Valve has made two new announcements showing what they have planned for the future, SteamOS and Steam Machines. Now their third and last announcement is the Steam Controller.
We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input — our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology — one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we’ve arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.
Instead of using thumbsticks, The Steam Controller uses dual trackpads for mouse-like movement. These pads are also clickable so if you are playing an RTS this will be a viable option for you. They also uses haptic feedback which will make the players movements more precise.
The controller also features a touch pad in the middle which a player can use as “a scrolling menu, a radial dial, provide secondary info like a map or use other custom input modes we haven’t thought of yet”. There will also be an overlay feature so if a person’s playing a game and start using the touch pad, it will show on the screen instead of the player being forced to look down.
There are a total of sixteen button’s on the Steam Controller, each placed based upon it’s frequency of use. Half of the button’s a player can use without moving away from the trackpads.
The controller is also moddable for anyone that wants to change the it into their version of the perfect controller.
Just as the Steam Community and Workshop contributors currently deliver tremendous value via additions to software products on Steam, we believe that they will meaningfully contribute to the design of the Steam Controller.
This may seem a little lackluster compared to the other two announcements, but the controller’s unique design has got a lot of people talking…a lot of which are in a negative light. We will see what the future of the Steam Controller may be when it enters beta with the Steam Machines.
What do you think of Valve’s new controller? Share in the comments below!