Valve Is Making A New Vive Controller

Valve showed off a new, slicker controller for its HTC-backed Vive virtual reality system at the Steam Dev Days conference today in Seattle.

Image via @robmerki's Twitter feed

While the event is not open to press, developers in attendance tweeted photos of the device from a slide presentation. The main new feature appears to be the ability to open your hand while holding one, without dropping the controller. If that action is tracked by the controller, that would help VR developers better replicate natural hand movements in the many, many VR games that render Vive controllers as virtual hands.

Attendees say that a prototype of the controller is available at Steam Dev Days. It's unclear when it will be out, what it will cost and whether people who have the current Vive controllers will get any sort of deal if they want to upgrade. We're checking with Valve about that.

When asked about availability, pricing and whether there'd be a discount for people who already have the original controllers, Valve rep Doug Lombardi says: "All good questions. But we are focused on gathering feedback on the design prototype at this point. Will have more details soon."

The original Vive controllers, which cost $US130 ($172) apiece and are usually used in pairs, looks like this. They already works pretty well for mapping different hand grips in VR, thanks to buttons on the top, back and sides of the controller. The Vive came out this spring. On the one hand, it's nice to see technological improvements. On the other, a new controller this soon? Bold move.


    It's definitely not a bad move, vr and their games are still very experimental atm and even though the controllers have only officially been out for 5 months they've been doing the rounds for a while now. I've been on the fence on whether or not to get motion gloves but these might be that happy middle ground and will get the game support

      I agree, particularly as they seem to have a similar button count. Valve have been really great with the Vive and steam. Steady updates until now that have created a stable and easy to use platform. They also seem to respond really well to community feedback.

    I'd like to see these controllers being free for us who bought the vive originally. It's only fair considering the extremely high initial purchase price and the inevitable fact that these new ones will be packaged instead of the old ones.

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