that it feels well-built, sitting sturdily on your table/desktop and the A and B buttons are well-placed towards the middle of the wheel within easy reach, yet hard to brush against accidentally. There is also a VMU port conveniently located to the side for game saves but the wheel lacks any vibration function. As there are no pedals, two wide triggers behind the wheel are used for acceleration and braking and they feel very resistant and allow you to make subtle inputs, although it's pretty much the same as holding down the triggers on the regular DC controller


The main problem is that the wheel itself has trouble registering subtle movements. In all of the racing games you find yourself having to adjust the response settings to max just to give yourself any chance of not swerving off the road. This unresponsiveness also makes navigating in-game menus a real pain; maybe they should have included a D-pad like they did with the the Dreamcast lightgun.


One additional thing to mention is that the Japanese version of the steering wheel features a small socket on the rear, similar to the inputs found on the Samba De Amigo base unit, and it is believed that this was originally intended to enable future upgrades such as a foot peddles or a gear stick (thank you CD Ages).


Overall, the Official Dreamcast Steering Wheel is probably one of the weaker accessories from the official Dreamcast peripheral lineup. Steering wheels are supposed to give you better control in racing-type games and heighten the gamer's immersion. However, the Agetec steering wheel handles far too poorly, and while the build quality is respectable, it is really hard to recommend something that offers little advantage over the standard Dreamcast controller.

Comments

  1. I own the US variant which aside from the packaging box, looks identical,to the JPN model. The wheel gets plenty of heat, but its a solid product for what it is. VMU slot placement is perfect and convenient. Dig the logo placement. Love the style of wheel in general and the plastic it's built with feels rock solid. The metal base underneath gives the unit some much needed weight (although it could benefit from being a bit heavier). Lastly, I truly appreciate that the accessory was built with a pitch black color scheme in its entirety as opposed to the common white that was prodominent with most licensed dreamcast peripherals. What Negatives I have for the product are less than stellar butterfly lever peadals, lack of vibration (more importanly, lack of puru puru pack support like its lightgun brethren does) and lastly lack of a dpad like many of its 3rd party counterparts possess.

    By the way, does the JPN model also have an input socket placed behind the back of the base unit? Its a round looking slot. I've heard rumors that suggest the slot was made to support possible future upgrades for the wheel in the form of foot peadals and or manual stick shift.

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  2. Lol! It appears that it indeed does. As soon as I made my comment I saw much closer views of the awesome pics you posted on the accessory and it looks like the input is at least recognized and pointed out in the box. Wish I could read japanese though ;)

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  3. It does, I will upload pictures in the post later.

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