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New HTC Vive VR Controller Prototype Showcased At Valve Steam Dev Days

Innovation in the VR industry happens quickly. Just days ago, Oculus opened pre-orders for the Oculus Touch controllers, which bring the Rift platform to parity with the Vive system. Oculus’s approach to its motion controllers could be considered a step beyond what the Vive’s wand controllers offer. Touch includes sensors that track your finger placement, which introduces hand gesture to developers as another action.

We had just started to consider the idea that Touch could be the cause of exclusive titles for Oculus, simply because the Vive’s controllers aren’t capable of tracking fingers, but today it seems there's a new prototype controller for the Vive. Valve is currently hosting the Steam Dev Days developer conference, and even though the event is closed to the press, some of the attendees are spilling the beans on Twitter. 

According to Buffalo.Vision, the developer behind Irrational Exuberance, the new Vive controller gives you the freedom to let go of the controller so you can pick things up naturally. We’re unsure if that means you can pick up real objects, or if that means that controller includes finger tracking to grab VR objects, but we’d guess it's the latter.

We expect to hear more about the controller sooner than later. Cloudhead Games sent out a Tweet confirming that Valve is showcasing the new controllers with a “special demo of Call of the Starseed,” so it’s only a matter of time before someone shares the details.

Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews of graphics cards and virtual reality hardware.