Valve announces Steam Controller

| Sep 27, 2013

The final announcement has been made, capping off a week filled with Steam-related news, and the last mystery has been revealed as the Steam Controller.

Steam’s teaser site, which revealed the controller, says the company spent a year “experimenting with new approaches to input.”

The Steam Controller is designed to work with all the games on Steam, including those that weren’t built with controller support. The controller has two circular trackpads, which the player’s thumbs will drive across. The pads are also clickable. Steam says PC gamers will appreciate the pads approach to control, similar to that of a desktop mouse. Games that were only playable with a keyboard and mouse, like casual, cursor-driven games, strategy games, and other indie games will now be accessible from the sofa. First-person shooters that rely on precision aiming will now benefit from the trackpads’ position control.

A new generation of precise haptic feedbacks deliver a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precision control over frequency, amplitude, and movement direction. These two haptics are attached to each of the dual trackpads. The controller will apparently be able to play audio waveforms, and the haptics can function as speakers.

The centre of the controller contains a high-resolution touch screen. It will allow users to perform a wide variety of actions. The screen itself is clickable as well, allowing players to easily access the Steam marketplace or other menus.

Steam has built in a legacy mode which enables the controller to present itself as a keyboard and mouse. Players will be able to choose from a list of the most popular configurations.

Steam is encouraging the Steam Community to deliver additional concepts and other designs to the Steam Controller.

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