While no controller will ever directly replace the mouse and keyboard for precision and flexibility, Valve’s prototype Steam Machine controller does a wonderful job of bridging the gap. With tons of buttons and dynamically controlled dual trackpads, players can switch between digital, ananlog, relative, and fixed-position input for movement, mouse-look, or direct cursor control. In this video, it’s even demonstrated that both trackpad inputs can be combined for greater cursor precision and speed.
For many, many games, this is probably going to push Steam Machine controls into the “better than good enough” category for couch-based input. And the possibilities for games that switch between analog and console controls (Battlefield infantry to vehicle transitions or Splinter Cell FPS to TPS transitions) make this a potentially superior solution to juggling multiple devices.
I’m impressed… what do you think?