Home Gaming This is the latest Steam controller

This is the latest Steam controller

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steam1

I’ve been intrigued by Valve’s Steam controller since they first showed the thing off. With its odd haptic controls and embedded screen, it’s meant to give PC gamers that precision aiming control they’re used to from their old-fashioned, outdated, better-suited-to-spreadsheets mouse-and-keyboard combos. Since inception, it’s been changed, losing its screen; looking more and more like a traditional controller with every iteration. Above is one of the older prototypes. Here’s what it looks like now.

steam

Valve showed it off on their Steam blog, just before people get to see it close up at GDC.It ditches the central screen in favour of a more traditional start and select button, and a Steambutton similar in form and function to the Xbox guide button.

Even the thing’s face buttons are more like you’d find on a traditional console controller – with the same layout you’d get on the Xbox 360 controller. That makes a ton of sense; the 360’s controller has become the de facto PC gaming controller thanks to Microsoft’s native Xinput setup. What I do find odd, and a little disheartening is the lack of an actual d-pad. In its stead you’ll find mirrored input buttons which would do the job for moving about in menus, but be next to useless for things like fighting games.

I’m still most interested in those pads though. According to people who’ve used it, it feels smooth and intuitive and very nearly matches the precision of a mouse. More importantly though, it makes games that wouldn’t usually be very much fun with a controller, like RTS games, a worthwhile pursuit.

Tell us! what do you think of Valve’s latest steam controller prototype? Is it starting to look like Valve’s not really re-inventing the wheel?

Last Updated: March 17, 2014

28 Comments

  1. General JJ the Fett

    March 17, 2014 at 10:34

    I saw this over the weekend, but I still can’t help but feel that those touch pads might be more of an irritation than an advantage.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of comments

      March 17, 2014 at 10:41

      Yeah, proof will be in the testing phase

      Reply

  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 17, 2014 at 10:36

    Looks more practical now. Not a big controller fan though, prefer kb&m for my FPSpreadsheets.

    Reply

    • General JJ the Fett

      March 17, 2014 at 10:37

      First Person Spreadsheets.
      I’m curious. What do Third Person and Real Time Spreadsheets look like?

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        March 17, 2014 at 10:39

        RTS have pie charts & 3rd person spreadsheets have someone looking over your shoulder.

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief of comments

          March 17, 2014 at 10:40

          Noted

          Reply

        • General JJ the Fett

          March 17, 2014 at 10:43

          3rd person isn’t for me then.

          Reply

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 17, 2014 at 10:45

            Behind you!

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 17, 2014 at 10:49

            I will make you pay!!!!

          • Admiral Chief of comments

            March 17, 2014 at 10:50

            Why is it no surprise that you are behind Cleo???…

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 17, 2014 at 10:51

            LOL
            Wait. No.
            No no no no no

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 17, 2014 at 11:03

  3. Sk3tz0

    March 17, 2014 at 10:38

    Looks like that is the new breathing mask if Vader makes a miracle come back in the new Star Wars movies..

    Reply

  4. Admiral Chief of comments

    March 17, 2014 at 10:40

    • Grant Hancock

      March 17, 2014 at 10:48

      so much funny ! hahaha

      Reply

  5. Admiral Chief of comments

    March 17, 2014 at 10:42

    I think it looks even moar sexy

    Reply

  6. Ryanza

    March 17, 2014 at 10:42

    I like the controller, still don’t know why.

    Reply

  7. Rags

    March 17, 2014 at 10:43


    Trackpads rule 😀

    Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      March 17, 2014 at 10:50

      Woah. godly skills.

      Reply

    • A 2 Cthulhu?

      March 17, 2014 at 10:52

      That is freaking impressive!

      Reply

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      March 17, 2014 at 11:01

      Woah…. Respect 0.o

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief of comments

      March 17, 2014 at 11:04

      O_O

      Reply

    • Norm

      March 17, 2014 at 15:32

      Yoh!

      Reply

  8. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    March 17, 2014 at 10:44

    I’d love to try one. Gotta be honest. I’m not a controller kinda guy but those look like they may be able to be as useful as a mouse

    Reply

  9. Ross Woofels Mason

    March 17, 2014 at 10:48

    That D-PAD will be terrible for fighters, so will not even attempt that. Pretty keen to try this controller out though.

    Reply

  10. Weanerdog

    March 17, 2014 at 11:22

    I be thinking that a left stick and right trackpad would be the way to go.

    Reply

  11. Slightly Insane Tim

    March 17, 2014 at 11:31

    Oh so the steam craproller has added some extra buttons I see! Looking good!

    Reply

  12. Shady Shariest

    March 17, 2014 at 11:52

    …It somehow looks even cheaper now O_o’

    Reply

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