Earlier this week, Valve shocked the world with the announcement of SteamOS, a full-fledged operating system that was geared entirely toward gaming. This further opened up the opportunity for the Steam Machine, but how were you going to play these Steam games in your living room? After all, a traditional keyboard and mouse isn’t exactly conducive to couch-based gaming.

It didn’t take very long for Valve to address that concern, because the company has now revealed what it appropriately calls the Steam Controller. In some sense, it provides the console-like experience that we’re used to having in our living rooms with an Xbox or PlayStation, but it also goes about it in entirely different way. You’ll notice that the right side, for example, isn’t mostly occupied by face buttons. It has a trackpad that mirrors the one on the left. In fact, there are no thumbsticks at all; the trackpads do that job.

The dual circular trackpads are said to be high resolution and high precision. They’re also clickable, making them able to act as buttons. There are a total of 16 buttons on the controller in all, half of which are accessible without having to remove your thumb for the haptic feedback-enabled trackpads. That’s a lot of buttons, but Valve isn’t done. The middle section there also boasts another touchpad, not unlike what we see in the PS4 controller. That’s also clickable, acting as another source of input.


This high level of flexibility allows the Steam Controller to work not only for Steam games that are coded to work with controllers, but also games — past, present and future — that aren’t. The controller can act like a keyboard and mouse without looking anything like a keyboard and mouse. Traditionalists may scoff, but this is really the only way that Steam can get a solid foothold in the living room.

What do you think? I don’t see how this controller would be all that great for fighting games or anything like that, but the highly symmetrical design and the numerous buttons could make it great for everything from FPS to RTS.

Via Intomobile

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