Game controllers is a category that manufactures often overlook and don’t innovate on when a console is being released.
“Over the past two decades, the game controller hasn’t really changed since the first PlayStation came out,” said the Associate Editor of Computer and Video Games at Valve, Rob Crossley.
As you can see, the game controller for the brand new game console, the Steam Box, from Valve, looks much different than your standard game controller, with two trackpads that send out haptic feedback for different sensations from games. Valve claims it can be used for many genres of games, with a huge range of vibration intensity and precision in the amplitude, force, and direction of the vibration. This is meant to make a big difference in the normal gaming controllers that just have a standard, small vibration for all types of games.
Also, in the center of the device, is a small touchscreen that can both be used as a button, and as a peripheral to the game being played (ie. a map or a tool selector). The touchscreen will also be shown on the display as well, though, so the user isn’t required to pay attention to both screens at the same time. Though much of the space has been taken up by the screen and two trackpads, there still are 16 total buttons on the controller for the user to have control of in their games.
Valve says this controller has been built to allow it to be used with both games built for controllers, and games built for a keyboard and mouse. I personally think it would be difficult to adapt to this new controller after having gotten so used to the normal two joysticks, the A, B, X, and Y buttons on the right, and the arrows (up, down, left, and right) on the left.
However, according to some gamers who have tried out the new controller, it is a nice controller that is fairly easy to use, though it does take some getting used to. We’ll just have to see how it plays out (no pun intended) and let the invisible hand of the free market decide whether this product is to shape all future controllers or stay unique to the Steam Box.
What do you think about the new controller? Would you rather have this brand new design or stick to the classic one? Let us know in the comments section below!