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Valve shows off final Steam Controller

Steam Controller final design

Choosing between the comfort of the couch and the power of your PC will be a thing of the past with the new Steam Controller, says Valve

It’s been almost two years in the making, but Valve has finally unveiled the first wave of Steam Machine hardware, including the final design of its Steam Controller. The dual trackpad controller has changed quite a lot since we first saw it in 2013, but Valve says it will let you play all types of games on your TV, even those designed with a mouse and keyboard in mind. 

It has every kind of control scheme you could possibly want, with dual-stage triggers with 10 degrees of travel, a magnetic flux sensor and tactile switch, back grip buttons, an analogue stick, dual HD haptic force actuators on either side of the controller, and built-in gyroscope and accelerometer sensors for tilt-to-steer racing wheel functionality and other motion-controlled inputs. The controls are completely customisable too, and you’ll be able to share or create your own mappings or find them from the Steam Community.

According to Valve, the dual trackpads use virtual controls (much like those you’ll find in a trackball, adaptive joystick or steering wheel) to allow for 1:1 precision input. The surface of each trackpad can also be programmed to adapt to any type of game input, and the controller’s haptic feedback actuators will let you feel the spin of virtual trackball, the click of a scroll wheel or even the shot of a rifle. The dual-stage triggers can also be used as analogue or digital inputs, or both simultaneously, so you’ll be able to aim your iron-sights and fire in an FPS game, for instance, using the same trigger. 

With around 5m of wireless communication range, the Steam Controller should accommodate most living rooms. Valve says it should last around 80 hours of standard play using the bundled AA batteries, but this figure may vary depending on the type of batteries you use. Alternatively, you can always use it wired. 

You’ll need a Steam Machine or a PC capable of running Steam in Big Picture Mode in order to view, edit, save and share Steam Controller mappings, but Steam Controllers are available for pre-order now for £39.99, with the first batch of orders shipping on October 16th. 

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