Valve is making a play for the home console market with its planned introduction of Steam Machines, dedicated hardware devices that you hook up to your TV to play games downloaded through Valve's popular Steam service. The company is offering an innovative game controller for the system that it's showing off for the first time in a new video.
The Steam Controller is unusual for its use of twin thumbpads instead of the thumbsticks that have become ubiquitous on controllers like those on the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The video shows how they get used in games ranging from first person shooters to strategy. Steam games don't need to be programmed with specific support for the Steam Controller, either. A "legacy mode" enables them to work with any game that works on Steam.
Steam Machines - and the Steam Controller - will be publicly available in 2014. Valve plans a very small-scale private beta program later this year.