Ever since its release late last year, the Steam controller has received mixed reviews. Plenty of people have suggested nips, tucks and layout changes that might improve it. Hardware hacker Ben Heck decided to just make his own.
On the most recent episode of his show, Heck dissected the Steam controller and then proposed his own take on the concept. It’s not the prettiest thing ever (he threw it together in a couple of days), but it’s an interesting idea that attempts the same hat trick as Valve’s own plastic hand owl: luring PC gamers into the living room.
So it’s a two-part device: in one hand, you hold a specially built mouse that clings to a magnetic leg-conforming mousepad. In the other, you hold an almost Wii-nunchuk-like device that includes an analogue stick. So basically, you get mouse look and controller movement, albeit with an analogue stick that relies more on movement from the base of the thumb than only half of it. The short version? It hopefully won’t hurt like, well, heck — a common issue with the Steam controller’s haptic pad.
Obviously, this mock-up is seriously lacking in the button department, which would make it tough to play pretty much anything that’s hotkey heavy. Still, with some of the best bits of PC and console controllers, it strikes me as fairly versatile. It’s an idea I’d love to see iterated upon.