Valve’s incremental unveiling of their Steam console/PC leaps forward today with the first photos of their “Steam Controller”. The new unorthodox gamepad strikingly features no analog sticks in place of dual touchpads. Valve believes the new steam controller is superior to traditional gamepads although it lacks thumbsticks; they’ve designed the device to trick games into believing they’re being controlled by a keyboard and mouse. Additionally, the controller features haptic feedback and a small Dreamcast-esque touch screen. Built from the ground up, the controller has been designed to be “hackable” by anyone who desires. By joining the Steam hardware beta, your feedback and modification will justify changes to the final product it seems.
The most prominent elements of the Steam controller are its two circular trackpads. Driven by the playerâ€™s thumbs, each one has a high-resolution trackpad as its base. It is also clickable, allowing the entire surface to act as a button. The trackpads allow far higher fidelity input than has previously been possible with traditional handheld controllers. Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controllerâ€™s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse.
Whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa. RTS games. Casual, cursor-driven games. Strategy games. 4x space exploration games. A huge variety of indie games. Simulation titles. And of course,Â Euro Truck Simulator 2.
In addition, games like first-person shooters that are designed around precise aiming within a large visual field now benefit from the trackpadsâ€™ high resolution and absolute position control.
Valve also revealed details on the Steam Machines which you can sign up to beta test here (by October 25th).