Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Valve Job Posting Confirms Hardware Plans

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the waiting-on-the-steambox dept.

Games 219

redletterdave writes "Valve is reportedly interested in building hardware. The Bellevue, Wash.-based software developer added a job posting to its site on Tuesday morning for an industrial designer. We're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in,' the posting said. 'Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.'"

cancel ×

219 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

We all know what this means. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225155)

Well, at least we'll never have to buy more than two consoles from them.

Re:We all know what this means. (1)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#41225799)

But you'll only be able to use one at a time

Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (5, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41225189)

Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years

Maybe the reason for this is the basic form works. The design of the wheel hasn't changed much in a 5 thousand years either. I wonder why.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225219)

Nuh uh! You're just crusty and old and resistant to change. How dare you want stable, mature interfaces rather than ever changing bullshit to justify the job of some hipster designer. What next? You're going to tell me we shouldn't ditch steering wheels and pedals in cars? FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING LUDDITE!!!!

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (2)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#41226045)

Actually studies have shown that people react better in emergency situations with a joystick, in that they're more likely to steer and brake at the same time. I can't say whether it makes you able to take a corner more optimally, but in passenger cars, where safety is the primary concern as opposed to a race car, a steering wheel and pedals isn't as good as it gets.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41226197)

Interesting, how do they do force feedback?
Ideally such a system would need to not let you just overpower the force feedback mechanism as that would mean joystick position would not reflect reality.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225245)

How unenlightened, I've always wanted to put a d-pad on the thumb side of the mouse for easy weapon switching instead of reaching keys in odd spaces. Even with keyboard customization distributing the load to a hand that is more idle (the aiming hand) that merely only moves the mouse increases efficiency.

I've had tonnes of insights into how hardware and user interfaces as well could be better designed. Perhaps you need to learn about the fact that you don't live in reality but only your awareness? i.e. what you see is highly dependent on how much you've exposed yourself to learning how to observe which takes a lifetime of experience and often from the school from hard knocks about how much your mind ISN'T capable of recognizing the truth, you won't "know it when you see it" because that is not how your mind works.

http://bit.ly/dYaWUc [bit.ly]

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 2 years ago | (#41225333)

You realize you can already so that with your scroll wheel, right?

Scope (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41225453)

I thought the scroll wheel (mouse buttons 4 and 5) was for changing things on your current tool such as the zoom of a scope. That leaves either keys or thumb buttons for switching tools.

Re:Scope (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#41225511)

Just about every FPS I've played uses the scroll wheel for switching weapons. Generally a key on the keyboard controls zoom.

Re:Scope (2)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41225747)

Some games will switch state. If you are right click scoped, the wheel zooms, but otherwise it swaps weapons. Generally, I think you are right, but I don't play a tremendous amount of FPS anymore.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225457)

The scroll wheel has flaws in that you can over scroll, and miss the weapon you actually want to get, a d-pad lets you just assign weapons to each direction your thumb say rests in the middle and each weapon is equidistant (short) from the center. With a mousewheel you have to cycle through weapons list and you can often miss during harried fights or you have to slow down. Not my idea of accurate controls in tense highspeed action games where reaction time matters.

Now this is not to say there aren't keyboard based solutions to these problems or just designing the interface better. But a d-pad simply cuts out being able to accidentally miss (because of having to 'cycle through') you go directly to the weapon you want via direction.

More importantly I've thought these ideas through an made mockups (home made versions) to test for flaws so please spare me your bs.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#41225525)

D-Pad also has the limitation of only having 4 weapons.

More importantly I've thought these ideas through an made mockups (home made versions) to test for flaws so please spare me your bs.

And how many other people were involved in that testing?

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225563)

probably just his mom and dad

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225701)

You could have 8 weapons if you consider than the NE/SE/SW/NW corners in the D pad. 8 Weapons is just about right in FPS.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225557)

More importantly I've thought these ideas through an made mockups (home made versions) to test for flaws so please spare me your bs.

Bwahahaha. We got ourselves a regular Einstein here. "I made some mockups. I are teh 1337."

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225585)

You realize they've already started making mouse with direct inputs for MMO's right? I wouldn't be surprised of a dpad variety shows up.

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74357&vpn=910-002864 [ncix.com]

So please spare me your bs.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41225645)

The Internet Tough Guy act is pretty lame just so you know. No one is impressed by the fact that you can make a mockup. Any dipshit can.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (-1, Troll)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225719)

Well you people fucking deserve it for not even seeing the science behind how your brain operates, just because you don't find it useful (because you're too unskilled at videogames and math to understand) doesn't mean there is not a solid basis for why other people find it useful. i.e. different strokes for different folks.

You're under the dangerous illusion you live in reality, you just because you can't see value in it doesn't mean it doesn't have value. i.e. it has no utility to you because you don't care about efficiency.

As for it being an 'internet tough guy act' try actually thinking about mathematical efficiency in terms of response times instead of being a cosmic douchebag. You're not being very nerdy on a site for nerds, you sound like some dumbass casual gamer.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41225839)

So there is all this science behind your idea yet you don't provide any of it. You just lash out like a petulant child trying to act cool because "I mades mockups!!!".

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (-1, Troll)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225919)

Nonsense if you can't be bothered to think I have provided you with the science that YOUR BRIAN DOESN'T WORK ON REALITY OR FACTS.

http://bit.ly/dYaWUc [bit.ly]

I don't need to prove anything to people who don't value efficiency, just because you don't see value in my ideas does not mean they don't objectively from a mathematical standpoint have value.

You could be given all the facts and reject them. Thanks for not even paying attention to my OP, if you had any brain at all you would have paused after viewing that video and re-assessed your minds ability to perceive the world and other peoples thoughts.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225335)

Which side is the thumb side, left or right? How long is the thumb? What is the vertical movement capability of the thumb for operating the Dpad without compromising the grip while moving the mouse?
There's a reason for why a lot of insights that people have aren't done.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225411)

The scroll wheel has flaws in that you can over scroll, and miss the weapon you actually want to get, a d-pad lets you just assign weapons to each direction your thumb say rests in the middle and each weapon is equidistant (short) from the center. With a mousewheel you have to cycle through weapons list and you can often miss during harried fights or you have to slow down. Not my idea of accurate controls in tense highspeed action games where reaction time matters.

Now this is not to say there aren't keyboard based solutions to these problems or just designing the interface better. But a d-pad simply cuts out being able to accidentally miss (because of having to 'cycle through') you go directly to the weapon you want via direction.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225431)

my bad responsed to the wrong poster.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225469)

"There's a reason for why a lot of insights that people have aren't done."

I've thought these ideas through an made mockups (home made versions) to test for flaws so please spare me your bs.

Your wife (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225815)

Dear blahplusplus,

Your wife is being fucked by niggers.

Yours Sincerely,
Angela Merkel.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#41225439)

My mouse already has two buttons on each side of the mouse (although the two on your non-mouse hand are hard to press so I don't usually map anything to them).

Plus, Valve games already do weapon switching via the mouse wheel. Just make sure you turn on fast weapon switching or it'll drive you mad (you mean I have to click the primary mouse button before it'll switch weapons?!)

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41226239)

Drive you mad?
Needing another key press to swap is the whole point. You run with the knife select the M4 and switch when you get there or Galil if you are a T.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41225529)

How unenlightened, I've always wanted to put a d-pad on the thumb side of the mouse for easy weapon switching instead of reaching keys in odd spaces. Even with keyboard customization distributing the load to a hand that is more idle (the aiming hand) that merely only moves the mouse increases efficiency.

So why don't you already have such a mouse? It's not like multi-button gaming mice don't exist.

Here's a 17 button model:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826153064 [newegg.com]

(not exactly a thumbable d-pad but you could use those 12 thumb buttons as a d-pad if you wanted to)

And here's a more modest 13 button mouse:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104377&Tpk=g700 [newegg.com]

If there's something magic about a pure D-pad on a mouse, then design it, find a chinese manufacturer to make it and you'll be rich. But probably not or Logitech would have already released it if there was demand. Just because you thought of it doesn't mean that it's a revolutionary idea that will change the nature of gaming mice.

My 5 year old mouse has 5 buttons beyond the normal 3 buttons + wheel. (and I never use the extra buttons).

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (-1, Troll)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41225835)

The difference is in how thus buttons are arranged and how they are aligned for when you need them you haven't put enough thought or energy into it and I don't expect anyone on slash-tard to understand since most slashdotters are nerd wannbe's anyway.

"But probably not or Logitech would have already released it if there was demand"

Except thats not how the world works son, you can tell people facts over and over again and they will reject them. The world does not work on enlightenment reason, thanks for revealing how much of a non-nerd you are.

http://bit.ly/dYaWUc [bit.ly]

If you knew anything about science at all creative people are in fact rejected if you look at studies, people are not open minded or creative, most of them, including many nerds. Just because you don't find value in those ideas, or the masses don't care about efficiency means little.

Most human beings are low effort thinkers, things they don't need or care about they don't value but they think they are in a position to judge them (even though they haven't really thought about it seriously or put in the effort) so their opinions are little more then superstitions.

There are plenty of examples of highly intelligent people being mocked by other highly intelligent people.

Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers was originally regarded as so counter-intuitive—even shocking—that it encountered resistance from mathematical contemporaries such as Leopold Kronecker and Henri Poincaré[3] and later from Hermann Weyl and L. E. J. Brouwer, while Ludwig Wittgenstein raised philosophical objections. Some Christian theologians (particularly neo-Scholastics) saw Cantor's work as a challenge to the uniqueness of the absolute infinity in the nature of God [4] — on one occasion equating the theory of transfinite numbers with pantheism[5] — a proposition which Cantor vigorously rejected. The objections to his work were occasionally fierce: Poincaré referred to Cantor's ideas as a "grave disease" infecting the discipline of mathematics,[6]

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41225889)

Just because you thought of it doesn't mean that it's a revolutionary idea that will change the nature of gaming mice.

But he's made mockups!! Stop spouting bs! </sarcasm>

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41225915)

They already make mice with d-pads... but they are designed for use with the consoles.

I have the predecessor (non-elite) to this one for the PS3: http://www.amazon.com/Aimon-PS-Elite-PC-PS3/dp/B0044B6WYE [amazon.com]

It works pretty well.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41225935)

And that has plenty of reviews about it not being very good.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#41226015)

That isn't a dpad it has buttons in similar orientation of a dpad, not only that the orientation of the buttons are off and the side of the mouse is too sharp (straight). More importantly the buttons are not aligned properly, and my 'dpad' meant variations on d-pad like design. Not just cutting and pasting parts I had something specific and custom designed in mind.

Alt Shift Control Meta Windows Scrolllock G 3 (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#41226093)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826153064

How the hell are you going to chord on that?!! useless.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#41225253)

The design of the human penis, however, has followed the same route as the design of the automobile: it just gets slowly bigger over the decades as riders demand something larger with each generation.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225271)

I'm not so sure. If they could use economy of scale to get This gadget down in price and more accurate [emotiv.com] it would change the way we think about user interface design entirely. Add a pico projector to it and Android/iOS drivers, and I think you'd revolutionize mobile wearable computing entirely.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41225373)

There were/are many alternative controllers, they just never became popular because keyboard+mouse works just fine.

Design requirements (5, Interesting)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about 2 years ago | (#41225475)

Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years

Maybe the reason for this is the basic form works. The design of the wheel hasn't changed much in a 5 thousand years either. I wonder why.

I beg to differ. The basic design requirement of a wheel is that it's round and rolls, and I'll certainly grant you that this aspect of wheels hasn't changed. However, a rough-hewn wooden round, such as used in the simplest of carts, bears very little other resemblance to the three-spoked carbon-fiber performance bicycle wheels I see with some frequency on my morning bicycle commute. Sure, both are round and roll, but otherwise, there's thousands of years of difference between them.

So what are the design requirements for computer input? You could start by looking at the requirements of a keyboard and a mouse: 1) Must have all the keys required to input at least ASCII. 2) Must have some kind of pointer-device control, ideally with at least two buttons.

So sure, you can have your basic flat keyboard, and a basic mouse. Or you could have something quite different, like this [disabledonline.com] , or this [disabledonline.com] , or this [artlebedev.com] , or this [alphagrips.com] (what I'm actually using to type this message).

And that's not even looking into other possible input schemes, such as voice recognition [google.com] , eye tracking [enablemart.com] , etc.

I applaud Valve's efforts to look into better ways of doing things. This kind of exploration is exactly what leads to new and better things.

Cheers,

Re:Design requirements (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41225789)

I beg to differ. The basic design requirement of a wheel is that it's round and rolls, and I'll certainly grant you that this aspect of wheels hasn't changed. However, a rough-hewn wooden round, such as used in the simplest of carts, bears very little other resemblance to the three-spoked carbon-fiber performance bicycle wheels I see with some frequency on my morning bicycle commute. Sure, both are round and roll, but otherwise, there's thousands of years of difference between them.

Right, that's so unlike the mouse where the first mouse:

        http://www.techdigest.tv/The%20First%20Mouse.jpg [techdigest.tv]

Looks exactly like a modern gaming mouse:

        http://tbreak.com/tech/2010/08/madcatz-shows-off-cyborg-r-a-t-9-gaming-mouse-at-gamescom/ [tbreak.com]

Re:Design requirements (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41225803)

Or you could have something quite different, like this [disabledonline.com] , or this [disabledonline.com] , or this [artlebedev.com] , or this [alphagrips.com] (what I'm actually using to type this message).

Please, don't put just "this" in every link. Let me FTFY...

Or you could have something quite different, like Ergodex DX1 [disabledonline.com] , or Win Mini [disabledonline.com] , or Optimus Maximus [artlebedev.com] , or AlphaGrip iGrip [alphagrips.com] (what I'm actually using to type this message).

Better?

WARNING: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41226157)

goatse goatse goatse goatse

Re:Design requirements (3, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41225863)

You seem to be missing the point. Valve seems to be saying that they're not seeing the kind of innovation they want in the computer hardware space, and point to the keyboard and mouse saying "Look! These aren't changing to therefore there is no innovation."

The obvious answer is they're not changing because they don't need to. It's like pointing to the wheel and saying "It's still the same shape, there's no innovation there!" Yes, in 5 thousand years we've adding on whiz-bang features and materials, but its circumference is still pi*d because that's what works best. Anything else is sub-optimal.

For the mouse, perhaps it's not exactly *optimal* for for our current user interfaces its pretty much the best input we have. I think for any change in the input, we're going to also need a change in the software. History shows this to be the case, as the mouse didn't really do much until we needed it for a GUI. You point to voice recognition and eye tracking, and a whole slew of other input devices, yet you neglect the fact that all these things exist yet no one uses them. Again, I believe the reason is because the deviate from the optimal input device for our GUIs (mouse), and in order for some of these alternative inputs to become as mainstream as mouse, we're going to need a user interface to compliment them. That is to say, while voice command sucks for navigating our current 2D GUI, mouse would suck for navigating a voice-centric UI.

On a final note, I as well applaud Valve for looking into a better way of doing things. I just want to be cautious and say I hope their efforts are not misguided, and that in their quest to find a better mouse or other input device, they don't instead just invent something different for the sake of being different.

Re:Design requirements (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41225957)

When Valve's own people stop using keyboards and mice to do their work then I'll believe they aren't just trying to foist a solution looking for a problem.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41225577)

I know I'm going to get modded into oblivion for saying this. But I've gamed about every way imaginable. And the k/m, much beloved as it is by PC gamers, wasn't designed for games--and to me it shows. For one thing, movement with the keyboard lacks the nuance of an analog joystick. When I move in a console game, I control the speed of the movement. With a keyboard, it's either run or stop--on or off. And the mouse, while offering more speed and precision on a large display than a joystick, feels artificial to me (sorry to those of you who love the ultra-quick headshot). Of course, there is also the overarching issue that a k/m makes a really shitty controller if you're playing anywhere else but on a desktop. This is one of the many reasons I drifted away from PC gaming a few years back and into consoles (along with the money I saved not having to constantly chase the upgrade dragon).

Now, flame away. I've already put my asbestos undies on.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41225871)

A lot of PC games now days support the Xbox 360 controller right out of the box. Also, you no longer have to constantly upgrade your system to play games well. Most of the developers are developing with console being the lowest common denominator. Since new and more powerful console do not come around very often, the games are not designed to use cutting edge hardware.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41225881)

Also, games on Steam are dirt cheap during the holidays.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41226007)

More like, A lot of games now days are just shameless ctrl-c ctrl-v ports of Xbox games and have K/M support hacked in at the last minute.

Very few people develop for PC any more, Console is first port of call due to market share, piracy blah blah blah

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41226215)

Why wouldn't the console and PC versions of a game share lots of code? It would be dumb to not write your game in a way that plenty of the code has no need to be rewritten when ported. Why having portable code is a bad thing in your mind is interesting to say the least.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41225893)

I know I'm going to get modded into oblivion for saying this.

Nothing against you personally, but - just once, I'd like to see this actually happen after someone says it.

"He makes a good point, but he said he knows he'll be modded into oblivion... so '-1, Flamebait' it is!"

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41225897)

That's all irrelevant. What matters is that keyboard and mouse gamers beat the pants off of gamepad players whenever they go head to head. The keyboard and mouse is the superior controller by the only metric that matters, performance.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 years ago | (#41226201)

Analogue WASD keys seem interesting though.

Or an analogue keyboard in general.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#41226019)

For one thing, movement with the keyboard lacks the nuance of an analog joystick. When I move in a console game, I control the speed of the movement. With a keyboard, it's either run or stop--on or off. And the mouse, while offering more speed and precision on a large display than a joystick, feels artificial to me (sorry to those of you who love the ultra-quick headshot).

The keyboard is a terrible controller. Its only saving grace is the sheer number of keys it has... I have at least one FPS where every key on the left side of the keyboard is assigned to something (WASD for moment, ~ for game console, 1-5 for weapons, Tab for scorboard, Q for quick switch, E to call for a Medic, R to reload, F to taunt, G to use an action item, ZXC for "voice" menus, V for push to talk voice chat, CTRL to crouch, spacebar to jump.. pretty sure shift and caps lock have things assigned to them too, although I can't remember what at the moment.

A mouse is no more artificial than a joystick. A joystick is good for turning/strafing, but it's terrible for precision aiming ("ultra-quick headshot" as you refer to it). Most console FPS games have automatic aim assist to compensate for the joystick's terribleness at aiming.

In theory, the Wii remote would make an excellent aiming device. Unfortunately, it's hooked to a game system that has less power than my PC had at the turn of the millennium, let alone now. Oh, and using the pointer for a turning device as well? Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid Prime Trilogy showed how to mess that one up (capped turn speeds, was extremely picky about turning in general).

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#41226099)

I agree on the movement aspect, and it's why I use a 360 controller as a gamepad in some games. Some games just work better with a joystick (or even d-pad) than they do on a keyboard. On the other hand, other games are much better with the traditional KB/M setup.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#41226167)

I know I'm going to get modded into oblivion for saying this.

I wish sometimes posts starting with this phrase actually got modded into oblivion. The sheer drama-queenish whininess is starting to irritate me.

If you have something controversial to say, just fucking say it. No need for the preemptive whining.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41226225)

Okay, so let's try improving K/M to fix those weaknesses, rather than trying to start from scratch, or trying to improve the gamepad.

Keyboard, with analog key inputs. That lets you control your movement rate more finely. For general typing, that might control the repeat rate - or it could just be ignored, treated as a digital input. That would also necessitate removing any limits on simultaneous keypresses - current keyboards often cannot handle more than 5-8 keys at once (with exceptions).

And while I disagree with your assessment of the mouse as a controller, I will note that there are already controllers that use a gamepad-like thumbstick rather than an optical tracker or ball.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225857)

Except the design of the wheel has changed over 5 thousand years... Instead of stone or lumber thrown on the ground, we're making them of solid rubber, inter-tubes, knobby, not perfectly round, with holes in them (mars rover), mesh (moon rovers), 1 meter in diameter to microscopic diameters, metal, tracked, geared, etc.

To say the design of the wheel hasn't changed much in the last 5 thousand years is a moronic understatement. The original wheel has gone through more design changes than probably any other technology ever.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#41225875)

But you're wrong... it doesn't work. The current mouse/keyboard only works when sitting at a desk. Try it on your couch and you're screwed. The Gamepad works on the couch but is severely limited in its function. We need the easy of use of one with the advanced functionality of the other. And this is just 1 component. Sounds like valve wants to look at more than just keyboards...

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41226013)

But you're wrong... it doesn't work. The current mouse/keyboard only works when sitting at a desk.

That's like saying the wheel doesn't work unless it's rolling on the road. Try flying with it and you're screwed. The keyboard and mouse have been optimized to accomplish work on our desktop GUIs, and our GUIs have been optimized to work with mouse and keyboard. To point at this and say (as Valve is) "Things haven't changed much, there must be a problem with innovation" seems to sidestep the question of whether there is any real problem we have for which we need to innovate a solution.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

trimpnick (1362187) | about 2 years ago | (#41226171)

Valve doesn't seem to be in the business of developping WORK software (though they may sell them soon). So saying that the keyboard and mouse is right for gaming because it was designed and optimized for work really misses the point.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41226249)

Most gamers like to get away from their desks, and have gaming fun on the big screen, surround sound and sub. Not everyone is a dweeb that hides in their bedroom.

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#41225923)

That said, there have been some very cool alternative input methods which have been tried in the past.

In particular, the keyboard and mouse _and joystick_ of Psygnosis' game _Obliterator_ (one positioned the keyboard in-between the twain and used it at need --- if memory serves, long range weapons were aimed w/ the mouse, while the joystick controlled movement and direct fire weapons).

I'd also like to see more done w/ motion games --- outside of IR aiming, only _Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword_ and _Red Steel 2_ have really pushed on that envelope. I was especially disappointed that _The Last Story_ didn't try for at least IR pointing to aim and look around, and to at least use motion controls for the mini-game like sword duel bits and shaking should certainly have been more cathartic than just toggling the joystick. I was pleased w/ Horizon Rider's use of the balance board though.

A full-fledged RPG w/ full motion controls and use of the balance board for movement would be a nice addition to my workout regime.

William

Re:Keyboard and mouse hasn't changed for a reason (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 2 years ago | (#41226127)

I'm pretty sure they're referring to the novint Falcon 3D.

Steam has supported this for a long while. I's love to see hardware come from valve. The whole company is a skunk works of sorts. Their hardware would be no different.

Fascinating (1)

Bovius (1243040) | about 2 years ago | (#41225201)

One the one hand, this would be a very new business for Valve, even given their previous experience, which means it's a big risk. On the other hand, it seems like it's been impossible for Valve to not make money these days. Fun! I would love to see someone shake up the gaming hardware market, and they're certainly in an interesting position to do so.

So, I can FINALLY buy ... (1)

cekerr (608293) | about 2 years ago | (#41225203)

... a steam driven computer?

Re:So, I can FINALLY buy ... (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 2 years ago | (#41225533)

... a steam driven computer?

They're called 'Valve' so it will be made using vacuum tubes.

Re:So, I can FINALLY buy ... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#41225597)

... a steam driven computer?

They're called 'Valve' so it will be made using vacuum tubes.

Are you saying valves only exist in vacuum tube-based systems?

Remind me to never let you look at my water pipes.

Re:So, I can FINALLY buy ... (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | about 2 years ago | (#41225571)

I know you meant this as a joke, but take it seriously for a moment.

Wouldn't it be spiffy if Valve took their hardware plaform and came up with a Steampunk option for it? Obviously the basic low-cost version will have to be basic and low-cost. But they're in an obvious position to sell a Steampunk version for a premium.

Re:So, I can FINALLY buy ... (1)

GNious (953874) | about 2 years ago | (#41226053)

They better not - a regular Valve/Steam console I can ignore*, just like the Ouya-or-whatever console, but if proper Steampunkified, I might have a hard time not buying one...

*:My HDMI matrix only has 4 inputs - no room to plug in more consoles and stuff

Re:So, I can FINALLY buy ... (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41225599)

Better start stocking up on coal.

Keyboard and mouse (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41225209)

Keyboard and mouse haven't changed significantly over the years because they work well. Until we have mind control , I doubt anybody will come up with something better than keyboard and mouse anytime soon.

As for built quality, well, that's another thing. Arguably, the quality of keyboards has constantly declined since Model M except for remakes like Unicomp and keyboards with Cherry switches. It would be great if Valves console had a great keyboard but somehow I doubt it...

Re:Keyboard and mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225455)

the stand alone keyboard and mouse is old technology. an integrated optical pointing keyboard is better, because both hands are on the home row. the user has complete control over the computer screen. one can point, click, type, and scroll at will all from the home row with the performance of a stand alone keyboard and optical mouse without having one hand one the mouse. inputexpert.

Re:Keyboard and mouse (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41225531)

They do work well. But something else might work better, especially for gaming which is where Valve is interested. Lots of 3rd party tools try various little things, like built-in displays, but without a standardization and widespread support they are mostly just gimmicks. The wheel example is an interesting one. Wheels work just fine for moderately light-weight vehicles traveling over relatively smooth terrain. But tanks use treads, not wheels, because that is better for what they need. We won't know if something similar exists for gaming until someone comes up with something (console controllers, for example, are actually better for some games, such as platformers or racers, though not for FPS or RTS games). The trick is to try.

Touch typing vs. hunt and peck (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41225593)

console controllers, for example, are actually better for some games, such as platformers or racers, though not for FPS or RTS games

As I tried to type a long post on my Nexus 7 tablet a few days ago, I realized something. Pressing buttons on a keyboard or a gamepad is like touch typing, as the player memorizes where the buttons are relative to his thumbs' resting positions and uses the feel of the edges of the buttons to adjust his hand positioning. Using a mouse or touch screen, on the other hand, is like hunt and peck: see something on the screen, move your mouse, and click. Aiming in FPS and selecting units in RTS are nearly ideal hunt and peck tasks; platformers and fighting games need touch typing because movement is relative to the player's current position.

I've written more about this [pineight.com] .

Re:Keyboard and mouse (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41226083)

I hate to break it to you but tank treads do use wheels. How do you think the tread moves? Have you ever seen a tank before?

Re:Keyboard and mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225573)

I think that any extra sort of interface such as touch screen or hand waving is going to just be extra. At first we had only keyboard with all of the shortcuts and then we had the mouse and some people still use the keyboard as much as possible. So with these extra modes it will allow us to do things in ways that are revelant for that moment. So maybe I am really deep in thought and the easiest thing to do at that moment is the reach out and touch the icon of the program that I want to switch to. That will be great but I'm unlikely to completely stop using my thumb to move the cursor over and click or keyboard Alt-Tab. Another advantage is that some people might be mentally ill-equiped to deal with certain interface methods and so they can think in other terms. Basically now we have three ways to interact with the notebook and that is keyboard, touchpad and mouse. In the future that will go from three methods to about six or seven such as keyboard, touchpad, mouse, hand gestures, touch screen, talking and then I think that soon the touchpads will have screens of their own (like a Gameboy DS).

Re:Keyboard and mouse (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about 2 years ago | (#41225635)

Yeah keyboards today seem to have the build quality of chewing gum and bailing wire. Then again, a "normal" board runs around $25 today. I guess you get what you pay for.

I'd have no problem going the $100 "ish" for a mechanical board but I also like the ergonomic boards. And I've never seen a mechanical ergonomic board.

Re:Keyboard and mouse (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41225959)

Start manufacturing them and I might buy one.

Re:Keyboard and mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225825)

Are you kidding? The keyboard is a horrible idea. You've been brainwashed to think it was good because you were raised on it. There are many alternatives.

Re:Keyboard and mouse (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41226009)

Name one, and then explain why it hasn't become the common control scheme for anyone who wants to win. If there were a superior control scheme, then every competitive gamer would use it.

GameCube or N-Gabe? (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41225247)

I cannot wait to see what they will call it.

The possibilities are endless .

Re:GameCube or N-Gabe? (4, Funny)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 2 years ago | (#41225907)

Sauna or some other word that means something along the lines of a Box filled with Steam.

Hmmmm (2)

systemidx (2708649) | about 2 years ago | (#41225249)

Maybe they can forget all this crap that no one REALLY wants and just finish Half Life 3.

Steam OS here we come (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225303)

With modal windows that don't always close, scrollbars with fabulous reaction time and tons of other selectbox and slider UI controls provided to you by Valve's stellar VGUI! /sarcasm

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225307)

Valve jobs are really expensive, so maybe just sell it and get a new car.

Neural Feedback Controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225329)

I'd love to have headcrab controller to play Half-Life2 with.

should be obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225435)

This follows their Steam on Linux plans and comments distancing themselves from Microsoft. Looks to me like they're getting ready to enter the console market in competition with the XBox and others. A free OS drives down console unit costs, no specialty hardware for driver development, and minimal porting costs based on earlier Mac and Linux efforts. As much as the geek crowd may love Linux (and I'm part of that group), don't fool yourself about the business side of porting for a desktop OS that can't even get into double digit percentage points. The comments about the mouse and keyboard are a McGuffin to mislead people as they develop a controller.

Like I said, seemed obvious to me back when Gabe made his earlier comments about Win8, the Microsoft AppStore, and releasing for Linux.

MacGuffin? You keep using that word (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41225543)

and minimal porting costs

That depends on how Valve chooses which developers are allowed to release games on Steam. Will it be as open as Google Play Store or Mac App Store, or will it be as closed as Xbox Live Arcade and Wii Shop?

The comments about the mouse and keyboard are a McGuffin to mislead people as they develop a controller.

Do you mean MacGuffin [tvtropes.org] , the thing in a story defined by the fact that everyone seeks it, or do you mean a red herring [tvtropes.org] ?

Read: We invented a problem nobody's having (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225441)

And we're going to charge you through the nose for it.

Novel business strategy. Well done, and good luck with that.

Kinect-like laptop? (3, Insightful)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 2 years ago | (#41225467)

"Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked"

Yeah, aside from the Wiimote and Kinect and every other product that has changed the input in a meaningful way.

It sounds to me like Valve is interested in developing a gaming laptop with Kinect-like functionality built in. That is an interesting idea, but it's nothing particularly revolutionary. Successful products are seldom revolutionary, so that's not a bad thing. Good luck Valve, with whatever it is you're doing!

Build a better mouser trap. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41225499)

People who like PC can loathe console controllers. Certain recent high-profile games that should have been pure PC were instead console-oriented. Read: Duke Nukem 4ever and DC Universe Online.

By this, we mean limited weaponry or powers at any given time, presumably driven by console controller limitations or by standard console game concept.

And many of us on the PC say screw that. Game tanks, here's a quarter, buy a clue.

So the market is ripe for a controller lesser than a keyaboard but a lot more than a controller or joystick. It's also in need of some "mouser" targetting equivalent.

Good luck.

Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225547)

There have been some very annoying changes to the keyboard. I miss my old Genius keyboard. It looked something like this [thetechypeople.co.uk] , but wihout that sleep button that you can see above and to the right of the arrow cluster, single row "Enter" key, "backslash key" on the row above the "Enter" key, and the "Backspace" key extending over where the backslash is in that picture. Those changes plus take away that sleep rubber key, and that's my perfect keyboard. Unfortunately, I can't find it anywhere anymore no matter how hard I look. All the keyboards out there have been broken for some mysterious reason I can't understand.

People are lazy, stupid and hate themselves (1, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41225569)

I am one of those geeks who bring their own hardware to the office simply because I point blank refuse to work with cheap shit. In other industries this is perfectly normal, chefs, bakers, carpenters they all got their own tools and only a fool would try to come between a pro and his tools.

Yet in the office, people work behind the cheapest monitors that some boss could find and mice and keyboards that would be overpriced if they were free, which they were and which they are.

It seems people just think a penny a day is to much to spend on a decent office equipment. Well, call me a spender but I am willing to spend that penny.

Even in gaming this is true, for every gaming PC with an expensive video card, a top of the range CPU there is a better then 50% chance that PC will have the bare minimum of ram, a 5400 rpm HD specced for size to store the porn, a monitor in the sub 100 dollar range and a mouse and keyboard that fall apart if you dare to click more then one button per minute.

Valve can introduce all the hardware they want, unless they made it 100% free and stop their games from working without it, it won't sell because the average gamer won't spend on anything but a CPU/GPU.

See the above comment by the moron named blahplusplus who wines about wanting more buttons on his mouse. There are tons of mice available with more buttons, it just asks you to actually buy one and not use the one that you got when your dad gave you his old Dell.

People are lazy, cheap, stupid and filled with self-hate. If you want to introduce a new product and sell this, you got to know your customer and your customer is someone who is beyond contempt.

And this is news?! (3, Informative)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41225583)

Come on. Jeri Ellsworth [wikipedia.org] is working for them. I doubt she's writing PC games, duh. There was a hackaday article [hackaday.com] about that a quarter ago. I don't follow this industry and even I've known about it for a while. Sigh.

trackball and pad? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41225595)

Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years.

The trackball? The joystick (which seems to almost be dead hardware compared to a decade ago)

I'm more of a old-school RPG / military strategy guy but for FPS I've occasionally wondered what a right hand joystick left hand trackball FPS interface would be like. Foot pedals would be interesting for a FPS interface, not some annoying wii-type thing where you have to jog to force exercise, but just constant pressure to move or jump or strafe or whatever.

Innnovation (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about 2 years ago | (#41225691)

Perhaps one arguable reason for the lack of innovation compared to periods in the past is the expense. I don't mean to frame this exclusively as a monetary issue. Dealing with patents and the current litigious climate I imagine it to be extremely difficult for the smaller guys to get a foothold who have traditionally been the ones to drive innovation. I realize this isn't the entire picture or else we wouldn't have exciting things happening on KickStarter. None the less I'm pleased to hear Valve taking an interest in developing hardware.

More like a gaming PC than a Console (1)

cameronl (117757) | about 2 years ago | (#41225717)

They come from the PC world. I bet their hardware will be more PC-like (in terms of upgradability, release schedule, multi-purpose) than a gaming console which doesn't change for 8 years.

Oculus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225727)

Valve has supported weird stuff like the Razer Hydra before. Here's hoping for compatibility with the Oculus Rift in their new hardware project!

Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41225901)

...they will build the Portal Gun and send a cake to MS

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?