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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

Thunder Wheel
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by Naki
It seems that every major accessory maker for the Playstation has at least one form of steering wheel designed for it. Naki is the latest company with their own version of the Playstation steering wheel. Their new wheel is called the Thunder Wheel, and it was designed with other steering wheels' short-comings in mind. The Thunder Wheel is by far the best attempt at recreating a real driving environment at home.

thunderwheel.jpg (9099 bytes)The first thing you will notice is that the wheel has a very solid feel. It is also quite heavy when compared to other Playstation wheels, weighing in at a little over 6lbs. It feels sturdier than other steering wheels (especially when compared to the Sony-sponsored Mad Catz wheel). Naki used a very thick, rubber covered wheel that is easy to grip and doesn’t cause finger cramps after a 70 lap race on Gran Turismo. The wheel also gives a lot of resistance when turning in either direction, which is a nice feature that most other wheels are lacking. As for shifting, the Thunder Wheel has a solid, snappy feeling shifter. The stick has generous movement forward and back, and a distinctive click to tell the driver when the gear is engaged.

The wheel I received didn’t come with gas and brake pedals, but has two analog flaps located behind the 10 and 2 o’clock positions which act as the gas and brakes. They work well, but take some time to get used to. Actual pedals would be a better choice, and there is a set of Naki Thunder Pedals that I didn't get to try. One thing this steering wheel lacks is Dual Shock. It doesn’t have any mechanisms that would cause any type of vibration or feedback through the wheel, and that's the only bummer.

Naki’s Thunder Wheel comes with huge clamps to help hold it to almost any type of counter or desktop. If the clamps won’t work for your situation, they also include four large suction cups that will lock the wheel in place on any smooth surface.

This is a great steering wheel for anybody that is looking for a little more realistic way to drive on their Playstation. The Naki Thunder Wheel comes highly recommended.

--Rob Franc