We now know what the last of Valve's big three announcements is this week. Following the introduction of SteamOS and Steam Machines earlier this week, Valve today unveiled its Steam Controller, the last piece of the puzzle intended to get you playing PC games on your big screen TV using Linux. In making the transition to the living room, Valve is somewhat following in the footsteps of traditional consoles with a controller that looks nothing like a keyboard and mouse combination.
The premise of the Stinky Footboard is simple: Sometimes two hands and 10 fingers aren’t enough. And in games that require you to press more keys than a world-class pianist, your foot can come in handy.
That’s the idea behind Stinky’s deadly simple Footboard. The USB device is akin to a four-way, foot-operated D-pad. We had concerns about the durability of the Footboard, but cracking open our review model revealed the D-pad balanced on a heavy-duty ball-bearing and a metal bar running across the length of it. The switches themselves are Cherry MX blue. The unit connects to the USB cable via a standard Micro-USB port, so you can swap cables if need be.
Note: This review was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
Valve just followed up its SteamOS announcement from earlier this week by unveiling what it calls "Steam Machines," a new category of living room hardware designed to get you playing PC games on the big screen. There will be different hardware to choose based on your needs and budget, details of which will be unveiled at a later time. In the meantime, Valve has designed a high-performance prototype and plans to ship 300 of them to beta testers, free of charge.
Hankering for some more zombie goodness? Happen to do most of your gaming on PC? Of course you do! That means you probably haven't played State of Decay. Good news -- as of today, the Undead Labs open-world zombie massacre-fest is available via Steam's Early Access program.
Here's a heads up for any of you who may have pre-ordered or otherwise plan on purchasing an Xbox One game console. Depending on how adventurous you're feeling, you may need to rearrange your AV cabinet if you've already made room for the console and assumed it would be okay place it vertically. Turns out it's not okay and you could actually damage the console if you don't lay it flat.
An "essential update for all GeForce GTX users," Nvidia says
This has been a good week for gamers. Intel, AMD, and now Nvidia have all released new graphics drivers, the latter of which is saying its GeForce 327.27 WHQL-certified drivers represent an "essential update" no matter which GeForce GTX GPU you own, as it delivers maximum stability and gets you ready for upcoming games like Batman: Arkham Origins. It's also the first WHQL-certified updated from Nvidia since July.
Heads up all you Radeon HD graphics card owners, AMD has released a new batch of WHQL certified Catalyst drivers, version 13.9. These are the first logo certified drivers for Windows 8.1, which Microsoft is planning to make available to download on October 18th (free for existing Windows 8 owners, $120 and up for the full retail version). Catalyst 13.9 supports both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. Here's what else you need to know.
The gaming category is one of the last frontiers for thin and light form factors in the mobile space, and if iBuyPower's new Battalion MS1771-1 and MS1771-2 are any indication, gamers needn't worry about lugging around big and heavy laptops. Despite wielding 17.3-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) displays, these Battalion systems are billed as "ultra-thin," with iBuyPower claiming they're the thinnest 17-inch gaming laptops around.
Gabe Newell calls Linux the “future of gaming” while pillorying closed platforms
Be it the launch of the Steam for Linux client or Big Picture Mode, Valve has been steadily laying the groundwork for its long-announced invasion of the living room. Although it seems the next logical step would be for the company to show off some dedicated hardware, it isn’t known how far along in the development of the “Steam Box” it is at this stage. But going by some of the comments CEO Gabe Newell made during his recent keynote at LinuxCon, it appears that some sort of dedicated hardware from Valve could show up as early as next week.