Dual-trackpads prove quite flexible across genres

Video: Valve’s Steam Controller in action

Valve has released a video preview showing their new Steam Controller in action that highlights the versatility of the controller versus a traditional gamepad.

The Steam Controller is part of the Half-Life developer’s bit to take PC gaming to the living room in the same way it pioneered digital distribution with the launch of its Steam platform.

The company has already unveiled three new technologies including a Linux-based Steam OS with a UI that makes navigation easier without a mouse and keyboard and a line of PCs built with the living room in mind called Steam Machines.

The third is the Steam Controller itself, and replaces traditional analog sticks with re-imagined and highly customizable trackpads.

This new video is the first to show the unorthodox inputs in action, and features gameplay from a variety of genres.

The setup changes for each game played: Portal 2 is configured to emulate WASD + Mouse controls, Civilization is shown with the trackpads separately controlling the cursor and camera, and Papers, Please demonstrates the novelty of using both trackpads to control the cursor, allowing for more seamless scrolling.

The video – attached below – is worth a look, as it shows just how different the Steam Controller really is, but even this isn’t the finished product.

Valve will be distributing 300 of these prototypes to beta testers in the hopes of getting feedback on the design, but the finished product will include a touchscreen in the center of the controller, opening up another range of interface possibilities not available without a mouse and keyboard.

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