The lights are on
Valve’s new Steam Controller is weird. It eschews traditional thumb sticks in favor of touch-based trackpads that incorporate vibration to give players a more tactile experience. Valve also says the controller will work with every game in the Steam library. The company’s odd gamepad is unusual, ambitious, and alien to most gamers. But that’s a good thing.
My gut reaction to Valve’s announcement of the Steam Controller was hesitation. The trackpads reminded me of iOS games I’ve played which have attempted digital analog sticks to ho-hum results. But trackpads are not touchscreens, and most of the tech Valve is implementing is either new or foreign to most gamers. Valve says it’s incorporating new form of haptic feedback, which is a fancy way of saying this isn’t your daddy’s Rumble Pack. These trackpads will offer more precise sensations to players’ thumbs give them something tactile in place of a thumbstick. In all my years playing games, I’ve never had my hands on anything that sounds even remotely similar to this. This is new technology and a new idea for a controller, and it’s hard to form an idea of how it will feel until we try it. There is really nothing that is a basis for comparison.
Valve has been clear that this controller is not a required replacement for a mouse and keyboard. Your favorite genres and series will still support other input devices, but the Steam Controller holds great potential for those that would rather play games on their TV. Once Valve’s Big Picture mode entered beta, I hooked my PC up to my HDTV, plugged in my wireless 360 controller, and never looked back. I still reach for the mouse and keyboard for certain games, but with my set up, I prefer holding a comfortable controller rather than fumbling with mouse pads and cords. Sure, I could spend money on an expensive wireless keyboard and mouse, but Valve is working on a solution to this. The company wants all the games in the Steam library to support its controller. Will this work well for every game? Probably not, but I’m excited that the company is brave enough to even attempt this task.
The house that Half-Life built has earned a rabid following over the years. Droves of fans joke about pouring the contents of their wallets into Steam sales, and Half-Life 3 is arguably the most anticipated game of all time. Valve earned its reputation by creating quality software, fostering an awesome relationship with its community, and making a revolutionary digital platform. The doubt swirling around the Steam Controller reminds me of Steam’s unpopular inception. The company has a track record of surprising and impressing gamers, and we don’t have a reason to believe the hardware will be a different story.
Valve is a savvy company that doesn’t have a history of making stupid, hasty decisions. In the past I doubted unique hardware designs like the Nintendo DS and Oculus Rift at first glance, but I’ve learned that the boldest decisions can come with the most satisfying results. Since 1997 the PlayStation DualShock has been the basic template for dual analog stick controllers, and most companies have chosen to refine this design rather than innovate on it. The Steam Controller’s odd aesthetic and tech is something I’ve never seen before, and that’s worth getting excited about.
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I never doubted this thing in the first place, can't wait to rub my thumbs on those smooth haptic feed back pads. Yum, yum, yum!
Honestly, I'm just glad they didn't go with tongue control. This thing should be fun to check out, I bet it performs better than it looks like it will. Will it revolutinize controllers? Probably not, but it may be a nic alternative to mouse and keyboard.
Now, Turi... Did I just hear you call a wireless mouse and keyboard combo expensive? And as an alternative, you'd turn to this? Controllers run $50, and I wouldn't doubt this might be a little more. You can easily get a wireless combo for less than that.
I am way more excited for SteamOS and this controller than the PS4 or XBone.
I definitely won't write off the controller, but still have to warm up to its design.
oh no! it's too late... i already wrote it off :(
Wtf Is This How Are You Suppose To Play With This ***
Pretty sure that Valve's elite guard will pick this up and that's about it. I really occurs to me as just another case of fixing something that isn't broke.
looks like a mini boom box, I'm gonna get it, gotta try it out.
I certainly don't see this replacing keyboard/mouse, however many comments towards it have been negative. I agree that it is being "written off" way too early, and people should try it before saying how bad it is.
Reminds me of my 6 year old telling me she doesn't like her supper when she's never tasted it... only to say "yum it's my favorite" 5 minutes later. I guess I should consider who half the gaming audience is! LOL
It is a very interesting set-up...
Have faith, it will go along way.
Not going to lie, I hate it
It just looks so uncomfortable to hold.
Kinda hard to write off when it never really wasn't written on..
Off topic, but lest we forget that Nintendo's N64 controller inspired the dual analog setup for DualShock that it on other controllers in some form today.
Not excited for this at all.
At first, I was highly skeptical regarding this controller. But the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. If Valve's promises about the accuracy of the controller in comparison to a mouse and keyboard are true, I may just have to pick up one of these and maybe a Steambox. Price notwithstanding, it may be a good starting point for me to get into PC gaming beyond League of Legends and Civilization.
this is new tech, so i guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. I'm really interested to see if the steam machine is actually affordable
it is interesting. i want to put hands on this controller and see how it plays.