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After announcing the new free-to-download Steam OS and giving a bit more information about the Steam Machine video game console, Valve has now revealed the last of its three announcements: a new game controller. The Steam Controller is unlike any gamepad you have seen before as it features dual trackpads and can work with any game that was traditionally designed for a keyboard and mouse.
The dual high-resolution trackpads claim to offer higher fidelity input than other gamepads, and are clickable to double up as buttons. “Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse,” Valve says.
The trackpads feature dual linear resonant actuators, which provide precise haptic feedback for force and vibration, delivering in-game information about speed, boundaries, textures, etc. And they can even play audio waveforms and function as speakers.
There are a total of 16 buttons on the Steam Controller, with a ‘legacy mode’ that allows it to present itself as a keyboard and mouse to support the full catalogue of existing Steam games, including its many awesome free-to-play titles.
The middle of the controller is a touchscreen, which is also a clickable button to take action on whatever you see on it, such as a map or a radial dial. Just touching the touchscreen will have its display overlay on your monitor’s screen, letting you access the touchscreen without switching gaze between the controller and the screen.
And yes, like all things Steam, the Controller is completely open and hackable, so the community can think of ways to improve it. Right now, there’s no word on when the Steam Controller will be released or what its price will be, but you can head over to its official page to sign up to be a beta tester.
Source: Steam Controller