“F1 2009” by Codemasters (Wii)

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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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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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

  1. Good luck to Codemasters with all this. You Formula 1 Fanatics can be quite passionate about your gaming. :)

    No one should attack Codies for not giving the full Simulator experience. If you want that, get rFactor, as a few of the teams use it too.

    Truth is, the vast majority of F1 Wii gamers, will be “casual” F1 fans, and have no desire to tweek wings, and shave off 100ths during practice (Much as many of us here would love that). Codies main market is this casual gamer, and they know what they are doing.

    All the same. I should think the 2010 version will be closer to what many around here are after.

    GP4 is still the best anyway….for now… ;)

    1. i am looking forward to the ps3 version for sure, but can anyone tell me waht this rfactor is i have seen links to videos and stuff but is it a game you play and how do you get it – anyone??

      1. rFactor is the benchmark for racing simulators. You buy it online and download it, although I think Amazon sell it on a disk too. You can get it here:

        But you need a reasonably beefy PC to make it work well. The best thing about the game is you can mod it and put in 2009 F1 cars for example. This is best site (I think) to get the latest mods from:

        Also, I think rfactor 2 is coming out soon so you might want to find out more about that if you decide to buy it.


        1. iRacing is the benchmark. Although if it’s F1 you need then it will have to be the Lotus 79.
          Don’t get me wrong, I like rFactor very much once RealFeel is hooked up right but after iRacing all else feels detached…

          This Codemasters effort is everything I feared it would be. Essentially a moving, interactive low resolution picture of the 2009 F1 season. I struggle to even call it a game. Absolute rubbish waste of the F1 license.

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            19th November 2009, 20:40

            iracing is very expensive though that’s the problem. If they made it a one-time price rather than a rip-off subscription then it’d be as popular as rfactor.

          2. Iracing is a joke…press a button after a wreck and magical the cars is perfect, no pit crews, put an mm of rubber on dirt and cop a penalty, no rain, no dynamic track, no time shift…
            Over priced, underwhelming organized pick up racing, that is hyped beyond belief…not really surprising as it’s US based with 99.9% of all content all US cars/tracks.
            And in the great tradition of American corporate greed you dont ever own the game, you simply lease it and any items you purchase for the game is locked from you access it unless you keep forking out more $$$$.

            No sorry the bench mark for sim games at the moment is either NKPro(bespoke version) or Rfactor PRO…which apart from graphics has very little else in common with rfactor.

            NKpro is the best open wheel sim as the ordinary version is more closely related to the custom team build versions.

            In saying that Rfactor is fun Rfactor2 should be very good…
            Here is a link to my sim

          3. You pay for the best physics and feedback engine available to consumers, a stunning mm precise interpretation of a circuit and most important of all superb, intense and close multiplayer racing.
            It costs more than any other racing sim and is still the best value for money if its a racing sim you want. You get what you pay for!
            I don’t want it to be as popular as freeFactor. I don’t want to race with kids with no sense of race craft (9 times out of 10 at least.)

            AP – in iRacing, you get one car reset (with tow to the pits) in the lower class cars (intended for beginner and rookies). After that, a wreck is a wreck.
            netKar PRO is an absolutely superb sim but lacking organisation and development. Much like the brilliant Live for Speed…

            You’ll get there (to iRacing) if you want to race bad enough. There really is nothing that comes close…

          4. AP – I’ve been following your recommendations. netKar is still the same, a fine sim but lacking in activity. rFactor Pro on the other hand is not really in the same category is it?
            You need a server farm and a team of F1 engineers to get anything useful out of it. Oh and it costs a bit more than iRacing, to say the least.
            I guess comparing that with iRacing should simply be taken as a compliment to iRacing..?
            You clearly have no experience of the sim considering your comments so maybe you should check it out for real, rather than just reiterate a few sporadic comments from forums? You may be pleasantly surprised!

          5. I was involved in modding since gp3 days…I beta tested iracing, and since last time I paid I got 3mths for the cost of 1month…I played it for nite and never touched it again…Bored the crap out of me…
            I am not a ‘rookie’ and I did have an excelent SR

            I have raced AJ Aleninger (wrecker) Dale Jn, Ambrose…etc in iracing…
            I dont like it, I dont like usa tracks /cars/ the price/ the graphics/ the participation levels of some series means u waste $ on cars…Plus I cant access stuff I own/bought unless I keep paying $ to be able to use the base product.

            Bit like if I had your car your own garage and you own it and you cant touch it or even look at it unless you pay me $xxx a year.

            If they change the system to pay for a series and all the content need for that 1 series then I would give it a go again…but I hate the base subscription plus car cost plus track cost….organized costly pickup racing…The racing isn’t any better than and slightly lower than most good leagues….

            That is just MHO and others dont agree with me and thats cool, I would hate everyone to agree with me…no one to argue with :)

            Rfactor2 will be quite good I hope…

          6. also on iracing tracks…the the whole lazer scan thing isn’t sole property of iracing, there were laser scanned tracks in rfactor 1st…and this will be the basic standard from now on.
            Iracing is good but it’s mainly hype, which is re-enforced by marketing and the fact you have a high cost. $ doesnt always mean better.
            I mean nike shoes cost about$1 to make but sell for hundreds of $

            I dont belive iracing has the best physics, that title goes to nkpro.
            Best immersion goes to any simbin product.
            Best allround features in a sim would be GP4 or RBR, most content goes to rfactor.

          7. Fair enough :) At the end of the day I like most decent racing sims. Some more than others. All those we’ve both mentioned fall into this category. So may it continue!

  2. I’m shocked, 6 months ago Keith barely knew about consoles, look at the him now! we should be proud of him.

    I’ve got a PS3 so I’m out, and I doubt I’ll buy the 2010 game anyway since it wont have in season developments.

    1. And I have you guys to thank for helping me get up to speed on the Wii :-)

    2. maybe not but they could always adapt the game so you could up date it over the web, like what they will be doing for gt5

      1. If they release it at the start of the season, and do a real time update to change the cars per race, then that will be very interesting indeed…

        Full 2 hour races?, with a car that changes per track, I’m all for that but I reckon they prefer to make money other keeping me happy.

        1. when the 2011 season rolls around they could always just update the game to suit that season, just change drivers for teams if they change for 2011, same with the wings on the cars etc.

          if they did that well then it could be a very good game, and in this day and age its kind of expected

      2. GT5?

        It’s a great game. Every new car of the next 20 years. Now, if they’d actually release it before those 20 years end, perhaps I’d get more excited.

        1. i know! its been to long.

  3. Jonesracing82
    19th November 2009, 9:38

    i can’t wait for it to come out on PC………i hope like hell they r still releasing it on PC….

    1. Pedel to the Vettel
      19th November 2009, 10:35

      The xbox360, PC and PS3 version of 2010 wont be out until at earliest mid season of 2010 i know my gaming.

      There are no pictures or videos of this 2010 game yet so i doubt it will come out from the start of next season more likely at the middle or end of the 2010 season so to be a decent quality.

  4. Got a Wii and would like a decent racing game for it, so I have a few questions…

    Can you adjust the steering to find a feel you like, or are you stuck with one setting?

    Is it accurate enough that you can drive round lap after lap within a few tenths?

    Is the opposition tough enough, or is it too easy to catch other drivers and win races?

    Do you have to race with 2009 rules (I never liked fuel stops) and teams that no longer exist?

    Does it have adjustable front wing flaps? Do they make any difference…

    1. i’d has it a guess that if u do short races u skip the fuel stops, and the cars etc will be from the ’09 season, so ur stuck with Toyota, BMW etc

    2. I don think you would be able to adjust the steering wheel.
      I think with the practice you will find that you could drive lap after lap within a few thents.
      You can adjust the difficulty of the game by making the other cars go faster.
      You have to race with all the 2009 rules.
      They don’t hace adjustable front wings.

    3. Bullfrog:

      I didn’t try changing the sensitivity settings, I’ll have a look next time I play it.

      I would say it’s fairly easy to drive consistently, yes.

      There’s variable difficulty settings for the other drivers. But that seems to affect their speed and not how good they are at defending or overtaking.

      Yes, you have to race to 2009 rules including refuelling (but only if you’re doing a long enough race).

      And no, the the adjustable front wings aren’t simulated (KERS is). There’s more about that in the PSP review.

  5. i hope the 2010 version is based on the ’10 season! if it’s released mid or end of next year then it should be, more cars/races that way as with the real season

  6. Can you link a steering wheel of your own rather the the wii one?

    1. Yes you can

  7. rfactor is an online simulator , requires a monthly fee and features real world tracks and simulation vehicles. Good for weekend warrior practice.

    GT5 to be released in March on PS3 , should be the best simulation game made to date.

    1. rFactor does not require a monthly fee :) it is a one time purchase.

    1. I like CTDP 2005 better. Something about the V10’s that feel more like an F1 car.

  8. This was made at the start of the season and from the videos I’ve seen Button leads by 2 seconds in every race.

    Is this true? If so that sucks

  9. Highly recommend Forza 3 for XBOX 360. Very good sim and really challenging with all assists off. Only draw back is no F1 cars, but many are compairable. I am not sure if GT5 is going to have any F1 cars either now that codemasters has the rights.

    I assume that F1 2010 will feature all the new teams/drivers with proper 2010 rules. I can’t wait!

    I do find it odd that they would include KERS on ALL the cars for the Wii and PSP. It might be an arcade sim but I hope they don’t make changes in the upcomming 360/PS3 versions like that!

    1. GT5 has at least one F1 car, the Ferrari F2007. Not sure if there are more.

  10. Is it possible for a discussion about this game to remain about this game on any website?

    Every single one is filled with PC fanboys screaming about rFactor.

    1. That’s ‘cos this is complete irrelevant rubbish and it’s good to help people not to waste their money on this garbage and spend it somewhere more useful and relevant.

  11. Lol the KERS is like a mushroom on super mario kart

  12. It actually looks kinda cool.

    But I’ll still wait for F1 2010….

  13. Reminded me of the this news article about the game earlier this year.

    BTW I shouldn’t have to say, but someone won’t get it. This is a spoof!

  14. Oops can’t edit my dodgy post:

    Reminded me of the this news article about the game earlier this year.


    BTW I shouldn’t have to say, but someone won’t get it. This is a spoof!

  15. bit disappointing, please codemasters, let the better producers create f1 games, i just screwed my 50 euros…
    too low quality and ****** gameplay

  16. You can use the nunchuk or the classic controller and it also supports the logitech wheel for wii.

  17. You can win yourself a copy, courtesy of F1 Badger and Codemasters here: F1 2009 Wii Comp

  18. Just took delivery of F1 2009 on the Wii. Great game. OK not the best graphics but it is a Wii. You CAN tweek all the settings, wing angles, toe in, wheel cambers, gear ratios etc. My only real gripe is that all the cars seam to have KERS.

  19. 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:

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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.

  23. 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?)

  24. 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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