Valve’s announcement of the stickless Steam controller this week has raised a lot of questions. How does it work without analog sticks? Can a trackpad really give you the same amount of control? How do features like haptic feedback work to provide a realistic virtual experience?

Gamasutra was able to run down some developers who recently were able to test out Valve’s bizarre new controller at their headquarters in Bellevue, WA.  A few highlights: the controller’s configuration map works can be cut into several pieces, all with their own commands.

Similarly, the trackpads that replace the analog sticks have separate “zones” that reportedly have a “depth” you can feel as you move your thumb from the inside to the pad’s outer edge. The controller also offers a small touchscreen in the middle, though the usage or practicality of this has yet to be determined.

“I don’t know if this would necessarily be my first choice for a first-person shooter, because I’m such a mouse and keyboard guy,” said Double Fine’s Chris Remo, who came away impressed. “But I’d also really like to try it.”

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Via Gamasutra