Valve has been announcing up a storm this week, first with its own operating system, and then with its own hardware. Now we've got the third and final piece of the puzzle: a controller. Man is it crazy.
No, those are not joysticks, but they are dual trackpads, and look where the buttons are. This is a pretty freaking weird shake up, but innovation is great, right? Still it's hard to imagine how this thing is going to feel.
The idea with the trackpads is to enable more precise input than your standard dual sticker can, and it makes sense since Valve is coming from a world of mice and keyboards:
The trackpads allow far higher fidelity input than has previously been possible with traditional handheld controllers. Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse.
Still, we'll have to feel it to believe it. But to compensate for the fact that the trackpads aren't as physical as you might be used to, the Steam controller is going to employ a whole bunch of crazy specific haptic feedback, specifically dual linear resonant actuators. In layman's terms, vibrating electromagnets behind each pad.
To further the hybridization of mouse and controller, the Steam dealy has a big old clickable touchscreen front and centre, a la the Dualshock 4.