Going for a paddle
The grips of the steering wheel and the paddles at the back have a solid smooth quality feel to them. Ideally, this wheel should be wireless but I’m guessing that it's not to keep the weight down. Still, the nice long cord gave me plenty of leeway. The buttons and knobs have good, positive click action, so there's no fear of clicking spin when you actually want to lock. But where's the stand?
Paddles at the back control a range of functions
I didn't really like the idea of resting this on the back paddles but it's the only choice. I can immediately see a problem, I am having to hold the SRW-S1 up throughout gameplay. At about 2lbs it's not that heavy and I guess boy racers with big biceps won't have a problem but it was only about 20mins in that my wrists began to ache – lactic acid is not my friend.
Girlie grumbles aside, I tried the SRW-S1 firstly on Blur which is my preferred PC racing game but it doesn't involve any gear changing. Still, being able to hit more power ups due to increased accuracy was quite an eye-opener. Next up was iRacing which went on far too long without fatigue but was crucial to give this wheel a proper work out.
Helpfully, the SRW-S1 is compatible with any racing game you can buy from Steam but definitely works most intuitively with Simraceway. I spent some time playing this title which is the dedicated on-line game for the SRW-S1 – you download from its website for free and it comes in at about 1GB.
Plenty of options, but lacking a stand gameplay can be fatiguing
Simraceway gave me the opportunity play with all buttons and knobs I hadn't used in iRacing, such as assist and assist values. Even these tweaks left me convinced that, ultimately, the SRW-S1 is really all about the steering.
I felt completely in control and I actually started to enjoy myself playing a racing game in a way that I never thought I would. In real life, I've often been saved by the fact that I drive so slowly, but when gripping the SRW-S1 I want to go fast; experiencing a level of accuracy I wouldn't get using a Xbox 360 or PS3 controller.
Having spent many a happy hour motoring with the Steelseries, I am now convinced wheels are essential for any racing game. In my experience, the transformation in gameplay is worth the investment. Indeed, the Steelseries SRW-S1 is a fine starter wheel that has set my thoughts racing over investing in a Logitech G27 Playseat, once my McLaren sponsorship has been finalised. ®
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I stopped reading...
...as soon as I realised that it doesn't physically connect to anything that could provide force-feedback and "free-floats" in your hands.
The designers really have missed a trick here. If they had of made it a detachable wheel, like in F1 and a few other formulas, with a force-feedback base unit then the wheel could have been used to store your settings... attach it to a base unit and the game automatically changes its settings to your preferences. Would be great if you have a few mates (that also have the wheels) round for a few beers and a "Who's the best/fastest driver" session.
My cousin has the right idea... Official GT steering wheel and pedals attached to a specially made wooden cockpit (that you have to slide into, like a real open-wheel racer), with a real bucket seat, in front of a mahoosive TV that basically fills your field of vision!
 Using a game, I'm not condoning or encouraging drink driving IRL before anybody says it!
Using this thing to play iRacing is like going to Navy SEAL training in a pair of Hawaiian-print swiimming trunks .
If you're going to review a wheel...
either get someone who has used other wheels to do it, or review in a group test.
As it is, you're looking at one of the more unique wheels on the market and there's no indication of how it stacks up.
I love the comment...
when it was realised that "ultimately, the SRW-S1 is really all about the steering".
I purchased this, used it for a day and a half and by the following morning it was dead. It was unplayable with Shift2 because of lag (shift2 bad design), Simraceway was responsive, no lag. The surprise was F1 2011. That proved to be very responsive and easy to drive with the SRW-S1.
None of that matters now though because on the 3rd morning I switched on PC and all of the lights came on the SRW-S1 and stayed on. The wheel was no longer detected in windows. I checked to see if any of the switches or buttons were jammed (they were not), unplugged, plugged back in, tried on a second PC, same result. All the lights were on but the wheel no longer detected. The wheel was screwed after approximately 4 hours of use. I registered on Steelseries website and then went to open a support ticket. FAILED!! The page failed each time I tried to post a support so the support is as dead as the wheel.
I posted my story on tweaktown and one of the tweaktown guys who had recently reviewed the SRW-S1 said he would contact Steelseries to see if they could help? Stil no word so I guess this is my first and last Steelseries.
The broken wheel is due for return to the shop today for refund.