“F1 2009” by Codemasters (Wii)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 2009 for Nintendo Wii has an up-to-date roster of teams and tracks
F1 2009 for Nintendo Wii has an up-to-date roster of teams and tracks

Codemasters picked two formats for their new official Formula 1 game “F1 2009”.

Yesterday we looked at the handheld Sony PSP version – but what’s the game like played in full screen on a Nintendo Wii? Read on to find out.

It’s not hard to see why the Wii is the first major console to get the latest official Formula 1 game. Despite being technically inferior to the Sony PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 it has out-stripped both for sales. According to Nintendo at the end of last month over 56 million had been sold worldwide (see PDF).

Its motion-sensitive controller has broadened the appeal of gaming to people who wouldn’t usually pick up a joypad. And “F1 2009” aims to play to that by coming boxed with a special adaptor which allows you to hold it like a steering wheel.

This makes for a much more enjoyable driving experience than you get playing the game on the PSP. I found it worked best when I switched to the in-car camera view so I could see exactly how turning my wheel affected the one on-screen.

It’s nothing like as accurate as using a proper steering wheel set-up. It has a large ‘dead zone’ in the centre of the turning motion, meaning you have to turn it quite a lot for the car to change direction. But it works perfectly well for the simplistic demands of “F1 2009’s” arcade-style racing.

The other major difference between “F1 2009” on the Wii and PSP is that you are playing the game in full screen which show the graphics in all their glory. Or not, as the case might be.

Trying to render 20 cars on-screen at once taxes the Wii even with the comparatively simple graphics of “F1 2009”. Whenever you catch up with a clutch of cars at a tight corner there is a noticeable drop-off in frame rate. And if you execute a particularly stunning pass and want to watch a replay of it, you’ll be in for a disappointment as there’s no replay facility.

Much of the reaction to the early images and video of the game published here focused on the simplicity of the graphics. But Nintendo’s gamble that the Wii would ship more units by sacrificing graphical quality for a more tactile gaming experience proved accurate, so I suspect F1-loving Wii-owners will get exactly what they want out of this game. Xbox 360 and PS3 owners will get a 2010-spec game next year.

Apart from the control system and graphics, and some subtle differences in the menus, “F1 2009” for the Wii is much the same as the PSP version, so do refer back to that review for more on the cars, tracks, teams, technology and other 2009 season details.

And if you’ve played either version of the game, please tell us what you thought of them in the comments.

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F1 2009 for Nintendo Wii video

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53 comments on ““F1 2009” by Codemasters (Wii)”

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  1. Games based on the Formula One racing circuit tend to appeal mainly to hardcore racing fans. If you fall into that category, Codemasters have got you covered with the release of F1 2009 on PSP. Fans around the world will get the chance to take to the virtual grid and emulate their favorite drivers as F1 2009 races into stores across North America today. Europeans have to wait a couple more days before the title arrives in shops. The PSP edition of F1 2009 will also be available.
    For more on this you may visit at:

  2. I guess singing the praises of GPL (Grand Prix Legends) will only mark me out as an ageing has-been. Still play it and get a kick from it , though.

  3. i’ll take it on PS3 thanx. hope to see higher quality!!

  4. I’m an avid racing gamer on console only.

    I love NFS Shift but I hate that you get rewarded for crashing into people. The graphics are great and it has better tracks than Forza3.

    Forza 3 seems the more popular of these two games, especially if you play online. It has excellent graphics and the addition of Suzuka that SPEED doesn’t. But then Forza doesnt have SPA so it’s, for me, a give and take.

    Forza3 has taken tuning and liveries to a level not seen before in other games.

    For us F1 fans the biggest downfall of both games is no F1 cars in either game.

    Living in the states it’s hard to get a decent F1 game for console so I was terrebly excited at last years news that Codemasters was doing a 2009 version. Gutted that I have to wait until mid October 2010 to play it on my xbox, as I dont have a wii. And the more I read about the the 2009 the more I think I will be dissapointed, although I will buy the game on release day as there arn’t any other options.

    1. I love NFS Shift but I hate that you get rewarded for crashing into people.

      I found that slighty annoying too.
      That makes it too easy to level up.
      The game on a whole is a bit too easy and in my opinion it doesn’t have great replay value. You beat the game once and thats it.

      The tracks look very well though I must say.

  5. can you change the direction of the steering wheel?
    so that the car goes left when you turn left, and not right.
    (if you understand that?)

  6. I enjoy this game, however I was shocked to find that even on the game you could not chose to be a female driver. At first I thought that I had missed a step when setting up my profile but I hadn’t. I started a ‘career’ and in one of my race reviews it referred to me as ‘he’ which was really annoying. Girls do like F1 and racing as well!!!

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