Valve’s third announcement, as part of its strategy to invade the living room space, is the open and hackable Steam controller.

Valve explained the reasoning behind developing its own controller on the announcement page, stating:

“We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input — our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology — one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we’ve arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.”

The page also states that the controller has been specifically designed to work with all Steam games, whether they were released in the past or are planned to be released in the future.

The controller features a touch screen in the center, which is almost like a cross between the Wii U’s gamepad and the DualShock 4’s touch pad.

Another factor separating it from more traditional controllers is its analogue sticks — or lack of them. The thumbsticks have been replaced with dual, click-able trackpads, which take up much of the controllers space.

Valve admits on the page that trackpads are not known for having the same precision as a thumbstick, but they also explain how they are planning to get around that.

“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.”

Oddly enough, the two trackpads are also capable of emitting sound as a speaker.

The Steam controller beta will be the same as the previously announced Steam Machine beta. More information can be found on Valve’s announcement page for the Steam Controller.

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Senior Editor

I love burritos and hot wings. Reading is cool. TV is better than movies. Pibb Xtra is a really good soda. I write about games, and you can follow me on twitter @IsaacFed

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