Valve has surfaced for the third time in a week with another announcement concerning its bid for the living room, this time with the Steam Controller. The controller is a little peculiar in its appearance. Its form consists of a straight top and curved body, unlike that of the hilly surfaces of most controllers today. Rather than having the four face buttons nestled on the right side of its body, they surround the controller’s touchscreen. Beneath the touch screen lie three additional buttons and of course, there are various triggers and back buttons as well.
What’s most interesting about the Steam Controller’s appearance is that its analog sticks have been replaced with circular trackpads. The trackpads have been integrated with haptics and it’s supposedly a link into the future of gaming. Through haptics, players can receive “in-game information about speed, boundaries, thresholds, textures, action confirmations, or any other events about which game designers want players to be aware.”
To solve the dilemma of incorporating current and older PC games, the controller has been built with a legacy mode. This allows the controller to act as a keyboard and mouse. Also, the Steam community will have the chance to create and release popular button configurations for various titles. However, if that doesn’t suit the player, the controller is also hackable and open to modification. Everyone may all start with the same controller, but as time passes it’ll be evident that many transformations will ensue from the controller’s versatility.
And while it is designed to go along with Valve’s new hardware and operating system, the controller will work on regular PC’s as well. Make sure to check out the details on Valve’s previous two announcements, SteamOS and Steam Machines.