Behold, The Valve Steam Controller

First, Valve announced SteamOS; then they announced the Steam Machines beta project, which in due time will bring a Valve-made gaming device as well as a host of others; and the third and final announcement of the week is the Steam Controller, which Valve bills as a “different kind of gamepad”.

As part of Valve’s major play for the living room, the company wanted to seriously revisit the concept of input. Mouse-and-keyboard is simply too cumbersome for the living room, and Valve felt that current game controllers left too much to be desired, as well.

Valve Steam Controller

The wireless Steam Controller is designed to offer a “vastly superior control scheme” compared to other offerings, and Valve has endeavored to deliver better resolution, fidelity, and precision with low latency.

The device will play all Steam games--even older titles that weren’t built for anything but mouse and keyboard input--and it features dual circular trackpads that are clickable; a touchscreen in the middle of the device (that is also clickable) that overlays your input on the big screen; and sixteen total buttons, including left and right shoulder buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons, and more.

Example of Valve Steam Controller bindings
Example of Valve Steam Controller bindings

It should come as no surprise that the Steam Controller is fully hackable, and it’s part of the Steam Machine beta, so if you get in, you get a controller, too. However, the beta version won’t have the touch screen, and it won’t be wireless. However, you will be able to use the Steam Controller on non-Steam Machines, which is a smart feature by Valve.

Valve Steam Controller exploded

You’ll be able to get your hands on the Steam Controller next year when the Steam Machines start marching off the assembly lines.