With its new Steam Controller, which is available for pre-order now, Valve is hoping to blur the line between the precision of a traditional mouse and keyboard setup, and the natural, comfortable feel of a control pad.
With its "high-precision input technologies and focused on low-latency, wireless performance" and its haptic feedback features, the controller is designed to be as precise as possible, with two big track-pads that can be customised to perform multiple functions.
For shooter fans, the Controller's dual-stage triggers offer analog, digital, or both types of input at the same time, meaning that you can perform actions like zooming down the iron sights and firing off a burst of assault rifle rounds, all using the same button.
"For too long players have had to choose between the precision of a mouse, and the familiarity of a controller, between the power of a PC and the comfort of a couch" says Valve. "But why shouldn't you have both? The Steam Controller isn't just a game pad, it's a passport that brings thousands of games previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse to the comfort of your couch."
And if it performs that task as well as Valve promises, then I'm sure we can forgive the fact that the thing is as ugly as hell. It will certainly be interesting to see the effect that these new controllers and the console-ised Steam Machinesthis November will have on the popularity of PC gaming.
The Steam Controller itself will set you back $50/£40, and is now available to pre-order
Here's what to expect from Valve's Steam Controller
05 June 2015 | 2 comments | By Nick Horth