Valve update: Steam Controller revealed

September 29, 2013

This article will be the final installment in a three part series dedicated to the latest reveals made by Valve. As the company have stated before, they aim to expand their Steam service to the living room and mobile devices. The prospect of playing PC games from the couch without compromises to the gaming experience, in a way, boils down to controller input. Thus the Steam Controller.

Similar to the Steam Prototype the controller design hasn’t been finalized, instead Valve opts to release the joystick during their beta program and expects user’s feedback to shape the device. The company also plans to release tools which will aid in this process. In the meantime industrial designers from Valve bring us a controller with sixteen re-mapable buttons.

Touchscreen & Dual Trackpads

The first noticeable aspect of the Steam Controller is the lack of dual analog sticks. Gamers worldwide have been very vocal about how physical input still matters in this day and age. And for many having Dual Analog sticks to their disposal means being able to control the game properly. The demand for joysticks compatible with Ios and Android smartphones, as well as accessories for 3DS is a testament to this point.

But worry not, Steam Controller replaces “traditional” analog sticks with two circular trackpads, each positioned there where one would normally expect an analog stick. These trackpads should offer very precise control and double up as clickable buttons. Even more impressive is that these touchpads house electro-magnets which offer the evolution of the rumble feature.

The aforementioned touchpads aren’t the only option for touch input, snugly between them sits a clickable high resolution touchscreen. Valve has set the goal to make every title from the Steam library playable with the new controller. “The Steam Community can use the configuration tool to create and share button presets for their favorite games. Players can choose from a list of the most popular configurations.”

Valve will release more detailed specifications on both the Steam Prototype and this Steam Controller somewhere next week.

What do you think about the features of Valve’s controller? Like or hate reading my articles address me on twitter @italkgame or voice your thoughts in the comments below.

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