The lights are on
This morning, Valve revealed the first steps of its plan to marry the new SteamOS to custom hardware. According to the Steam Machines Beta Test Agreement, Valve has developed a game controller. Speculation has been abundant about the third of Valve's announcements, which is scheduled for reveal on Friday at 1 PM Eastern.
"Valve Corporation ("Valve", "We", "Us" or "Our") has developed and produced prototypes of entertainment system hardware and software, including a set-top box running custom software and a game controller (collectively: "Beta Products")," the agreement states. Whether Valve intends to release this controller to market or has simply created it for the purposes of testing is unclear.
Our TakeIf Valve plans to compete in the controller space, it has a lot of work to do to unseat the current preferred device. A wired Xbox 360 controller (or wireless one in tandem with a USB receiver) is an affordable, comfortable, and (for many) already available option.
Ouya tried to create their own controller, and many resort to other options because of how hard it is to create something that feels good and operates with minimal latency. I'm extremely eager to see what Valve has come up with, and since the beta participants will be able to share, we get a look before the end of 2013.