Logitech forging first force-feedback Wii wheel

To date, the vast majority of Wii peripherals have been little more than foam shells or lever-driven plastic cases for the console's motion-sensing remote. The major exceptions to this rule have been the Wii Fit Board, the Wii Classic Controller, and the instruments for Guitar Hero III and Rock...

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To date, the vast majority of Wii peripherals have been little more than foam shells or lever-driven plastic cases for the console's motion-sensing remote. The major exceptions to this rule have been the Wii Fit Board, the Wii Classic Controller, and the instruments for Guitar Hero III and Rock Band: Special Edition. The Wii Nunchuck and the forthcoming Wii Motion Plus are also technically add-ons to the remote proper, which comes bundled with still-bestselling "game" Wii Play.

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Soon, though the Wii peripheral family will have a new member, courtesy of Logitech. Fresh off its deal to make premium Guitar Hero instruments, the peripheral maker has now inked a deal to make the first force-feedback driving wheel for the Wii. Called the Speed Force Wireless racing wheel, the add-on will retail for $99.99 when it goes on sale this November in North America.

As the name implies, the Speed Force Wireless is indeed cord-free (other than for electricity), and uses a 2.4 GHz wireless signal to transmit back to the Wii from up to 30 feet away. As shown in GameSpot's Hardware Insider blog, the wheel bears the Wii remote's standard control scheme on its front, replete with buttons and a directional pad. Unlike the Xbox 360's racing wheel, the Speed Force will use two paddles underneath the wheel for acceleration, braking, and shifting. It can be either placed in a player's lap or used on a table.

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Though diehard Nintendans will surely use the add-on to take Mario Kart Wii for a spin, Logitech made the Speed Force Wireless with a third-party publisher's title in mind. The Switzerland-headquartered peripheral maker is partnering with Electronic Arts to optimize the wheel for the forthcoming racing game Need For Speed Undercover, also due in November.

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