Race car aficionados typically don’t have many options when it comes to higher precision control in video games. You are left with the default game pad or purchasing an expensive steering wheel that can range between $100 to $200. That is, if you want a decent one that’ll actually last you a while. Now imagine wanting to get a second one for another player. That’s a pretty expensive investment for a device that will only work with a limited number of games.
Thrustmaster has you covered, or so they claim. The limited edition Ferrari F430 Game Pad is an is an officially licensed product that takes a few visual design elements from its namesake vehicle. Already it is easy enough to be a cheap cash in trying to fool the minds of gear-heads into dropping their hard earned cash, but the skeptic inside of you may be just as surprised as I was.
This is a quality controller that I would recommend to anyone that plays racing games frequently. It can be used for either the Playstation 3 game console or plugged into a USB port for your PC, fitting as comfortably in your hands as any first-party controller might.
Most of the buttons are placed precisely where you’d expect them with one catch. Two of the trigger buttons are instead placed on the back of the controller, right where you’d expect the gear shifters of an actual Ferrari car to be on the steering wheel. It takes a little getting used to placing the fingers properly, but it pays off when speeding head first onto the race track and needing to shift gears quickly to keep in the lead.
The directional joysticks also offer higher precision and greater sensitivity to your movements. In addition, the directional pad itself is more of a joystick. This actually works out very effectively in fighting games, particularly since few manufacturers seem capable of making an effective d-pad these days.
Just in case you don’t like the default setting of the buttons and cannot change them within game, the controller allows you to map certain functions to different buttons with the simple pressing of the built-in MAP key. Switching commands is easy and if you ever forget your custom setting you can just as easily switch it back to the default.