Valve Introduces the Steam Controller

SteamController

So far this week we have learned about SteamOS and Steam Machines. Now it’s time for the true innovation of Valve’s living room takeover plan: the Steam Controller!

As you can see, the Steam Controller is one kooky-looking peripheral. Instead of analog sticks and a D-pad like a traditional gamepad, the Steam Controller features two circular trackpads, each one equipped with an electro-magnet for haptic force feedback as well as a clickable surface to act as an extra button. The controller features a total of 16 buttons, including a “touch screen” surface in the center which combines touch elements with a clickable button action.

SteamController_bindings

All of these buttons and neato trackpads are designed to make PC games of all types–particularly cursor-driven genres like RTS which historically haven’t been very good in the living room space–easily playable from the sofa. Whether you buy a Steam Machine or pair it with your existing gaming PC, the Steam Controller will work with the complete Steam catalog, even older games that were never designed with a gamepad control scheme because this controller’s configuration tool will trick games into thinking they’re being played by a mouse and keyboard.

Registering for the Steam Machines beta test will also put you in the running to be one of the lucky 300 gamers to try out a prototype Steam Controller, which won’t be wireless or have the touch screen as the finished product will offer. Like SteamOS and the Steam Machines, the Steam Controller will be an open device, meaning it will be completely open to hacking. Once tools are made available, users will be able to tinker with the controller’s industrial design to electrical engineering.

SteamController_parts

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!