Update: More details have emerged regarding the controller.

Apart from the removal of the center touchscreen that debuted with the early iterations of the controller last year, Valve says that it uses AA batteries (including rechargeables), the machines will support 16-players at once, and that Valve is "keeping VR in mind while developing the controller."

Valve says that the controller will undergo further changes as the beta period continues.

[Source: Valve via MCVUK]


Original Story: When Valve first revealed its Steam Controller, the device raised a few eyebrows thanks to its unconventional design. Information coming out of Steam Dev Days indicates that the controller is becoming slightly less outlandish, replacing the center touchscreen with a more traditional button layout.

The changes may be in response to some of the hands-on impressions coming out of CES. Whatever the reason, maybe the freedom to try different approaches is why Valve has been calling this phase a beta. Only time will tell if we see more alterations to the plan prior to the full rollout later this year.

(Image credit: @TheIneQuation)

Our Take (by Ben Reeves)
This is a smart move for Valve. After spending time with the previous version of the controller, I found that the button layout needed a new arrangement. People are already familiar with the four-button clustering, and time has proved that it works well for most games. I'm a little sad to see the touchscreen go, because it could have possibly made it easier for consumers to interact with their PCs, but its exclusion will also keep the cost of the new controller down, which is good. I just hope Valve sticks a logo or something at the top of the unit; right now it looks a little bare.