Yesterday afternoon, Valve revealed the third and final announcement for the “Steam Universe”- the Steam Controller.
Valve’s third and final “Steam Universe” announcement is a brand new PC gaming controller- the “Steam Controller”. While the controller is designed for home entertainment PC’s and Steam Machines, it will be compatible with any existing versions of Steam, on any operating system. Unlike any other PC-driven controllers, the Steam Controller features two trackpads, a touch-screen surface and 16 buttons- all of which have individual macro settings:
Rather than have thumb-sticks like traditional controllers, Valve opted for trackpads in order to emulate the same sensitivity and precision as a mouse-and-keyboard input; the trackpads are also clickable and can each be mapped to several different functions. A clickable high resolution touch-screen sits between the two trackpads, acting as a minimal player-specific HUD, and an option-database; players will be able to swipe through various actions and menus by touching the screen, and can then select their choice by clicking.
According to Valve, with the Steam Controller in the hands of developers and programmers, the screen has the potential to become a mini-map or even a scrolling menu. To avoid splitting attention between the controller and TV screen (or PC monitor), the touch-screen interface is displayed on both the controller and TV/monitor when clicked.
Once the Controller is available to the public, players will be able to create macro settings for their titles and share them within the Steam Community; the Steam Controller is compatible with every title in the Steam catalog. Valve also created the controller with the purpose of being “hackable”; Valve plans on releasing tools that will help the community reshape the controller, whether through hacking, modding or even “electrical engineering”.
The Steam Controller will be available in 2014: Those lucky 300 who receive prototype Steam Machines will receive Steam Controllers with their devices, however they will not have a touch-screen, nor will they be wireless; the “prototype” Controller features 4 buttons in place of the screen, and requires a USB connection.