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Video Games

Valve developing new Vive controller

The new controller is in the prototype phase, and could offer better finger tracking.

Valve is working on a new controller for Vive, the virtual-reality headset it developed in partnership with Taiwanese tech company HTC. The controllers were shown at the Steam Dev Days conference. Although the event wasn't open to the public, developers in attendance Tweeted pictures of the new controller.

As of yet, there aren't many details on what new features the controller will deliver, but based on images it seems that users will able to open their hands without dropping it.

Presumably, the controllers will be able to track when this is happening and replicate hand movements and finger articulation with greater accuracy. However, this has not been officially confirmed by Valve and is speculation on our part.

Speaking to Kotaku, Valve's Doug Lombardi said it is "gathering feedback on the design prototype at this point." Asked about release dates, pricing and whether those who have the original Vive controllers will get a discount on the new ones, Valve said it will "have more details soon."

The Vive's controllers were what distinguished it from the Oculus Rift headset. The controllers and two base stations allow software to track your movement over a maximum area of 15 square feet and, in GameSpot's Vive review, were described as "a big step up from traditional gamepads when it comes to playing in VR."

"Vive's strongest selling point is how it marries freedom of movement and intuitive controls with a capable headset," said Peter Brown. "Where Rift feels like a VR headset built for mainstream consumption, Vive caters to the hard-core crowd that will stop at nothing to get the best VR experience."

Oculus, meanwhile, is set to launch its Touch controllers on December 6. Preorders for the Touch opened on October 10 and those interested will have to purchase yours before the end of October 27 to keep their priority status. People who preorder get two free games: VR Sports Challenge and The Unspoken.