Logitech announces its first new road bike in five years: the G923 for PlayStation 4, Xbox and PC. The G923 will follow the G29 and G920 and will be available in August for $ 399.99.
Although the G923 looks very similar to the G29 and G920, it has a brand new force feedback system, which the company calls "TrueForce". The system provides more realistic feedback about the wheel thanks to integration into a game's physics and audio engines. The wheel can then record and convert these inputs, such as the noise level of a vehicle engine or the surface over which the wheels pass, into vibrations, that can be felt by the wheel. According to the company, the electronics in the wheel can scan these inputs 4,000 times per second and adjust the force feedback motors accordingly.
Compared to other force feedback systems, TrueForce can provide the driver with a wider range of inputs. In practice, this means that the wheel buzzes or vibrates throughout the race. You can feel the engine speed when you step on the accelerator or subtle changes on the road as you drive. All of this is intended to bring experience closer to real life, or at least more insistently than before.
Game developers need to integrate Logitech's SDK to support TrueForce. Otherwise, the bike has the same force feedback system as the previous versions. According to Logitech, GRID, Assetto Corsa Competizione and Gran Turismo Sport will support the system immediately, while iRacing, F1 2020 and Dirt Rally 2.0 plan to add the feature in September.
Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox versions of the G923 have the same button and control layouts (both models work with Windows PCs).
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge
Aside from TrueForce technology, the G923 is not significantly different from the previous models. According to Logitech, the stitching on the leather case has been refined, the internal electronics have been improved to process the inputs of the TrueForce system, and the brake pedal has a new progressive spring. The actual engines and transmission mechanisms are the same as the G29 and G920, as are the steel paddle shifters, aluminum spokes, and glass-filled nylon clamps.
Unlike the G29 and G920, which had different button layouts and functions, the G923 is the same whether you buy the PlayStation 4 model or that for Xbox. (Both versions work exactly the same when connected to a PC.) This includes the more complete button layout and the shift indicator lights that were only available for the G29 last time.
The gears and motors are the same on the G923, but the brain that drives them is all new.
I had the opportunity to test the G923 and its TrueForce system in a pre-release version of GRID before today's announcement. I'm not a racing professional, but even I could tell the difference between the basic force feedback systems of other bikes and the new TrueForce motor. (Games that support TrueForce allow you to disable it or optimize the feedback.) I could feel the engine vibrate through the wheel, much like a real racing car, and I knew exactly when I was leaving the course and the wheels lost their grip, even though I couldn't see it through the cockpit view of the car. After a couple of races with TrueForce enabled, I turned it off and the experience felt numb as if something was missing.
The pedal set included with the G923 corresponds optically to the previous models, but the brake pedal now uses a progressive spring.
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge
Logitech launches the G923 at an interesting time when racing simulators have never been so popular. All major professional racing series hosted virtual races this year, with professional riders using wheels and pedals similar to Logitech and others, and games like iRacing enjoyed great popularity among amateurs and professionals alike. Logitech says it hasn't been able to keep its bikes in stock in the past four months and expects the demand for the G923 to be high as well. As a result, it will keep the G29 and G920 in their lineup and will offer them at a lower price than the G923.
At $ 400, the G923 is at the lower end of what is currently available on the racing bike market, but is still compatible with a variety of racing seats and accessories (including the existing Logitech six-speed manual switch). Many enthusiasts and professionals have built their entire racing simulation systems around the G29 and G920, and it is likely that the G923 will be just as popular.