Valve third announcement: A Trackpad “Steam Controller”

steam-controller_620x340[ad#ad-1]Steam’s 3rd announced today was a new controller for their Steam box and Steam OS announcements. The new controller features a traditional controller look but a very non-traditional controller layout. It sports two hepatic trackpads in place of analog sticks, a HD touch screen and the XBYA button layout in on either side of the touchscreen. Now actual photos of the controller were show other than the render above and we should see the first glimpse of the Steam controller next year.

The Steam Controller also features “a new generation of super-precise haptic feedback, employing dual linear resonant actuators. These small, strong, weighted electro-magnets are attached to each of the dual trackpads. They are capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement.”

Valve continued by explaining that haptics provide “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. It is a higher-bandwidth haptic information channel than exists in any other consumer product that we know of. As a parlour trick they can even play audio waveforms and function as speakers.”

The Steam Controller is designed to work with all the games on Steam: past, present, and future. Even the older titles in the catalog and the ones which were not built with controller support. (We’ve fooled those older games into thinking they’re being played with a keyboard and mouse, but we’ve designed a gamepad that’s nothing like either one of those devices.) We think you’ll agree that we’re onto something with the Steam Controller, and now we want your help with the design process.