Steam Controller Returns With Thumbstick
The Steam controller, currently in development by Valve, has appeared and disappeared many times this year. Designed to work with the recently available Steam box standalone console, Valve’s controller has been through various iterations, with the most interesting feature being the inclusion of mini touchpads as one of the main input methods.
However, it seems that Valve are going back to basics slightly with this new mock-up, which now features a thumbstick, or analog stick, similar to existing controllers previously available.
While it does include a lot more buttons than most controllers, the new mockup, seen on Twitter, does seem like a u-turn from the concepts we’ve seen before, such as removing a planned LCD screen from the controller’s centre. Valve’s attempt to re-define the controller paradigm has seen so many setbacks, and in true Valve style probably won’t see a release anytime soon. The Steam Box console itself has been confirmed as being in development since 2013.
What we do like about this new take on a familiar design is the inclusion of enough buttons to perform some of the more complex tasks which PC games require, such as complex multiple button commands and macros. Whether the final Steam controller will support custom commands programmable by the user remains to be seen, but if it does it could mean that even some of the most tricky games would be able to utilise the controller, such as Dota 2.
One of the main reasons the company is taking such a long time to finalise the design of the controller is the extensive testing required to satisfy the needs of pc gamers switching to the controller.
“We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers,” explained Valve’s Eric Hope earlier in the year.
“It’s generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we’ll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it’s also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements.”
If the Steam controller surfaces before the end of 2014 it’ll be a nice addition to the already amazing looking steam boxes, which allow the user to play their favourite PC titles on a dedicated machine which runs steam and steam only on a linux environment.
We’ll keep posting updates on the steam box and controller when they arrive. Stay posted.