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Valve redesigns the Steam controller once again

Valve redesigns the Steam controller once again

Valve's Steam Controller appears to have undergone another redesign, this time to add an analogue stick to the left-hand side.

An image buried in the latest Steam client software update appears to suggest that Valve is once again modifying the design of its already-delayed Steam Controller to add a traditional analogue stick.

Valve first announced the Steam Controller as part of its Steam Machine console project, promising an innovative design that ditched the traditional twin analogue sticks for a pair of touch-sensitive concave control surfaces and a centrally-mounted touch-screen display. Following the release of a beta unit sans display, Valve responded to feedback with a delay and a change of design - and by the look of things it's changed its mind once again.

An image supplied with the latest Steam client update and published on the Facepunch forum shows an as-yet unannounced revision of the controller design which adds back a single analogue stick alongside the two touch-sensitive control surfaces. Annoyingly for classic gamers, this comes at the cost of the digital direction pad - meaning it's analogue control or nothing.

The new design also features four face buttons in a diamond layout, three buttons at each side on the rear labelled as Button, Trigger and Grip, plus start and stop buttons - the equivalent of start and select on a console controller. Oddly, Valve has yet to comment on the redesign, and whether it means the already-delayed controller has been pushed back once again.

16 Comments

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Dave Lister 24th July 2014, 10:43 Quote
It's not just classic gamers who require digital control, I use it for games like mortal kombat and street fighter and can't stand analogue controls for games which require precise control.
sakzzz 24th July 2014, 10:59 Quote
99% of the gaming community waiting since years for a Half life sequel ... and they are busy redesigning hardware :/
ChaosDefinesOrder 24th July 2014, 11:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakzzz
99% of the gaming community waiting since years for a Half life sequel ... and they are busy redesigning hardware :/

you're blaming hardware engineers for delays in software?
XXAOSICXX 24th July 2014, 11:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakzzz
99% of the gaming community waiting since years for a Half life sequel ... and they are busy redesigning hardware :/

you're blaming hardware engineers for delays in software?

I suspect he's blaming Valve's strategic decision making and priorities.

This controller is going to get redesigned and redesigned until it's basically an Xbox controller.
Maki role 24th July 2014, 11:43 Quote
Seemingly by the end of this process they're just going to end up with a funky xbox controller. I wonder how people would react if a company other than Valve did this?

EDIT: Talk about ninja'd:
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX

This controller is going to get redesigned and redesigned until it's basically an Xbox controller.
Corky42 24th July 2014, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
It's not just classic gamers who require digital control, I use it for games like mortal kombat and street fighter and can't stand analogue controls for games which require precise control.

IIRC it was said that we will be able to configure the trackpads to act as buttons, not sure how well that would work for fighting games or as a substitute for digital buttons, i guess it depends on how well the haptic feedback works.
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX
This controller is going to get redesigned and redesigned until it's basically an Xbox controller.

If the Xbox controller had trackpads i doubt Valve would even be bothering with its own controller.

For all we know this design maybe one of the designs that have already been abandoned. It was found along with pictures of the other abandoned designs (AFAIK)

Maybe they have already moved on from the controller with the analog stick and redesigned it yet again.
XXAOSICXX 24th July 2014, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
It's not just classic gamers who require digital control, I use it for games like mortal kombat and street fighter and can't stand analogue controls for games which require precise control.

IIRC it was said that we will be able to configure the trackpads to act as buttons, not sure how well that would work for fighting games or as a substitute for digital buttons, i guess it depends on how well the haptic feedback works.
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX
This controller is going to get redesigned and redesigned until it's basically an Xbox controller.

If the Xbox controller had trackpads i doubt Valve would even be bothering with its own controller.

For all we know this design maybe one of the designs that have already been abandoned. It was found along with pictures of the other abandoned designs (AFAIK)

Maybe they have already moved on from the controller with the analog stick and redesigned it yet again.

Maybe they've moved on from the trackpads and are planning to just use thumb-sticks lol.
schmidtbag 24th July 2014, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakzzz
99% of the gaming community waiting since years for a Half life sequel ... and they are busy redesigning hardware :/

HL3 is probably the most demanded AAA title of all time that appears to have no real plans. Because of everyone's insanely high expectations, Valve knows there is absolutely nothing they can do that will ever satisfy people, so there's a good chance they'll never release it. Also take a good hard look at Valve's release history - everything either was a one-time-only release or had only 2 parts. Hell, even half-life 2 had 2 episodes.

Anyway, I'm glad Valve is putting this much attention toward their controller design, and keeping users in the loop. They're taking a risk here with this controller and they want people's opinions and they want this controller to be a success. I respect that. Sony and MS's controllers, while are very nice, are really just playing it safe.
Fracture 24th July 2014, 14:40 Quote
I say good on Valve (and any other company who takes a similar stance) for delaying a product that they felt wasn't up to the standard they are striving for. Way too many products and especially games, are just shipped with flaws to avoid delays and reduce R+D cost to the detriment of their customer base.
bawjaws 24th July 2014, 16:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Also take a good hard look at Valve's release history - everything either was a one-time-only release or had only 2 parts. Hell, even half-life 2 had 2 episodes.

[pedant]Well, Half Life 2 actually has three parts - HL2, Episode 1 and Episode 2.[/pedant]

Completely agree that there are a lot of gamers out there with ridiculous expectations of HL3, and ridiculous levels of entitlement. You only need to look at some of the comments here and elsewhere whenever Valve are announced to be working on anything that isn't HL3 - a bunch of whiners complaining that Valve should be dropping everything else and making HL3 pronto.
jb0 24th July 2014, 16:12 Quote
Personally, I'm not worried about anyone needing digital inputs on this device.
If you're serious enough to care about real digital inputs instead of just substituting an analog nipple, you're serious enough to own two gamepads. Or more!
(I personally have three of viable utility, plus joysticks in both digital and analog flavors. Valve's offering is unique enough to make it into my lineup if it ever actually comes out. )
Gareth Halfacree 24th July 2014, 16:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb0
(I personally have three of viable utility, plus joysticks in both digital and analog flavors. Valve's offering is unique enough to make it into my lineup if it ever actually comes out. )
Somewhere, I have a Saitek (I think) joystick that's rather neat: in one mode, it's a joystick with a surprising number of buttons and a kinda-sorta-HAT on the base; split it in half and discard the joystick portion, and the HAT becomes a D-pad and reveals a Sega Mega Drive-inspired six-button (plus triggers, if I'm remembering right) gamepad. Pretty smart bit of kit, but I don't play many gamepad or analogue joystick games these days, so it's buried in one of the piles around the office.

What *does* get a fair amount of use is my ZipStik Super Pro, via a USB adapter. That digital beauty is decades old and still going strong!
bawjaws 24th July 2014, 16:39 Quote
Ah, the ZipStik Super Pro. My favourite joystick of all time. I still have one kicking about in amongst my Amiga stuff. Must investigate this USB adaptor and try it out :)

For some reason, my Amiga owning friends all preferred either the Competition Pro or the Powerplay Cruiser. I quite liked the variable stiffness of the Cruiser but the ZipStik was superior in every other regard. I hated the Compy Pro.
Corky42 24th July 2014, 17:43 Quote
The ZipStik was the only joystick that could stand up to playing Daley Thompson's Decathlon, it was bullet proof. Every other joystick would fall apart within days, although saying that even the ZipStik broke after a year or two of vigorous waggling :o
Griffter 25th July 2014, 10:42 Quote
portal has 6 letters in it... there are 2 portal games.

6 / 2 = 3!

Half-Life 3 confirmed guys!!!!!!!!!
JohnRogers24 25th July 2014, 15:38 Quote
It still needs two analog stick in my opinion.
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