Steam Machine's wacky controller demoed to calm gaming purists

Credit: Steam/Valve

In order to push the envelope, you have to be willing to throw out previous conventions. It was difficult for gamers who resisted the D-pad jump to analog sticks, the switch to dual-analogs, and even the Wii Remote's motion controls. Valve's weird Steam Machine controller revealed last month is no different.

Instead of dual analogs and a D-pad, the Steam Controller has two clickable high-resolution circular trackpads with haptic feedback, which are said to be precise enough to match gaming keyboards and gaming mice. The Steam Controller is still a prototype (it doesn't have a touchscreen in the middle yet), but it's already showing promise.

The controller was designed to work with all genres of PC games, from FPS to RTS to click-based games. In the video below, four games are shown played with the Steam Controller: Civilization V, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Papers Please, and Portal.

As shown in the video demo for Portal, the game is the PC version, meaning it hasn't been modified for full controller compatibility. Because the Steam Controller is highly configurable, the game simply detects its mapped functions as if it was a regular keyboard and mouse; no extra programming required. In Papers Please, the Steam Controller's two trackpads get "blended together" to replicate a mouse, allowing users to move a cursor around the screen quickly with their left and right thumbs.

Obviously, this is just a taste of what the Steam Controller is capable of, but so far, it doesn't look too shabby. Don't let us tell you, take a look at the video demo yourself.

Via Steam Community

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