Welcome to the first of what we hope to be a recurring segment here on SteamFirst. The Midweek Roundup is a place for us to report on all those little stories that aren’t so big as to warrant their own article but that we’d still like to let you know about. Think of it like dumping out the catch after we’ve sifted through the news over the past few days. Current plans are to make the Roundup a twice weekly event with one post on Wednesday and another sometime during the weekend. Of course, it all hinges on how much actually happens throughout the week, but we’ll do our best to keep it going.
Razer unveils new key switch technology:
One of the leading manufacturers of gaming keyboards, Razer, announced a radical redesign of the mechanical key switches they use. The new system is making its debut inside the latest, 2014 versions of their BlackWidow series of gaming keyboards. While this isn’t the first keyboard designed for gaming, Razer claims that these are the first switches (which are really the heart and soul of a keyboard) that are specifically made for competitive play, therefore making it the only true gaming keyboard ever released. While their ad campaign certainly contains a fair degree of pandering to the “pro” gamer community, enlisting the opinions of several tournament champions, these switches do make some interesting promises. Chief among those promises are smooth, quiet, and highly responsive action. The casing itself is as gaudy as ever and includes back-lighting in most of its models. These keyboards don’t come cheap, though - Amazon currently has the BlackWidow Ultimate listed for $189.95. That’s a lot of Steam Summer Sale games right there.
DashClock Widget Steam plugin:
The Android app, DashClock Widget, which displays detailed information and notifications from your favorite services on your dashboard or lock screen received an unofficial Steam plugin which lets you place your Steam friends list on your lock screen, complete with their current activity. DashClock itself is free to download, but the extension costs a buck on the Google Play Store. The plug-ins developer, Matt Katzenberger, also offers a free trial APK on the official DashClock site that can be side-loaded onto your device.
Also, since we’re on the topic of Steam extensions; our friend and contributor, Pepe Palazuelos, recently let us know about a Chrome browser extension that displays price history for any product on Steam. When used in conjunction with Enhanced Steam, you can transform your Steam browsing into a wealth of non-standard information and features.
Xbox One controllers finally gets a driver, sort of:
An UNOFFICIAL driver has been released for the Xbox One Gamepad. Clever guy, Lucas Assis, has finally done what Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, still refuses to do by allowing controller-centric PC gamers to upgrade from the old Xbox 360 controller to the brand new and shiny Xbox One pad. Lucas began making the driver when he noticed another programmer, Chris Gallizzi, was sitting on what he claimed to be a fully operational driver of his own but wouldn’t dare release it due the fact that uses closed, Microsoft-patented software to function. It seems Lucas as managed to circumvent this issue by figuring out a way to interpret the Xbox One controller inputs using Windows built-in USB drivers. Or something like that; he explains it better here. We have not tested this driver out ourselves, but feel free to give it a go and let us know if does what it claims.
That’s it for now. Likely the Roundup will be more substantial as time goes on. Please, leave us feedback and suggestions as we continue to provide you with news and opinions on all things Steam.