PC Valve unveils the Steam Controller

Martok

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Gamepad to feature touch screen, trackpads and haptic feedback

Valve has unveiled the Steam Controller, a new gamepad designed for playing Steam titles in the living room.

The controller, which will be sent out to 300 consumers this year as part of the Steam Machines beta test, features a total of 16 buttons, a touch screen and a pair of trackpads with haptic feedback.


It will support the full catalogue of existing Steam games, work on any Steam platform and can be fully configured by the user.

Steam Controller is designed to compliment Valve's television-focussed operating system SteamOS and Steam Machines, its line of living room PC hardware planned for release in 2014.

"We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room," the firm said in a statement. "We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input - our biggest missing link.

"We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology - one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we've arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you."

The Steam Controller's dual trackpads are said to allow far higher fidelity than has previously been possible on traditional gamepads.


Valve compares the inputs to a desktop mouse, with the trackpads' high resolution said to allow precise aiming and absolute position of control.

Valve claims that "whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse" will now be accessible in the living room via the Steam Controller trackpads.

Each trackpad can also be clicked, with the entire surface acting as a button.

The Steam Controller's central touch screen can be utilised by developers to display a variety of peripheral game information, and also acts as a clickable button.

The most striking feature of the Steam Controller though appears to be its implementation of haptic feedback using a number of weighted electro-magnets attached to each of the dual trackpads.

The magnets are capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, says Valve, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement.

"This haptic capability provides a vital channel of information to the player - delivering in-game information about speed, boundaries, thresholds, textures, action confirmations, or any other events about which game designers want players to be aware."

The electro-magnets can also be used by developers to play audio waveforms and function as speakers.


Valve says it plans to make tools available that will enable users to 'hack' and physically customise their own Steam Controller.

Steam Controller is the last of three Steam-related announcements made by Valve this week.

On Monday the company revealed its SteamOS. The software, which is free, is hoped will remove hardware manufacturers' reliance on the paid-for Windows operating system.

That reveal was followed by the official announcement of Steam Machines, a line of living room hardware Valve plans to release via various manufacturers in 2014.


Source: CVG
 

Jkrohn1

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Am i the only person who think it looks nice? Would love to have a go hands on as it does look very unique
 

ColSonders

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PMSL - that's utter crap.

Those touch pad things instead of sticks are gonna be horrible....at least PC gamers get to keep saying they don't use proper control pads.
 

Jkrohn1

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Well after watching this I'm starting to think it might be half decent.

 

ColSonders

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You ever tried aiming on a game using a laptop trackpad?

It's.....well lets just say it's not good.
 

IamNumber6

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Steam have announced today that if you want to get a controller before the official launch then get your bums over to their store

A small batch of the controllers (£39.99) will be made available for shipping on October 16th, the official launch is currently set for November 10th

Also a small batch of the steam links (£39.99) will be made available for release on October 16th

They are also offering a combined pre-order option for (£79.98)
 

Plaxinator

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That is pretty cool looking and if I played a lot of PC games I'd definitely get one. Currently I use an xbox controller and for games with no controller support I map the keys using a programme called Xpadder.
 

Plaxinator

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As I sold my Xbox 360 I didn't have an official controller to use anymore. Got fed up using Xpadder to configure my generic controller so have been a mug and pre-ordered one of these.
I was slightly outraged at the P&P that steam charge though - £7.40!!!! Got 2 free games with it (Portal 2 & Rocket League) though, and a £50 Steam card for £45.99 through CD Keys. Controller plus P&P was £47.39 so I saved myself £1.40 by getting the card and have £2.61 left in my Steam wallet.
 

IamNumber6

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Nice update winging its way to the steam Controller

Steam Controller Update Lets You Customise Every Button Press
By Nathan Grayson on 17 Jun 2016 at 9:01PM
The Steam Controller continues to be a thing that is not super comfortable for a lot of people, but that hits just the right spot for customisation junkies. Valve’s regularly updated it since launch, and now it’s gotten one of its most ambitious updates yet.

Activators, currently available on the controller’s beta client, allow you to customise individual button presses. Here’s how they work:

“Activators sit between inputs (such as a button on the controller) and binding outputs (such as a keypress). They control how the input is turned into output and provide a number of settings to control this. Some simple examples are long press, double press, binding cycling, toggles, and delays.”

“There is no limit to the number of activators that can be placed on a single input, so a button can have a normal press, a long press, and a double tap on a single button, each firing off different actions in a game.”

So you could, for instance, set a single tap and hold for running and a double tap and hold for sprinting on the same button. Or you could go big with it, per Valve examples like toggling into an entire different control set while holding a button, and releasing to go back to a typical control set. And again, you can do this kind of thing with every button, with no limit to the number of activators on a single input.

There’s A LOT of room for self-expression, in other words. The Steam Controller is now your canvas. Go out and paint the world. Or make an MLG gag control setup forFarming Simulator. You do you
Source
 
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