Joysticks and Wheels: The Winter 2002 Collection

The New Joysticks

We really had to look around for joysticks to test this fall. Usually, all the manufacturers revamp their series, but, for the reasons mentioned above, they seem to have gotten cold feet. In the end, I opted for two models. The Logitech Freedom 2.4 GHz was an obvious choice because, being cordless, it really is something new. The other one is not absolutely new because it is a second generation Microsoft force feedback joystick. But we had never tested it here before and it is the only one to have had a substantial facelift. For the force feedback gamepad tests that we promised, it seems you'll have to wait quite a bit longer for the manufacturers to bring out something new.

The New Wheels

Here too, I only found two models. Microsoft has no new series, and the only difference in its force feedback wheel is the color of the grip. There's nothing new at Saitek and ACT Labs, either. So that just leaves Logitech which offers us the Momo Racing, not so deluxe and, most importantly, cheaper than the Momo. Its styling is terrific, and it has an optical sensor and new force feedback technology, so there was no shortage of reasons for testing it. As for Thrustmaster, they have done no less than replicate the Michael Schumacher wheel and it, too, looks terrific, all aluminum and ball-bearings. We just had to see how it behaved.