Joytech Nitro Racing Wheel for Xbox 360
- Excellent response, Customisable sensitivity, Comfortable to use.
- Pointless stopwatch function, poor horizontal grip.
The Nitro Wheel is the first steering wheel for the Xbox360 and backs up its market position with reasonable quality.
Price$ 149.95 (AUD)
Trying to find a high quality racing wheel is a hard task at best. Many wheels don't work as well as you would expect. Common problems include unresponsive and unrealistic turning and poor pressure on the foot pedals. The Joytech Nitro Racing Wheel bucks the trend with a customisable wheel that is both responsive and intuitive. It has other design flaws but from a pure usability perspective, it is quite impressive. At the moment, it also has the honor of being the only racing wheel currently available for the Xbox 360. However, this will soon change with the recent announcement at E3 2006 of the official wheel on its way from Microsoft.
Setting up the wheel was simple. Unlike the Joytech TriForce wheel (for Xbox, Ps2 and PC), there is no assembly required. The wheel is already bolted to the steering column. We preferred the TriForce design though as the wheel was attached to the column when setting up the device via a threaded ring making it far sturdier with less vertical shifting in the column. The foot pedals are attached via a proprietary connection with enough cable to easily accommodate any user without getting in the way.
The button layout on the unit is quite good although not without its problems. Most of the buttons are located toward the interior of the wheel with only the start and select buttons at the top of the wheel. Here lies the problem. During game play, there are many times when the palm of the hand will brush over the start button, pausing the game. This quickly becomes annoying and forced us to drive one handed.
The Nitro Racing Wheel doesn't have any real horizontal grip. The basel tended to slide left and right while driving. Joytech does provide two clamps though, which can be used to fix this problem and they work quite well. however, using the clamps restricts where you can place the wheel and what surface you can use it on. Two leg supports are also provided, which are affixed to the sides of the unit so it can be used while sitting on the player's knees. The supports worked quite well and were pretty comfortable.
The gear stick is essentially a substitute for the two buttons used to change gears on a regular controller. Like the wheel, the gear stick is rubber and feels very comfortable. Changing gears mid-game is fluid and natural adding to the realism of your gaming experience. Since this wheel is designed for the Xbox 360 there is also an easily accessible guide button. The wheel has four levers protruding from the column just under the wheel which are used as you would the bumper and triggers on the regular 360 controller. These are brilliantly designed and work well, sitting within reach of your fingertips. The directional pad rounds out the rest of the buttons along with a sensitivity button and 1/10 button for the stopwatch function.
The Nitro has a LED screen on the base that has multiple functions. The first and perhaps most confusing, is the stopwatch function. Why you would need a stopwatch function, we can't quite work out but it can't be faulted for anything other than its superfluous nature. The 1/10 button on the wheel switches the stopwatch from seconds to minutes depending on what you are timing. The LED also displays the number 5-5 at all times. The manual has no mention of what this means, and no matter what button we pressed, it stayed on 5-5. We spoke with Joytech to garner some information about the LED display and they informed us that the 5-5 display is a turning ratio from left to right. If you were to turn the wheel to the left or right, the numbers will adapt to the depth of the turn changing to 6-4, 5-7 and so on. This feature seems to serve no useful purpose and since it is on the turning part of the wheel, it is difficult to view during game play.
The biggest element of any gaming wheel is responsiveness. In this regard, the Nitro is quite good. At basic settings it is fairly easy to lose control, requiring quite a bit of effort to steer properly. In this mode it also has a dead zone about 2 degrees off centre on either side. Thankfully, the sensitivity can be adjusted with four levels of responsiveness. With each level the dead zone reduces and the wheel becomes a tighter racing experience. There is also two preprogrammed settings for the games Need For Speed and Ridge Racer Six.
The foot pedals also work very well and respond to light and heavy pressure accordingly. We had no problems with the pedals on this unit, although we would have liked the option to sit them at a 45 degree angle like they would be in a regular car.
The Nitro Racing Wheel has no force feedback at all. This is unfortunate since the TriForce has it and retails for the same price. Why Joytech failed to include force feedback is unknown and the vibration feedback they did include is not as good as it could have been. The vibration is noticeable when using the wheel but it simply isn't strong enough.
For the price, this is quite a good gaming wheel and since there is no other wheel available on the market we can confidently say that it is the best. That may not be saying much right now, but the real test will come for the Nitro later this year.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTProgram Manager-SAP Transition, SAP FICO ImplementationNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- FTSoftware Development Manager - CloudACT
- FTData Centre Technical SpecialistACT
- FTFinancial ERP Customer - Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- FTQA LeadNSW
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- CCFrom Security Operations to Technical Business Analyst, make the move now!NSW
- FTSenior C# Analyst Programmer, Product & MarketsNSW
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC
- FTCloud Infrastructure Specialist - Azure/AWSNSW
- TPSenior Software DeveloperQLD
- FTTest ManagerWA
- FTManagement AccountantNSW
- FTData ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - AgileQLD
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW