Valve Changes Steam Controller Design Ahead of GDC
While Valve’s upcoming Steam Controller had been much-anticipated by gamers for its revolutionary design, it looks like some of the more unique aspects of the controller will disappear. The touchscreen and surrounding buttons at the centre of the controller are being eliminated in the latest design iteration for the traditional controller face buttons.
Let’s start with a side-by-side comparison because I’m starting to warm up to these. On the left is the original Steam Controller design that was announced last fall. On the right is the version of the Steam Controller that will be shown off next week at the Game Developers’ Conference.
That touchscreen, four buttons around it and the three buttons at the bottom of the controller have been dropped for a more traditional layout. There are the three buttons in the middle, including ones that look like start, select and Steam buttons. The A, B, X and Y buttons that have been around since the SNES are at the bottom right rather than around the touchpad.
The unique face buttons that would be the most controversial once people get their hands on them. Rather than a d-pad, the Steam controller is going with four directional buttons that aren’t grouped together but separate buttons. We’ll have to see how people react to this design choice when they get their hands on it at GDC.
Valve made the change to drop the touchscreen and go with something a bit more traditional after feedback from developers and play testers. The latest design was first shown off at the recent Steam Dev Days and will get into the hands of the public and press later this week.