SAN FRANCISCO — The original Steam Controller was first announced as far back as 2013. But its taken two years of tinkering for Valve to declare the $50 peripheral ready for production. This is it, or at least will be come November.

Valve, the makers of the Steam downloadable gaming service, has created a controller intended for use in the living room that supports a wide variety of PC games, ranging from strategies to shooters. The result looks very different from the Playstation 4 and Xbox One console controllers. After getting some hands-on time with the Steam Controller, I approve.

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Two circular touchpads dominate the left and right side of the device. These pads replace the typical analog stick or directional pad found on other controllers. The left pad features a subtle D-pad texture, which helps orient your fingers. But getting used to the haptic feedback, which creates a slight rumble as your fingers move across the touchpads, is the real trick. You can adjust the strength of the vibration from the Steam Controller’s settings menu.


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