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Valve shows off new HTC Vive controller design

Valve has debuted one of its internal VR developments at the developer only Steam DevDays conference: a new HTC Vive controller design. The motion tracked controller looks shorter than its predecessor and is purportedly capable of being let go or half-held, potentially offering a new interaction method in game.

Although the HTC Vive controllers are something that a lot of people praised at the time of release, ourselves included, they are rather large and lengthy. They aren’t heavy by any means, but when compared with Oculus VR’s Touch controllers, they are a bit hefty – perhaps that’s why Valve has been developing a more refined alternative.

Even though no press were allowed to the Steam DevDays event, several developers (Shawn Whitin specifically) did share images of the controllers and they really are small form factor. The wand handles are gone and the touchpad has been transferred to the centre of the tracking puck.

The backing trackers are a little different, as they wrap around the wrist like the strap – which seems mandatory with these controllers. Purportedly they allow half holds, as well as full grips and letting go of the controllers entirely. Theoretically that could mean that when in game, you can ‘throw’ objects by actually letting go of your controller without it hitting the wall or something more important.

In other news, although Valve kept quite quiet on the details about it, we did learn that a new Lighthouse base station is coming in 2017. What the difference will be is anyone’s guess, but likely it will be smaller and perhaps with some form of battery power too.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: One thing we know for sure, there will be some sort of comic book name for the new base station. I like the look of the new controllers, but I wonder if it will offer quite a different experience from the originals, and therefore be more suited to certain games and experiences. 

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