TURTLE BEACH VELOCITY ONE FLIGHT Review: Complete aviator package with small weaknesses

 When Microsoft ported the award-winning Flight Simulator to the Xbox, some consoleros cheered: finally a sophisticated, fully-fledged flight simulation on the console. A Microsoft exclusive with killer graphics, real-time weather data and the whole world as the setting. It's just unfortunate that the whole thing doesn't feel very authentic with a standard controller and also requires a lot of cumbersome button commands. With only one compatible Hotas joystick as an alternative, there were hardly any alternatives. At least until now, because Turtle Beach has the VelocityOne Flight, a complete control yoke set up its sleeve that works on both the Xbox and the PC. Is it worth buying?


Hey, someone really thought of that! Integrated table clamp? Modular design? Colored cables that make the structure self-explanatory? Cool! It takes less than five minutes until the device is firmly clamped to the desk. You simply put the control horn and quadrant module together, connect them with one of the USB cables provided, and then fix the construction to the table. Folds in a few simple steps and without much searching, since both the clamping screws and a suitable (monstrous) Allen key, have their fixed place. All neatly tucked away behind a small flap on top of the main module.


TOP 7 BMX BIKES - (THAT DO NOT SUCK...
TOP 7 BMX BIKES - (THAT DO NOT SUCK) 2022 Version

This makes VelocityOne Flight appear compact yet luxurious. Not with its materials, because Turtle Beach uses rather no-frills, rather thin plastic, but there is no lack of scope. It wants to be a no-fuss all-in-one controller. In view of its steep price of 379 euros, it should.


TURTLE BEACH VELOCITY ONE FLIGHT Review


normal hardness? Not for a conventional control yoke, which is usually stingy with typical fire buttons, but given the design at hand, this equipment is absolutely necessary because the device has no connection possibility for rudder pedals. In order to be able to operate the rudder on the Xbox, the only option is to switch to analog triggers. While this is not realistic, it is a reasonable solution. PC gamers still have the choice to connect pedals from other manufacturers in parallel.


To the right of the main module, you'll find the quadrant module, complete with ten user-definable buttons, a four-section accelerator lever, and three (non-rotating) rods like those found on small aircraft for determining fuel mixture and acceleration. There is also a trim wheel with which you can determine a fixed rate of ascent and descent. This equipment roughly corresponds to the "steering wheel" of a small to medium-sized aircraft. Large airliners and jumbos are now controlled with a joystick, but this should not prevent anyone from directing a large aircraft through the virtual air with the control stick.


Lots of bling for lots of features


Once switched on, the device successfully competes with any Christmas tree. A number of LEDs glow in various colors and highlight all the controls. It looks like a gimmick at first, but dimming the room light for a virtual night light creates a pleasant atmosphere, especially since some of the LEDs will also have a function. Sometime soon, supposedly probably in February. At the moment, the SIP (Status Indicator Panel), which is mounted on the area behind the control wheel, makes no attempt to convey the condition of the aircraft. All adverts remain monochrome for the moment.


After one of the forthcoming firmware updates, however, it should happen that they light up as a warning signal when there is increased load when the landing gear is not retracted in the cruise phase, and on other occasions. Using two clampable slides, you can choose which status displays you want to see. Also on the Xbox.


TURTLE BEACH VELOCITY ONE FLIGHT

This is very good news, especially on the console side, because apart from the ten freely programmable buttons on the quadrant module, the SIP also proves the suitability of the Xbox controller protocol for functions beyond the standard buttons. Steering wheel makers (for racing games) have been battling Microsoft's stoic controller programming for ages, which developers don't do much well for, unlike its PlayStation counterpart. Meanwhile, the VelocityOne Flight control yoke makes it easier to operate a whole range of functions that can only be reached with a normal controller with great difficulty or, in the worst case, not at all. Hip hip hooray, so it works!


Since such functions could not be more different depending on the selected aircraft type, there are even several profiles available, which you can select using the small LCD screen that sits on the control yoke. Nothing wrong with that, except maybe the screen could be a little bigger.


Either way you have to deal with the small screen, because only there you can switch between the Xbox and PC functionality, determine the colors and luminosity of the LEDs (which you can also deactivate completely if you wish) or manually start a stopwatch for free navigation according to the classic scheme. A test function even allows the fire button functions to be queried using the screen. Wow! This control yoke covers pretty much every function you could wish for.


ups and downs


It's just a pity that you catch yourself scratching your head when you switch on the Flight Simulator. How can it be that a device with eight control axes can do everything imaginable in a virtual airplane, but fails with the game's menu? To direct the virtual cursor in the main menu, you still need a mouse connected in parallel or a normal Xbox controller, whether on the PC or on the console. Seriously?


And while we're on the subject of negative points, we can get the second one out of the way right away. It's about the four-way throttle combination for the engines, which is much too easy. There can be no two opinions as they feel so smooth that they will probably fall to the zero position on their own after a few years of wear. This detail is guaranteed to become a target for modders. It's actually a pity, because their range, ergonomics, and range of functions are good. See, for example, the reverse thrust position, which can be detected below the neutral position. Thanks to the included optional grip caps, you can also separate them by color.



Hopefully, at least the (very senseless) problem of the menu control will be bridged with a firmware solution because in all other respects VelocityOne Flight fulfills all expectations with flying colors. Flying is a lot of fun thanks to the sensitive controls. The resistance when steering feels just right and the device leaves no doubt about its ergonomics. The generously proportioned, very precisely adjustable trim wheel is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the VelocityOne Flight. If only the throttles were half as good...


Now, some purists might be offended by the slightly stiff pitch control mid-position, which has a smoother transition on PC-proven competitors such as the Honeycomb Alpha, but these are flavor notes to argue about without ever coming to a general judgment.


Discussions about this should soon be pending among consoles because a honeycomb control yoke with Xbox support is also scheduled to appear in the first quarter of 2022. Not to mention an imposing Hotas joystick. It is a well-known fact that competition stimulates business. Well, thanks to its modular design, the VelocityOne Flight can be expanded or modified over time. Maybe another module with better throttle controls and a port for pedals could appear. In any case, what Turtle Beach has delivered is promising and could become the basis for a real enthusiast must-have.


CONCLUSION

Almost a must-buy for console pilots

When I immerse myself in the MS Flight Simulator, my favorite thing to do is take to the skies in small aircraft and turboprops – medium-sized propeller-driven private planes. The VelocityOne Flight control yoke is ideal for this purpose, whether on the PC or on the console. The gaming fun increases many times over compared to using a normal joypad. The well-designed trim wheel and the many programmable, smartly illuminated buttons of the quadrant module increase the comfort enormously. Only when flying jets and jumbos do I find a Hotas to be a better solution because it is more realistic.


Good flight feeling, modular design, and convincing ergonomics are clearly on the plus side of the VelocityOne Flight, even if you have to deal with the console without a connection option for pedals. Xbox pilots can hardly avoid the purchase, and PC pilots also receive an interesting complete package with many functions.


However, I find 379 euros to be a bit too high a price for the device when I consider that such a control yoke does not require any motor components at all - in contrast to a steering wheel for racing games. Inside the construction, the axles are only attached to high-quality rubber. Even if I hide the engine component, I find them far too smooth-running, very carelessly installed throttle and the missing control function for menus to be counter-arguments for the selling price - even in times of chip shortages.


Be that as it may, you may find the device on sale, or the price may drop due to upcoming competition from Honeycomb. Whichever comes first, if you're willing to tinker with the throttles, you can't go wrong with the VelocityOne Flight.


PROS

  • very good feeling in flight
  • polyfunctional quadrant module
  • cleverly released clamping device
  • Suitable for Xbox and PC
  • SIP panels
  • modular - therefore expandable
  • multiple usage profiles
  • Various customization options for the button configuration
  • chic LED lighting

CONS

  • much too easy throttle
  • no menu control possible
  • no support for pedals (Xbox)
  • price a bit too high
  • SIP panel only functional from February

Post a Comment

0 Comments