The final SteelSeries product announcement that came about yesterday was possibly the least expected. The SteelSeries Ion is a new gaming Bluetooth gaming controller that’ll connect to your PC, but also to mobile devices such as tablets — which, given it’s size, seems to be more of the product’s target market. It’s said to be around the size of a standard deck of playing cards.

“For PC users, the SteelSeries Ion is a convenient alternative, especially if they want something other than their mouse or keyboard as their tool. And for consumers with tablets and Smartphone’s, it really is an ideal accessory” said Bruce Hawver, SteelSeries CEO. “Whether you’re sling shooting birds or playing a word game with friends, there are games that are ideal for touch screen. Those types of games however, are not the only games available; there are a number of first-person shooter and RTS games that aren’t downloaded or played as frequently as they could be, because the touch screen doesn’t provide an optimal experience. The SteelSeries Ion provides the advantage for those types of games.”

Now, I’m not sure Hawver’s got it quite right by bringing RTS games into his above comment, but a physical controller is something we need to see more of if tablets are to become a truly competitive gaming platform.

The Ion features a full D-pad, two “mini-joysticks”, two trigger buttons and four face buttons. That means it’s missing two triggers when compared to the full controllers of an Xbox and such, but it’s amazing it’s even got that much considering it’s tiny size. There’ll also be an “easy-to-use interface for both PC and mobile devices”, meaning the buttons should be easy to programme no matter what type of device you’re wanting to use it with.

The Ion isn’t set to launch until Q3 of 2012 and we’ll hear more about it’s features and pricing as that time approaches.