Valve Makes Another Change to the Steam Controller

steam-controller-headerThe Steam Controller has been in a state of seemingly constant evolution since it was first unveiled in September 2013. It’s gone from two touchpads and a touchscreen to something resembling a PlayStation controller with touchpads. Now, Valve is believed to have made another change that brings it a little closer to the status quo. Now, the left touchpad will have a directional guide that makes it look a lot closer to the classic D-pad.

So here’s what the new Steam controller layout looks like:

steam-controller-design-december-2014

Here’s the previous design iteration:

steam-controller-july-2014

And for the sake of comparison, here’s the original design:

steam-controller

Clearly, there’s been quite a change in the design of the controller over the last year and who knows how much it changed before Valve showed off the original prototype.

While this latest change doesn’t seem to be very much and could be nothing more than a cosmetic change to the left touchpad, it does show that Valve may not be as revolutionary with the controller as they were with Steam proper. They keep backing off a complete rationalization of the controller and easing us all back to something that we’re more familiar with but with touchpads for more mouse-like precision.

And this is the challenge that Valve is finding itself stuck in at the moment. They debuted to a mixed reaction for their radically different Steam Controller concept and have been easing towards the status quo. The problem with going in that direction is that there are already scads of controllers on the market that look like your bog standard PlayStation and Xbox controllers. The reason anyone paid attention to the Steam Controller was because it was so different. The reason the Steam Controller will sell is because it will be different. Making it the same as everything else will just hide it amongst the crowd.

So when can we actually expect a Steam Controller to be seen in public? Based on what Valve is saying about Steam Machines having a big presence at GDC in March 2015, we can expect to see a Steam Controller then. Hopefully they don’t unveil it and show an oversized Xbox controller.

Source: Valve Time

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About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on December 18, 2014, in Games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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