Today Valve revealed details for its very own gamepad — the Steam Controller, designed to work with the company’s Steam Box console.
The device features two circular, clickable trackpads. “Driven by the player’s thumbs, each one has a high-resolution trackpad as its base,” explains Valve. The company says that the new controller allows for higher fidelity than traditional gamepads, which makes it a better alternative to a mouse and keyboard for controlling PC-centric genres like strategy games and first-person shooters. Valve says that the Steam Controller was designed to work with the entire Steam catalog of games.
The controller also features what Valve calls “a new generation of super-precise haptic feedback” thanks to the use of dual linear resonant actuators. “These small, strong, weighted electro-magnets are attached to each of the dual trackpads,” says Valve. “They are capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement.” They can even be used as speakers.
In between the trackpads is a touchscreen, which, like the pads, also serves as a button by being clickable. It’s also designed so that you don’t have to keep looking down at your controller — when you touch the screen, it’s then overlayed on top of the game on your television.
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