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VALVE announces third big announcement, The Steam Controller

The famous founders of the Steam program, VALVE, have been making huge announcements this week. They have all lead up to this! First was SteamOS, then Steam Machines, now they have broken new ground with their third announcement, The Steam Controller which features a unique design sure to drive innovation!

The Steam Controller is built around 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.

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JimmyLmao1031d ago

umm, okay, looks, umm, unusual?

PLASTICA-MAN1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

Lol at back clickable trackpad, Valve trying to copy the PS Vita and PS4 controller. We will see how it will go plus, the controller looks so ugly and bland at the front that's why they keep showing the back and only one tiny pic of the front is show at the end. Valve is doing bad strategy for keeping this secret and not shwoing it to the public to get their feedback, a last minute change won't be possible then.

Edit: So all the pics are from the front view? Oh my bad then! And thanks for notifying me with complete politeness without being a fanatic.

spartanlemur1031d ago

Wait, so copying an awesome idea is now frowned upon?
Then let's just attack George RR Martin for "copying" Tolkien.
Also, this is innovation. What they're doing is not copying Sony or Microsoft, but taking a risk and putting a high-resolution trackpad (like you have on your laptop) onto a controller. This will mean you can play first person shooters more effectively and actually be able to play strategy games in the form cose to that which the creators intended.

And are you an idiot? Almost all of the images are of the FRONT of the controller.

HolyDuck1031d ago PersonalAttacksShow
Dan_scruggs1031d ago

Took exactly 2 comments to make a comparison to the PS4 controller. Considering it looks and operates absolutely nothing like it. It bridges the best of all worlds. PS4 and Wii U and keyboard and mouse. The touch screen in front is crucial and is the direction Sony would have been wise to go in. The mappable touch screen interface in necessary to differentiate it from a simple cheap touch pad the PS4 is going with. The reaction to this is not unlike seeing the Wii controller for the first time. At first everyone laughed and then it crushed the competition. Valve knows what its doing.

Studio-YaMi1031d ago

That is really immature of you,technology and advancement in any category(you name it!) is build up over earlier studies or ideas with newer approaches.

There is no shame or copying in this.

PLASTICA-MAN1031d ago

@ Studio-Yami, then why big companies fight each others and go even t courts to settle that like the Samsung-Apple copying problem that Apple won and Samsung had to pay millions of bucks but they paid Apple with many big vans full of cents. What is immature now?

Athonline1031d ago

If you ever do a degree at University you will learn how to do research and use excising sources/ results and built on-top of them. In academia simply referencing the original authors is considered widely accepted.
In corporation world or sometimes in PhD level, as your research aims to produce profits, if part of the new product/research includes using patented or copyrighted material, then you have to licence as well reference them.
Now for example: if you are building mobile phones, Motorolla is forced by law to licence their patterns at a fair price, as they considered basics in telecommunication. Otherwise unfair pricing or refusal leads to monopoly, etc etc.
However unique features a device may have, are not considered "basics", that may lead to a monopoly.
Patterns not only state in details the expected usage, but also the actual implementation of the product -what is needed to archive the desired output.

For the controller all we know: Sony's pattern is different than Valve's. Sony's pattern is Japan or EU, Valve's is a US company and can use it. Valve's implementation, even if the designed purpose is similar, is different.
Similar to listening music in-game: MS figured a way to play music, while you play games. Their implementation and output is console-specific, thus PC gamers aren't breaking any laws when they do so, but Sony couldn't in PS3. Thus Sony to walk-around, allowed devs to implement a way to listen to music, while playing a game. The output (the purpose) of the functionality is similar, but the implementation different.

I can list you hell a lot of examples of technologies building on-top of others, or popular walk-around in patterns and famous licences. If you want, just ask, but before you ask: look at your cellphone, your laptop/ desktop, TV, etc. None of them is a single corporation/man's design and research.

In software we usually copyright, not pattern stuff and the process is a bit different.

0ut1awed1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

It's not trying to copy the PS4/Vita controller. Did you even read the article? Oh and who am I? A guy that currently ONLY owns a PC and Vita as his gaming platforms. I have a ps4 on preorder though.

The PS4/Vita has touch elements. The Steam controller is using a track pad as the literal joysticks. Oh and the "touch pad" element on the PS4? The "copy" on the Steam controller is a full color touch screen. If you are cynical enough to have to degrade it at first sight, the only valid derogatory statement would be "1up" at best.

Also the Haptics vibration tehcnology they talk about incorporating sounds freaking groundbreaking. It's like surround sound except in vibration for the controller if I am reading it right. Although the "sound" analogy isn't really so much of an analogy apparently.

Here is a statement regarding the VIBRATION emitters...

"As a parlour trick they can even play audio waveforms and function as speakers."

They have more than enough real estate with each "joystick" area to allow for precision aiming similar to a PC mouse.They wanted a controller that would really work with PC games. Even more so, they wanted a controller that also allow for competitive gameplay.

Sure, you can use a 360 controller fine on PCs. See what happens if you try and play say BF3 with a controller online though.

This controller can be the perfect solution for PC gaming with a controller. I will admit that the ergonomics look a bit weird but Valve says they have spent a whole year of R&R with the design so I trust it's as perfect as can be.

This design could be the future of controller input. It defiantly has the possibility to put mouse like precision on your hand. It won't quite negate the need for a keyboard though. You just have to be running a game optimized for a controller. Most PC games seem to at least let you do the necessitates with the controller.

ThanatosDMC1031d ago

Good thing they made PS4 controller compatible on the PC so we could use it on Steam games. I'll get Steam Machine/Box if it's higher spec than my computer.

0ut1awed1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

@ Thanatos

Well at the very least you can stream your PC to the Steam Machine in the living room or wherever it is.

I'll be supporting it no matter what. I enjoy consoles but I think PC needs some more love, especially for console players that think it's just too expensive. Increased support would then lead to devs having better budgets for PC games in the future.

Win win for everyone, especially the new comers that then get the hardware dirt cheap AND end up get the optimized software that comes with increased support! As you can see I'm very pumped about what this means to the PC community as a whole!

Autodidactdystopia1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

2 words..

Haptic feedback

that's the gamechanger, the haptic feedback comes through the trackpads.

this is different than just a trackpad, you get feedback up the wazoo. Im really willing to try this.

takes a lot for me to be willing to retire the 360 controller cause that thing has served me well, but this.. this looks neat.

I also don't know if you guys missed this part but this is what sets it apart from an ordinary trackpad.... they themselves say a trackpad is balls compared to using a joystick.

Valve:

"Trackpads, by their nature, are less physical than thumbsticks. By themselves, they are “light touch” devices and don’t offer the kind of visceral feedback that players get from pushing joysticks around. As we investigated trackpad-based input devices, it became clear through testing that we had to find ways to add more physicality to the experience. It also became clear that “rumble”, as it has been traditionally implemented (a lopsided weight spun around a single axis), was not going to be enough. Not even close.

The Steam Controller is built around 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.

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. 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."

starchild1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

This is so exciting. I've been waiting and hoping for some innovation in the area of game input and control.

Valve have been researching this for a while. The fact that it allows you to play keyboard and mouse games comfortably in the living room on your couch is simply brilliant.

I can't wait to get my hands on this.

Edit @ Autodidactdystopia

Yeah, the haptic feedback stuff is the most exciting aspect of this whole thing. The ways that this has the potential to expand the way we interact with games and the feedback we get from the games is just incredible.

I don't think some people understand what a game changer this could be.

Kevin ButIer1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

Trackpads trying to replace thumbsticks is like kinect trying to replace buttons... we are not there yet, maybe later

NewMonday1031d ago

I want this to work on Windowes PCs

3-4-51031d ago

@ PLastica-man . You realize that is the front right?

BattleAxe1031d ago

Looks like a pretty sweet controller. Looks like Valve is trying to sidestep Xinput in addition to Windows. They've pretty much declared war on Microsoft.

UltimateMaster1031d ago

I don't know how I feel about this controller.

Somebody1031d ago

So PS Vita didn't steal the track pad ideas from those used on laptops, then?

"Valve is doing bad strategy for keeping this secret and not shwoing it to the public to get their feedback, a last minute change won't be possible then. "

They are doing that now. This is a not final product. That's why they announced and showed their devices this week and launched a beta programme for testers to test and give feedbacks later on.

badz1491031d ago

the controller looks very futuristic and I give it that but don't most pc gamers loath the idea of using controllers altogether? somehow now "this is awesome"? I don't get it. don't flame me as I game on console mostly and still play many multiplats on pc WITH CONTROLLERS as I can't stand kb+m.

plus, no matter how accurate the track pads will be, your thumbs will never be more accurate than your wrists. that's a fact

ShinMaster1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

I don't think having the face buttons spread apart like that is a good idea. It looks impractical.

How can I Hadouken!?
How can I run and jump?
How can I play any games that require me to move the left stick/pad and press X or Y simultaneously?

+ Show (16) more repliesLast reply 1031d ago
Sarick1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

It doesn't look very wireless.

EDIT NVM I missed this.>

"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"

darthv721031d ago

maybe for the type of responsiveness....it cant be wireless? Just a guess.

all the touch and haptic ability could be a killer on batteries but...i dont know.

here you go: "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."

Mystogan1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

I'm going to be a pessimistic a**hole and say. This controller looks bad. It just doesn't look comfortable. Ever played an FPS on your smartphone? Well it sucks. Maybe this is more precise but the feel will be the same, its the feel that bothers me most about touch controls not the precision. Touch controls do not replace thumbsticks Valve, better luck next time. Also fighting games will simply suck balls with this controller.

my optimistic me says I might try it when it's compatible with X1 though, you never know.

Feralkitsune1031d ago

X1? It's a controller for the PC.

Somebody1031d ago

Wow. Steam OS, Machines and Controller are designed to break the PC away from MS and you only will buy this only if it comes to the X1?

come_bom1031d ago

Well... it's something different.

onyoursistersback1031d ago

We'll you got problems with product design, when the back looks like the front....and in this case both look ugly.

SilentNegotiator1031d ago

Virtual buttons? They're worried about how inaccurate control sticks are and then rely heavily on virtual buttons to make up for a lack of control?

the_espresso_kid1031d ago

Do you honestly think STEAM would roll this out if it didn't work well?

-Foxtrot1031d ago

Looks horrible, where is the annalouge sticks.....this isn't going to work

Dasteru1031d ago

No analogs because analogs suck, they are slow and imprecise.

This controller is designed to bridge the gap between console controllers and the high performance of a mouse, or atleast get as close as possible. The dual track pads will take some getting used to but will provide far better speed and accuracy.

Read the entire page and the reasoning for the design instead of just looking at the pictures and you will understand it.

-Foxtrot1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

When you use a keyboard and Mouse for your gaming computer it's comfortable

When you play on consoles you have analogue sticks because they feel comfortable

I couldn't give a crap about precision because it's never effected me...hell ANY of us, it's something so small that nobody cares.

Look I know this is Valve but they f***** up....we need to change this or tell them to give us another option.

"Read the entire page and the reasoning for the design instead of just looking at the pictures and you will understand it."

Just because someone understands it dosen't mean it's going to feel right. If thats the case people would rather have a Keyboard and mouse

PurpHerbison1031d ago

Analog sticks took some getting used to at first.

AIndoria1031d ago

Don't worry man you're just getting disagrees because no one wants to admit Valve actually is doing what we usually call "Get shitfaced on friday" :P

tee_bag2421031d ago

I bet you said the same thing when analogues took the place of d-pads.
Saying it "isn't going to work" is utterly meaningless when you haven't tried for yourself.

Analogues are already 15 or so years old and grossly inaccurate (although comfortable). Its about time someone tried to evolve the controller.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1031d ago
thisismyaccount1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

Weirdest pad of all time.

I don´t think those "tactile-stick" replacement surfaces are a bad things, prolly have even a higher accurate-precision than a standard stick has.... but what im more concerned about is, are those Y,X,B, and the A buttons (paid and made by M$ :P?)...

Looks way too complicated and probably it is very complicated to use, not sure if the design and placement of those buttons are practical at all...and i bet they´re changing it few times prior release.

Think about playing Pes 2014 with that, it´s going to be tough to use X,Y or B,A while rotating, moving forward, jumping obstacles and what not...

red_HULK1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

I was gonna get a steam box or gaming PC, until I opened a steam account & noticed that all the games were the same price or more than disc? Wtf??! I thought steam was so great because I could get games for a fraction of the cost. That's a boner kill. I guess I'll just get a ps4 and save a grand.

PurpHerbison1031d ago

I'm going to have to ask you to knock off the bull sh*t right now cause it isn't cute. 0/10

wsoutlaw871031d ago

Its awesome valve is doing all this and trying to take the best of both consoles and pc and turn it in to steam. That would be awesome because there are so many pc games im interested in but i prefer consoles. That being said, I think the track pad in kind of a stupid idea because like valve mentioned you need some sort of feed back or else you wont even know if you are centered or not. Touch screen joysticks suck real bad on phones, but it does seem like they have done some pretty impressive things with the feedback so we'll see. I do applaud them for bringing long over due controller innovation. Valve has me interested but id prefer if games like mount and blade, total war, and war of the roses (rumored that it is coming) just came to the ps4 with its more open policies than before.

s45gr321031d ago

You are absolutely right, so those are track pads, and I thought it was two large circles

Beastforlifenoob1031d ago

@JimmyLmao
You spelt amazing wrong

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1031d ago
MuhammadJA1031d ago

Meh. There are enough controllers out there.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

Dude chill.. Valve is doing something I have never seen. As expected..
That controller looks like it was mad in a cyberpunk world.. I LIKE!!
http://cdn.store.steampower...

I am sure they put an rts game on the screen on for a reason.

Seems valve made the ultimate controller?

"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.) "

The x,y,b,a buttons umm hmm never ssen it like that lol But who knows may make sense when I get my hand on it.

Can hardly see it but it does have triggers.

No HL3 is not a surprise.

SteamOS + AMD Mantel(no need for diectx/windows) + AMD/Nvidia better linux drivers = new age in gaming! Maybe.

Seem like a big shift in just one week lol.

edit: lol at disagrees. I am observation fanboy sorry.

I know people may disagree with valve especially pc gamers. But I bet valve knows what they are doing.

Also I can care less for HL3.. Open world L4d3 on source engine 2 please. :)

Don't be made pc gammerz lol smile!!!

UnHoly_One1031d ago

"The x,y,b,a buttons umm hmm never ssen it like that lol But who knows may make sense when I get my hand on it."

We'll see how much sense it makes whenever you play a game that requires you to press two buttons simultaneously. lol

cyborg471031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

Still not sure why you're getting the disagrees. :\

[quote]We'll see how much sense it makes whenever you play a game that requires you to press two buttons simultaneously. lol[/quote]

Its said to have 16 buttons on it, remember?

KillrateOmega1031d ago

...and you're telling him to chill?

s45gr321031d ago

I agree nor disagree, I am sad no mention of Half Life 3 the controller that I didn't expected it.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1031d ago
FFRyan1031d ago

I feel like Valve should have ended with SteamOS :/

JimmyLmao1031d ago (Edited 1031d ago )

or maybe even a demonstration of them counting to the number 3, just to prove that they can actually count that high hehehe

Xof1031d ago

Well, let's see: do we announce Half Life 3, that everyone wants... or a gamepad without thumbsticks that no one wants?

Obvious choice is obvious.

s45gr321031d ago

You know Valve has never made a video game trilogy which is strange now that you mention L4D 3 portal 3 and Half Life 3.

Jovanian 1031d ago

Yeah, it shoulda been: Hardware (plus controller) in one announcement, then OS, then software (improvements to steam as well as a look at games available on the steam machine as well as other platforms)

but they get points for making the controller look...interesting. I have been looking to purchasing some sort of controller input method for PC gaming but I'm a bit hesitant to pick something like this up when it looks so drastically different and completely does away with thumbsticks

TrevorPhillips1031d ago

Am I the only one that thinks the controller looks awesome

jhorner131031d ago

No, but you're also a crazed psycho drug dealer. just sayin.

TrevorPhillips1031d ago

And what are you supposed to be, grizzly bear, if so, start running, cause imma bout to hunt you down with my rifle

The_Infected1031d ago

@Trevor

I think the controller is awesome!

LordSane1031d ago

Yeah, it looks like alien device, very unique and crazy.

Beastforlifenoob1031d ago

IF thats what aliens game on, I want to be an alien.

Heartnet1031d ago

yep as it looks like trash lol... 2 trackpads? really? trackpads on laptops are so shite and The xperia PLay had 2 trackpads and they were so useless....

Also the button placements are a bad idea.. Accidental slip on trackpad when accessing buttons will be commonplace whcih is why on common controllers they are on the side with the least used analog stick.

Also doesnt look very ergonomically friendly at all.. They have gone for specs over usability and thatll be there downfall

s45gr321031d ago

I need to try out this controller first before making judgment which you should do also

Dasteru1031d ago

I wouldn't jump straight out and call it "awesome" but it does look like an interesting concept that could have some nice benefits. I need to actually get it in my hands to know for sure.

@Heartnet: The track pads on laptops aren't exactly high resolution, The ones on the Steam pad should be alot better. Think of them more like flat track balls vs a laptop style touch pad, should be nearly 1:1.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1031d ago
Tctczach1031d ago

Half Life 3 is not a controller :(

Tctczach1031d ago

Haha I figured this would be it but I had to hope.