Today marks the official close of Valve's Steam Dev Days event in Seattle, where Valve evidently demonstrated at least one prototype of a new controller for the HTC Vive capable of sensing finger movement.
What makes this especially interesting for any devs who aren't at Dev Days this year is that a number of attendees recorded themselves playing with the prototype and put those videos on the internet.
We've taken the liberty of collecting some of those videos here because they shed light on the future of Valve's VR efforts, and reinforce the value of what Oculus has been championing as "hand presence" -- the power hand-tracking has to deepen someone's immersion in a VR experience.
Oculus, of course, plans to begin selling its own finger-tracking Rift controller, Oculus Touch, for $200 later this year.
This isn't the only intriguing bit of controller news to come out of this year's Dev Days, either; yesterday Valve's Jeff Bellinghausen and Level Up Labs cofounder (as well as occasional Gamasutra blogger) gave a talk about how Valve is getting behind the Steam Controller (which is nearing 1M sold) and expanding its Controller API to include other gamepads, starting with the DualShock 4.
For more on what's been coming out of Steam Dev Days this year, check out yesterday's roundup of Dev Days Twitter tidbits.
Hi I got to try the grabby-hands controller at #SteamDevDays pic.twitter.com/2to4Qiba8m— Samantha Kalman (@SamanthaZero) October 13, 2016
Some close up shots of the new #Vive Controllers. #SteamDevDays pic.twitter.com/X4vTF7xv8Y— Daniel Blair ✭ (@CMDannCA) October 13, 2016
A quick look of the @htcvive controller prototype; it's dark in here so cut me some slack :P #shakycam #SteamDevDays #SVVR pic.twitter.com/9VCPEpv3Fa— Brian @ SteamDevDays (@KyodanVR) October 13, 2016
Important thing here- you can close your hand halfway. #SteamDevDays pic.twitter.com/5z64vTvf6j— Fox B @SteamDevDays (@FoxBuchele) October 12, 2016