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Freewheelin' with Ubisoft

New hardware means new accessories, and new accessories means... stuff that doesn't quite make sense when you first see it. One such example: the steering wheel peripheral that Ubisoft is producing for use with its upcoming Wii driving games Monster 4x4 World Circuit and GT Pro Series. Both games use the Wii Remote for steering - just grab both ends of the controller and hold it horizontally, tilting to turn your car. But the Wheel for Wii add-on, which comes free with the purchase of either racing game... well, it looks like a cozy foam home for your Remote in the shape of a circle. Will this really make a difference to players? We asked Tats Myojo, associate producer at Ubisoft for the details.

GamesRadar: What's the benefit to using the wheel as opposed to the remote alone? Functionality doesn't seem to change, so is it just a matter of wrapping the remote in a familiar shape to make it feel more like driving?

Tats Myojo: The wheel is another fun and different way to interact with the Wii controller as it's more natural to play a racing game driving with a wheel than with a remote. It really makes for a more immersive experience with the many different ways to control the car with the movement of the wheel.

GR: The picture just shows a wheel floating in space. Is there really no base?

TM: There is no base for the wheel. A base would have taken the fun out of the motion sensing and wireless capabilities. In the case of Monster 4x4 World Circuit, players will use the Wheel to perform stunts to earn points during races. Players will simulate stunts onscreen, like the summersault or the tornado, by making circular movements or by twisting the wheel. For GT Pro Series, players have the option to manually shift the car by motioning the wheel forward and back.