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Steam Announces A Controller

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For the final day of the Steam announcements Valve presents what everyone expected, a controller. So what makes this any different than lets say an Xbox 360 or Playstation controller?

Well Valve has a few things to say:

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.

Traditional gamepads force us to accept compromises. We’ve made it a goal to improve upon the resolution and fidelity of input that’s possible with those devices. The Steam controller offers a new and, we believe, vastly superior control scheme, all while enabling you to play from the comfort of your sofa. Built with high-precision input technologies and focused on low-latency performance, the Steam controller is just what the living-room ordered.

This new monster controller will boast features such as

  • dual track pads
  • haptic feedback
  • front and read touch screens
  • 16 buttons
  • shared configurations
  • open and customizable

And here are a few possible questions and answers provided by Valve:

Questions!

Is this the same beta as the Steam machines one, or is it separate?
Same. So you only need to sign up once.
How does the beta work? When will it start? How will you choose participants?
Please see the FAQ on Steam Machines, because it covers lots of important questions.
I’m a happy Steam customer happily using my happy mouse and keyboard. I don’t want a controller?
You can’t make a sentence into a question by just putting a question-mark at the end. But we’re happy you’re happy, and by all means keep using whatever input method makes sense for you. Rest assured, we won’t abandon you. We love mice and keyboards, too.

Can I use a controller if I don’t have a Steam machine?
Yes. It’ll work very well with any version of Steam.
I’m a developer – how can I include support for the Steam Controller in my game?
On the same day that our prototype controllers ship to customers later this year, the first version of our API will also be made available to game developers.
How will the beta controller differ from the one that’s for sale next year?
There are a couple important differences: the first 300 or so beta units won’t include a touch screen, and they won’t be wireless. Instead, they’ll have four buttons in place of the touch screen, and they’ll require a USB cable.
What’s next?

We’re done with our announcements, and we promise to switch gears now and talk specifics over here in our Steam Universe community group. Also we’ll talk soon about the design process and how we’ve arrived at our current prototype. (We’ll post detailed specs next week for our living room SteamOS prototype, too.)We look forward to working together with you to design the future of Steam in the living room.

What do you think about the controller? Is this revolutionary, or a potential bust?
Official Valve Announcement

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