You are currently viewing an archival version of GF!

Click here to return to the current GamesFirst! website.


GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

Logitech Wingman 
Force 3D

star06.gif (4104 bytes)star06.gif (4104 bytes)star06.gif (4104 bytes) star06.gif (4104 bytes)star06.gif (4104 bytes)

by Logitech

Comfortable, responsive & cost-effective 

Downs: Short cord with a big transformer on the end.

System Reqs: P166, 32 MB RAM, Win 98 or Win 2000; USB port.

The new Logitech WingMan Force 3D is a feature-rich force-feedback stick with a startlingly compact form factor and a wallet-friendly price, and may well set the standard for upcoming joysticks that balance price and performance.  In addition to the reduced cost of the WingMan Force 3D, it’s small footprint is a shocker. The relatively small 8-inch-by-8-inch form factor is exactly the same as that of the non-force-feedback WingMan Extreme Digital 3D and insures you won’t have to rearrange much to accommodate it.

Installing the Force 3D joystick is simple—it’s a USB device, so after installing the drivers, it’s merely a matter of connecting the AC adapter and plugging the stick into an available port.  Unfortunately, the AC adapter's cord is a mere 5 feet in length and there’s a massive transformer at the end of the power cord that takes up too much space on the old power strip.

Logitech’s software bundle includes drivers, the game Castrol Honda Superbike World Champions, and the proprietary (and elegant) WingMan Profiler v.3.5. In addition to the seven buttons and a POV hat, the Force 3D twists for rudder control and includes a small and accessible throttle lever on the base.  Four of the seven buttons are on the top of the shaft, configured in two adjacent pairs.  The force-feedback capabilities of the WingMan Force 3D are provided by Immersion's excellent TouchSense technology and proved effectively implemented in everything from motorcycle & flight sims to a variety of FPS and action games.

The Logitech Force 3D has a better “feel” than the aging SideWinder; the Force 3D provides high fidelity where force replication is clean and convincing without a trace of awkwardness, and with its force effects disabled it effectively mimics most standard joysticks. The WingMan Force 3D's control panel allows you to tweak the force effects' strength and dropping it down some seemed to help with subtle effects—strong forces fared well at the default settings.

The Logitech WingMan Force 3D combines a low price, first-rate effects, and a compact footprint, which makes it an easy recommendation for anyone interested in force feedback previously put off by high prices and huge footprints.  With a retail price of $59.95, it's a lotta stick for a little bank.

--Al Wildey