#327 The Touchy Subject of Steam’s Newest Controller

The one of the more interesting bit of news to from Valve’s during Steam Dev Days event is that the Steam controllers will be dropping their touchscreen in favor of more physical buttons below the two track pads.

a side by side of the new design compared to the prototype

a side by side of the new design compared to the original

The developers say the change was from the feedback they received from their beta test  and the new design was for the best option for backward compatibility with the older games in Steam’s Catalog.

When I heard of the announcement I was a bit sad because the Steam Machine was the only next-gen controller that looked different and unique, rather than a slightly updated model of the previous console controller that was just based off of the perfectly designed Super NES controller.

My current USB controller is starting to show its age (the poor thing has a mashed in ‘A’ button from my playthrough of Telltale’s The Walking Dead along with some other dents and scratches)  and soon I will be looking around the electronic stores for a replacements.  I was interested in the PlayStation 4 controller because Sony was the only company that thought that it was a good idea to release PC drivers on the same they release their product but the new trackpad seems to be a bit of a risky gamble right now, since we have not seen many how many non-PS4 exclusive titles will be incorporating the new trackpad into their games.

I know the console is only a few months old but the gamble comes from paying for the a feature on the controller I might not use in multiplat or pc exclusive games

I don’t want to pay for a feature on the controller I might not use when I’m playing PC exclusive games

What kills me is that Valve could have help start a new wave of controller design with Sony, by keeping the infinite possibilities of the touchscreen on their controller  and then both companies could encourage the third-party game developers to use the track pad and touch screens into the core mechanics of future products.

As much as it is to want and dream about the future of videogames, the people at Valve received way more data from their internal focus test groups and their Steam Machine beta tests then I could ever imagine of and the people in charge of the Steam Machine product are much more qualified to make the final decision of what stays in the final version of the Official Steam Controller than this blogger.

It is still nice to dream about what could have been.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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