Having revealed the ‘Knuckles’ EV2 controller development kit just a few months ago, Valve has rapidly incorporated improvements based on feedback from developers and today revealed the updated EV3. The company says will be “produced in much greater quantities than EV2,” of which Valve said “hundreds” were shipped. Improvements from EV2 to EV3 are less significant compared to the big changes from the previous update, but suggest the company is very near to a finished product.
Update (September 26th, 2018): Valve has begun reaching out to developers of both EV2 and developers who requested a kit through the partner site to gather information and start shipping out EV3 dev kits.
For developers who have not yet requested a kit, they’ll be able to log into the Steamworks Partner Site and find the Request Beta Hardware link on their landing page. The original article follows below:
Original Article ( September 18th, 2018): Revealing the Knuckles EV3 controllers today, Valve shared a brief rundown of changes from EV2:
- Strap adjustment markings have been added to the top plate
- Strap rivet is thinner and no longer interferes with the wing
- Drawstring is now shorter
- Trigger spring is now stronger
- Improved Trigger assembly and reliability
- System Button
- The System button has been recessed slightly to avoid accidental presses
- Grip FSR
- Grip FSRs (force sensors) more consistent from unit to unit
- Battery Life
- Higher efficiency sensors increase battery life by 2 hours
- Players can now expect 7-8 hours of playtime per charge
- LED light mixing improved
- USB port has been recessed, making it easier to connect the charge / data cable
- Improved fit and finish
- Improved reliability
Valve says it shipped out “hundreds” of EV2 dev kits, and is planning to produce “much greater quantities” of EV3. This trend follows a similar approach that Valve and HTC took with the debut of the Vive where Valve sent out rough prototypes to a handful of developers and then expanded that pool with the HTC ‘Vive Pre’ which was a nearly complete version of the final Vive consumer headset which shipped a few months later.
For developers looking to get their hands on Knuckles EV3, Valve says they’ll be reaching out to existing EV2 recipients and those who requested an EV2 through the Steamworks partner page to begin shipping units. Soon they’ll open a new request form for EV3 for those who haven’t already received or signed up for EV2. They recommend checking the Steamworks partner page or the Knuckles EV3 announcement post for updates on that front.
For developers who plan to design games with Knuckles in mind, the company updated their Moondust tech demo to work with EV3 and revealed the source files for developers to pick apart. The basis for Knuckles integration is the new SteamVR Interaction System; Valve has updated the Unity plugin to support Knuckles, the SteamVR Input System, and SteamVR Skeletal Input. Developers are directed here to learn about it the Interaction System.
Want to know more about Knuckles? Our prior Knuckles writeup details the big changes that came with EV2 and further explores the Moondust demo. We’ve also got an in-depth look at Knuckles EV2 compared to a slew of earlier prototypes thanks to our friends at Cloudhead Games.