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I vividly remember when the first Gran Turismo hit the gaming universe in 1998. There were a few PC-based racing simulators that had taken the realism up a notch, but it was the GT franchise that brought driving sims to the masses on the original PlayStation. The first few versions of all the driving sim series were fine with gamepads, nothing else really existed at the time anyway, but when force-feedback wheels hit the market, everything changed. Today, you can't fully enjoy any realistic driving game without a wheel and pedal setup.
Sim wheels come in a wide variety of prices; at the top levels, you run into diminishing returns pretty quickly. I have been using a Thrustmaster T150 for a couple of years. It's probably the fifth wheel I've owned for both console and PC sims. It's also the best I've owned in terms of reliability, adjustability, and compatibility with various games. My son has gotten into farming simulators and it works for that too. Why he chooses to drive tractors on farms instead of GT cars around Spa is beyond me.
Deals are going right now on the T150 and more expensive wheels, which has me thinking about upgrading. But, I'm more aware than most of those diminishing returns I already mentioned. I am however looking at upgrading the actual steering wheel; even if it means my son will be driving a combine with an F1 yoke. If you don't have a wheel currently, or you're buying a gift for someone, this is a good time.
There are some other great deals, some of which are the ones I've mentioned that have me thinking about upgrading. The one caveat is to get the most out of a wheel, you need a sim chair to go with it, and that's a whole different conversation.