Valve announces Steam Controller
posted on 09.27.13 at 01:53 PM EDT by (@salromano)
A controller that works with every Steam game.

Following SteamOS and Steam Machines, Valve’s final living room announcement this week is Steam Controller, “a different kind of gamepad” set to work with every game on Steam, past, present, and future.

The controller boasts dual track pads, a touch screen, buttons, and an open platform. Find out more details here.

The beta for the controller is the same as the beta for Steam Machines, so you’ll only need to sign up once.

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  • Calvin Chikelue

    I’m intrigued. I really want to get my hands around it. Only worry is with the face buttons. And please remember people, this controller is not going to force its way into your hands. You can still use Logitech or Console controllers for the games that need them.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Gahahaha

  • dmysta3000

    This looks…..pretty bad….

  • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

    I have seen weird-ass things in my days and this is one of them…

    For potential comic relief, I wanna see players with Xbox controllers on one side VS players with Steam controllers on the other in competitive games….

  • Leon Keyv

    at first i thought this was the back of the controller…turns out it wasn’t

    • rainelee

      Me too. I was wondering why are they only showing the back.

  • GhostNomad

    I’m not thrilled for several reasons.

    For one, the lack of analog sticks. This setup reminds me of playing games on a touchscreen (phone/tablet) and just how terrible those controls can be.

    Second, the shape just looks a bit awkward. Can’t really say much about that without actually holding the controller in my hands, but still, I’m not exactly hyped >.>

    Third, those big-ass buttons on the back of the controller… I can see those being annoying to press (and if they’re too light, getting pressed accidentally).

    Fourth, and most important…… 99% of my PC gaming is done with KB/M, so a controller is just out of the question (except for Dark Souls, a controller’s actually better in that case).

    • Calvin Chikelue

      This isn’t a touch screen though. It’s a clickable trackpad that actually provides feedback. They say in the article that the entire point is to mimic mouse controls for PC gamers that are used to that style.

      • GhostNomad

        I know, but like I said, it REMINDS me of the terrible experience of playing without proper analog sticks, so that doesn’t exactly excite me. I’m not saying it’s crap and doesn’t function, simply that it doesn’t exactly stand out in my mind as something to actually be excited about.

        I’m gonna give it a shot and see how it functions at some point down the line, but I’m not exactly in a hurry to throw away my mouse and keyboard :P

      • Elvick

        If you want mouse controls… use a mouse. :|

        A controller is a controller.

        Each have benefits, but this removes the benefits of a controller and creates a worse mouse. (sorry, there’s no way it’ll be as good as a mouse)

  • shogunknight

    ……whaa?

  • McPoo

    That’s mental. Interesting though.

  • Leon Keyv

    The Official Gabepad

  • Alkhan

    This is officially the ugliest gaming controller of all time.

  • Zancrow

    What is this I don’t even.

  • bldudas

    It kind of looks like a boom box.

  • Nitraion

    That mini car RC

  • EX+

    Moderator – This comment clashes with several of our guidelines. Off topic discussion = Open Forum. Thanks for understanding.

    • gerald

      Moderator – This comment clashes with several of our guidelines. Off topic discussion = Open Forum. Thanks for understanding.

      • Zackasaur

        Moderator – This comment clashes with several of our guidelines. Off topic discussion = Open Forum. Thanks for understanding.

        • EX+

          Moderator – This comment clashes with several of our guidelines. Off topic discussion = Open Forum. Thanks for understanding.

        • $30632660

          Moderator – This comment clashes with several of our guidelines. Off topic discussion = Open Forum. Thanks for understanding.

  • pekot

    PC fans
    Please Don’t tell me now you like this THING

    • Zackasaur

      The PC/Valve fanboys do.

      The legit players don’t.

  • Elvick

    Looks shit.

  • http://Xcite79.1up.com/ Keegs79

    I was excited about a Steam Box but this has took all excitement I had for it and blew it out the window. Ok, it doesn’t have analog sticks but no d-pad as well?

    • gerald

      It’s like they went out of their way to make a controller for people who hate controllers. Just like the Steam Machines don’t appeal to most PC gamers or console gamers, this controller doesn’t really appeal to kb+m or classic controller users. Very odd decisions coming out of Valve.

  • Gyro Zeppeli

    Remember when Valve made video games?

    • dmysta3000

      Valve can’t count to 3 remember?

      Though seriously, I hope this means Portal 3, L4D 3, Team Fortress 3, or something new from them is on the way….

  • Elvick

    Oh lawd

    • LightGenx

      It begins.

    • Sevyne

      Dem fresh beats!

  • LightGenx

    Funky

  • Zackasaur

    This is the single most atrocious controller I’ve seen in the past decade. Jeez.

    People will sing the praises of it, though, because Valve made it. Count on that.

    • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

      It looks pretty awkward

  • anti

    Oddly the first thing I thought of when I saw this thing was one of those Daruma dolls:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/Daruma_dolls.jpg

    • Kobracon

      HAH! omg I totally see it now! (and now can’t UNsee >.<)

  • $30632660

    I look at this controller in two ways,

    Innovative and possible controller version of a Virtual Boy style trainwreck.

    All it comes down to is how well the controller actually works with games. Of course, other people will cry only about the actual design of the control and not about how it will feel.

  • Ritsujun

    LOL @ the shape.
    So, it’s confirmed that those aliens @ VALVe have reverse-humanhands.

    • TheBlackRabbit

      LOL…yes yes it does

  • Sevyne

    So Valve’s 3 announcements this week were actually something that should have been ONE announcement? I mean, they’re all a part of one thing really. This is just Valve pretending that they can count to three! Nice try guys.

    Edit: Hey I’m just being real here. Who announces the OS and controller separate from the box (just days apart no less)? They took one announcement and made it into three. All good stuff (well the controller is a bit on the odd side in an interesting way ), but an unnecessary split.

  • Calvin Chikelue
    • Calvin Chikelue

      More impressions from the designer of Super Meat Boy:

      http://tommyrefenes.tumblr.com/post/62476523677/my-time-with-the-steam-controller

      • $18114340

        Ah, I didn’t see these in my RSS feed until just now. Why the downvotes? Someone’s actually posting information here. I guess if you’re not bashing the controller without having used it you’re not one of the cool kids.

        • Calvin Chikelue

          It’s strange. I actually see it as a new and interesting control option on what remains one of the most open platforms in terms of controller choice. Yet everybody is quick to jump to hate based simply on looks rather than the functionality it could provide for the PC gaming space. If anything, I would have been extremely disappointed if it ended up as just another dual analog without bringing anything innovative or new to the table.

          • $18114340

            It’s sad how people like to bandwagon hate on things that they don’t plan on buying or that they haven’t already pre-conceived as interesting. It almost seems as if people were under the impression that Valve was trying to replace standard controllers and mouse+keyboards entirely, which is a ridiculous proposition in of itself. I’d say it’s because these people subconsciously feel threatened for some stupid reason, but I have a hard time believing that anybody is really that small. I might be wrong about that.

            I’m just as interested in the controller and I would also have been disappointed if it was just another dual analog. I have a few technical concerns about it, namely how much it’s going to cost with that touchscreen, and how long the battery life will be in a final product that’s wireless and has copious haptic feedback.

            • Calvin Chikelue

              Reasonable concerns. Hopefully the beta will give us a clearer picture on the long term functionality of the controller (that is if the testers can make public their comments and impressions). My only real nit pick from the announcements is that I really would like Valve to divulge what companies they plan on contracting Steam Machines from and what both the Machines and the controllers will cost (at least an estimate would be nice).

  • CaptainSatanica

    Sorry that’s a terrible design especially where the buttons are located

  • Gigus

    those weird curvetures on the handles look really uncomfortable.

  • alundra311

    Didn’t read the link in the article. But does this only work on Steam OS and machines?

    If this turns out to be a good controller and works on any PC and OS out of the box, I might actually get one.

  • Kobracon

    ““a different kind of gamepad” set to work with every game on Steam, past, present, and future.”

    Oh reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally??

  • Willgaea

    The speakers are so gigantic, they couldn’t find a place to put the analogs and D-pad.

  • Ritsujun

    Moderator – Please don’t comment if you’re going to flame, troll, or “fanboy.”

    • $18114340

      the f**k does that mean?

      Moderator – It’s just a troll post. Don’t let it bother you.

      • Ritsujun

        Moderator – Please don’t comment if you’re going to flame, troll, or “fanboy.”

  • Aiddon

    this definitely proves that Valve are NOT hardware designers

  • $18114340

    Reposting a couple links. Some developers have gotten their hands on Valve’s new controller and here’s what they think:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/201195/Select_game_developers_used_the_Steam_Controller_Heres_what_they_said.php

    It’s important to realize one thing here if nothing else: this is a controller made for mouse-input games, primarily. Do not think of it as trying to replace traditional controls. That’s not the point at all, and I think that’s the source of confusion here. It is meant to supplement them in the same way that an arcade stick is used to accommodate fighting games and a steering wheel is meant for driving games.

    More details from one of the creators of Super Meat Boy:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/TommyRefenes/20130928/201219/My_time_with_the_Steam_Controller.php

    Kotaku:

    http://kotaku.com/valves-controller-has-been-tested-here-are-some-impre-1415579308

    • Calvin Chikelue

      Here’s another set of developer impressions for your list:

      http://kotaku.com/valves-controller-has-been-tested-here-are-some-impre-1415579308

      • $18114340

        Thanks, I’ll spread the word.

    • MogCakes

      How does it supplement traditional controllers if you can’t hold one when using it? o_O

      It’s alright to call it for what it is, a new type of control input that may either revolutionize gaming controls forever, hold its own as another type of input device, or crash and burn horribly.

      • $18114340

        It supplements traditional controllers the same way as other specialty controllers do. I mentioned arcade sticks and steering wheels. You can add controllers such as the Wii remote and even mouse and keyboard to that, too. You can’t really use any of those at the same time you use a traditional gamepad, can you?

        I don’t see this as “revolutionizing gaming controls forever”, again, I think that’s missing the point entirely. That’s really not what Valve intends to do. They just intend to convert mouse controls to a more accessible form for the living room specifically, and as history has shown analog sticks are rubbish for that. Why don’t people understand this?

        • MogCakes

          That’s an odd way of using ‘supplement’. All the control input methods you listed are different options; they are not supplements to traditional console controllers. They are alternatives.

          • $18114340

            Not really. You could use a driving wheel to play a fighting game but most people don’t consider that an “option”, and you definitely can’t use traditional controls for a game that absolutely requires the Wii Remote or vice versa.

            I’m curious as to how you see the Steam controller being anything but an “supplement”, when you could just as easily plug in a 360 gamepad or a mouse and keyboard into your PC and be able to use those at the same time. “Alternative” and “supplement” aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, either, unless you want to be pedantic for the sake of being pedantic. I see it as “supplementing” controllers because it isn’t meant to replace them like you seem to imply. There is no “one size fits all”, and as history has proven dual analog controllers have been pretty poor substitutes in games that require precise pointing.

            So, you can keep getting hung up on subjective terminology that you’ve defined for yourself if you like; it doesn’t change the reality of what the controller is actually meant to do. And it isn’t going to “revolutionize” anything because it doesn’t need to.

            • MogCakes

              Well if I can’t add it to my controller to actively use at the same time, I consider it an alternative option instead of a supplemental option. I’m not knocking the controller here either, so take it easy on the insinuations, yeah?

              • $18114340

                Whether I meant “supplement” or “alternative”, you still understood what I meant, so I don’t know why you decided to get hung up on that. It’s not only beside the point but by making it seem important you’re undermining the point I was actually trying to make.

                You say that it’s “alright to call it for what it is”, but that’s exactly what I’m doing and somehow you’re making that out to be wrong. You mention “revolutionizing controls forever” and “crashing and burning” as if the extremes are somehow the most likely outcomes. They’re not. The controller’s impact is being exaggerated by jeering masses who want to see those extremes, as unlikely as they actually are. That’s the opposite of calling it what it is, because it’s not likely that this will change console standards considering it makes no effort to replace them but to coexist with them, nor is it likely that it will be a complete failure either if testimony from people who have actually used it is anything to go by.

                “Alternative” or “supplemental” controller, whatever the fuck you want to call it, that’s not the point.

                • MogCakes

                  I got ‘hung up’ on it because you asserted that it isn’t meant to replace traditional controls when it quite clearly does, as it’s an alternative control method. ‘What it is’ is not a supplemental control device, it’s an alternative and I explained that in my first post already. Again, stop hurling the defensive remarks, none of my posts to you are insulting the controller. Also, you’re going to have to get used to stuff getting poked fun at. People are skeptical and they have every right to be, nothing deserves benefit of the doubt when money is involved. The burden is on Valve to prove this controller is a great control method, not us to take their word for it.

                  • $18114340

                    It isn’t meant to “replace” traditional controls because it quite clearly is meant for different purposes entirely, at least not any more than arcade sticks, mice and keyboards, joysticks, and steering wheels are meant to “replace” traditional controls. I mean, your gamepad is still there, and you can use it whenever you want to. Nothing is being “replaced”, and nothing has been “revolutionized”. If “supplement” is the wrong word to use then “replace” is ENTIRELY the wrong word to use.

                    I’m not pissed that people are poking fun at the controller, I’m pissed that they aren’t even thinking about why the controller exists and jumping to conclusions about it. Sure, people are going to be skeptical. In this case they are being flat-out defiant about it when they haven’t even tried the controller for themselves and they don’t even seem to be trying to understand the purpose the controller is meant to serve simply because they don’t want to. So they can go to hell.

                    And for fuck’s sake, the THREE LINKS posted are supposed to provide proof — however small — that this control method is deserving of more credit than a bunch of anonymous internet nobodies are giving it. Nobody is asking you to blindly take their word for it — but to flat-out ignore credible testimony entirely and to stubbornly cling to notions that this can’t coexist with traditional control methods? Come on.

                    The Valve controller does NOT “quite clearly” mean to replace traditional controls because there ARE NO “traditional controls” for the kinds of games this controller is expressly designed for in the fashion the controller is expressly designed to be used in. I don’t understand how you can continue to assert this when it is a blatantly false notion. What are you going to do, play Civ V using analog sticks? Or try and play Counter-Strike on the couch with a mouse and keyboard but no surface to put them on?

                    • MogCakes

                      The crux of your whole argument is that since this controller was created for mouse/keyboard style games it doesn’t replace traditional controls. That’s a crock dude. Mouse/keyboard ARE a traditional type of control scheme. And one more time, all these control methods you’ve listed are alternatives. They achieve the same purpose – to give the user control of the game they’re playing – but through different methods. They cannot be used simultaneously, hence they are not supplements, they are alternatives. A supplement would be the gun attachment for the PS Move wand. Further, I am not bashing Valve’s controller design, I am saying we should just call it for what it is, a new type of control scheme that may either succeed or fail – but it is NOT a supplement.

                      Semantics are very important. You apparently agree that it is so, considering how long your replies have been. Your ranting about peoples’ reaction to the controller is completely misplaced by directing it at me and I refuse to engage you on that topic.

                    • $18114340

                      I already conceded to you that “supplement” might have been the wrong word to use (since you care so much), so I don’t know why you continue to pursue that line, but I disagree that alternative necessitates replacement. The Valve controller does not seek to replace mouse and keyboard because they are still there and it supplements them with additional features such as a second screen and second trackpad. And you CAN use a gamepad at the same time as a keyboard; there is nothing technically inhibiting this in PC games. The crux of my argument is that the controller does NOT mean to replace anything because that prevalent line of thinking is ridiculous. There is no “replacement”. It is not all-or-nothing like you make it seem.

                      You did not simply say that the new controller would succeed or fail — you specifically resorted to overblown hyperbole of “revolutionizing forever” versus “crashing and burning” as if those were the most definitive metrics of success, and this is something I take issue with because it only serves to exacerbate the idiotic implicit narrative that the Valve controller cannot coexist with its “alternatives”. The Wii remote’s impact on games was not “revolutionary” in that it did not replace traditional controls; and yet, it did not “crash and burn” either. So what, it “held its own”? No, it most certainly had a lasting effect on the industry.

                      I did not choose to bring up the topic about peoples’ reaction to the controller; YOU brought it up when you told me to “get used to it”. Well, I won’t, because the status quo is stubborn moronic jeering at something because it’s different, and it’s a status quo you encourage by using such flippant hyperbole to describe the controller’s circumstances.

                    • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

                      It seems like the best option here is to just let this conversation go and move on..

                    • McPoo

                      Or have them battle it out on Super Street Fighter 4 to decide the winner. One will use a driving wheel, the other a lightgun.

                      Whoever wins will be crowned victor of this disagreement.

                    • MogCakes

                      Well no, you’ve spent your entire time here defending the controller from just about everyone lol. Look mate, I’m not out to attack this thing, and yeah I used hyperbole, I like to do that kind of thing. It didn’t seem offensive to me. And no, I never implied alternative means completely replacing either.

                      The semantics angle was the only angle I was arguing, that’s why all of my posts are about it. Anyway, I didn’t have any ill intent replying to you, I hope you realize that. We’ll be going in circles if we continue, so let’s both have a good handshake and let it be. I do get your frustration at people knocking the design.

                    • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

                      It seems like the best option here is to just let this conversation go and move on.

                    • MogCakes

                      Roger. I don’t want to leave it off on a bad note though. It wasn’t my intention to incise him.

  • fallen

    Works for every type of game, huh? Sweet, can’t wait to play Skullgirls on that thing…

    ……………………………………

  • LunarHaven

    One word needed: Ugs

  • 罪罰

    rubbing nipple joysticks, rad.

    • MogCakes

      Great for porn games.

  • LunarHaven

    E.T Phoooooone home lol.. ok I will stop now XD leaving.. enjoy people!

  • $3582264

    Good night valve.

  • Invisbin

    Oh my….I thought that was the back of the controller…um..well ..hope pc fans are happy

  • Robbyfishersora

    Will pc player use this over mouse and keyboard?

  • Ritsujun

    Moderator – Stop making troll comments like this. Thanks.

  • Ritsujun

    Next, VALVe’s gonna reveal the Steam Motionstick.