So - What Are They For?
None of this means that joysticks and wheels are out of place on a PC, provided you want to play the right sort of games. Joysticks are obviously a prerequisite for flight simulation and they also do very well for moto and arcade games. It's true there is not too much flight simulation around at the moment, and since the brilliant IL 2, there's not a lot to expect except the Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3. By contrast, all the lights are green in the auto world. Racing games are in full flow, especially the rally driving ones. Coming soon are the magnificent Microsoft RalliSport Challenge and the high-potential Codemasters TOCA 2. So it's still a good idea to have a joystick or wheel. If you don't have one of these and you like the sort of games we're talking about, you'll need to get one. If you already have one (and if you read this site then you most likely do), the manufacturers are going to have to do some homework to get you to buy a new one.
So - What New Inventions Can They Come Up With?
I'll not deal with force feedback right now but come back to it later. A self-respecting joystick comes with all the functions you could wish for: direction hat, rudder operated by joystick shaft rotation, throttle - what more could you want? Nothing, and that's just the trouble. A pretty face would not make me change my SideWinder Precision. Logitech has come up with the answer. The only niggling thing left is the cord, and Logitech has brought out the first cordless joystick that really works without a lag between handling and action. Now that is a good idea. As for the wheels, what we found convincing is their true-to-life aspect, improved finish and greater precision. So, as we said in our last tests, it's the quality side which is important and makes you want to buy. See PC Racing: Much Easier With A Steering Wheel! .