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Valve adds buttons to Steam controller

Valve adds buttons to Steam controller

Thu 16 Jan 2014 8:49am GMT / 3:49am EST / 12:49am PST
HardwareDevelopment

Touch-screen makes way for more traditional features as Valve seeks compatibility

Valve has altered the design of its touch-sensitive Steam controller in an effort to make it more compatible with existing games.

Previously, the face of the controller had a touch-screen between its two circular touch-pads, but Valve has decided to remove that in favour of a d-pad and a typical diamond-shaped arrangement of four buttons.

This change brings Valve's controller more into line with devices on systems like Xbox and PlayStation, and therefore the huge range of games designed to work with their inputs.

The new design was unveiled at Steam Dev Days, along with the news that the controller will have a gyroscope, will run on AAA batteries, and that the API will allow for the use of up to 16 controllers at any one time. Valve has also promised more changes in the future.

A more detailed account of the information released at Steam Dev Days can be found here, but the biggest shift was Gabe Newell's revelation that Valve wants to phase out Steam Greenlight - a service it launched less than 18 months ago, and one that was greeted with no small amount of criticism at first.

8 Comments

Christian Keichel
Journalist

416 561 1.3
From the looks of it I would expect an uncomfortable gaming experience and the huge space between the 2 touchpads seems totally wasted now.

Posted:3 months ago

#1

Neil Young
Programmer

232 186 0.8
It's now an awful lot like a wiiu pro controller with the trackpad eyes instead of thumbsticks?

@Christian - the dead space in the middle is fairly normal, since it's out of comfortable reach during normal play. There's often low use stuff there (home, start, etc), which valve may well add in later.

Posted:3 months ago

#2

Christian Keichel
Journalist

416 561 1.3
@ Neil

That was what I meant, without Start and Select in the middle, the controller didn't only lacks buttons, it also looks like a not well thought controller at all. I am getting tired of seeing a new 3D printer prototype of the Steam controller every week especially, as every revision seems like a step back instead of a step forward.
In this revision, I wonder what use the left set of buttons have, the only thing I can imagine is, that somebody wanted to make the thing usable for lefties, but then - at least from the looks of it - it looks extremely hard to reach the face buttons with your thumb at all, regardless if you are a leftie or not.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 16th January 2014 4:21pm

Posted:3 months ago

#3

Neil Young
Programmer

232 186 0.8
The description implies the left set are a dpad.

Posted:3 months ago

#4

Christian Keichel
Journalist

416 561 1.3
The description implies the left set are a dpad.
Yeah, the what the description implies, but a D-Pad is not 4 seperate buttons, that's what the picture shows, it's very hard to hit diagonal directions with 4 buttons.
So it's possible that these aren't 4 seperate buttons, but in fact a D-Pad that just looks like 4 seperate buttons, but then the question remains: Why? And didn't Valve tried to convince anybody that the trackpads make any kind of D-Pad unneccessary by letting Tommy Refenes test the controller with his Super Meat Boy?

Posted:3 months ago

#5

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
I'm waiting for the redesign that turns that pad into the old Turbo Touch 360 controller for the Sega Genesis/MD and SNES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLX5LwI6w68

Posted:3 months ago

#6

Maged Hamdy
Studying Computer Science

4 1 0.3
So I'm supposed to jam my fingers between two touch pads?

Posted:3 months ago

#7

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,203 816 0.7
Nope... still doesnt convince me, the set of buttons on the left should be shaped as a directional crosspad or like the directional buttons on the playstation. And Im not convinced by those 2 touchpad things. I prefer analog sticks. But for anyone who has tried it out, it be interested to know about your impressions.

Posted:2 months ago

#8

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