Valve's Mobile Gaming Device Is Called 'Littlefoot': Steam Box Controller To Have Touchpad

By Vamien McKalin email: | Jan 13, 2013 02:52 PM EST

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While Valve is busy working tirelessly on the Steam Box Linux-based game console, the company has no plans to ignore the growing market that is mobile. After Steam Box is launched, Valve plans to launch a mobile gaming device codenamed "Littlefoot."

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It is clear how important the Steam Box home console is to Valve. With Windows 8 not becoming as popular as Valve's CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell would have liked, the company is taking all the necessary measures to get a system that is open to the market as soon as possible.

One of the neat things about the Steam Box is that this thing is capable of running Windows, despite being a Linux box. A system that is able to run Windows could only mean that the whole hardware comes off the shelf - no custom-built GPU or CPU, just pure ordinary computer parts.

With the home console well locked down and getting ready for mass production, Valve will soon put much of its focus on a mobile gaming device that is internally called "Littlefoot."

When asked in an interview how mobile fit into the company's plans, Newell let on that the Steam Box was codenamed Bigfoot and they also had a "Littlefoot" in the works.

"So this [Steam Box] is called "Bigfoot" internally, and we also have "Littlefoot." Newell said.

"What do we need to do to extend this to the mobile space? Our approach will be pretty similar. We also think there's a lot that needs to be done in the tablet and mobile space to improve input for games. I understand Apple's [approach]; all the way back in '83 when I met Jobs for the first time, he's was so super anti-gaming," noted Newell in an interview with The Verge

Newell also disclosed that "one of the designs that we're building on the controller side, it has this touchpad and we're trying to figure out where that's useful."

"We don't want to waste people's money by just throwing in a touchpad. Once we understand what the role is of multitouch in these kind of applications then it's easy to say you can use your phone for it," averred Newell.

From the statement above, it appears "Littlefoot" could be a tablet or mobile phone of some sort. We're leaning on the tablet side here since it would possess a bigger screen for a better gaming experience. It is possible Valve would design "Littlefoot" for the purpose of playing Indie games along with streaming content from the Steam Box in the same way the Wii U Gamepad connects to the Wii U. The possibilities could be endless, but only if Gabe Newell and Valve pull it correctly.

Another interesting aspect is the touchpad on the Steam Box controller. How such a feature would be implanted in games is not yet known. Whether it would become revolutionary or turn out to be a massive disaster, only time will tell.

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