Steam Controller Ditches Touchscreen For Real Buttons

Steam Controller Ditches Touchscreen For Real Buttons

The strange-looking Stream Controller Valve introduced to us in September was innovative, ambitious, and unworkable from a backwards compatibility standpoint. Today Valve announced the release version of the controller will drop the screen in favour of a d-pad and standard controller buttons.

Creating a whole new way to play games is a great idea, but when it's a great new way to play a massive back catalogue of games that might not work intuitively with your new hardware — that's the rub. So Valve's solution to finding a way to support games standardized for Xbox-style XInput controls, is to give their controller Xbox-style input controls.

The change, detailed over on the Steam Database Steam Dev Days day one blog post, is very smart. I say that with respect, as not many hardware companies would come out of the game with such a strong concept and then scrap a major portion of it months before release. With so many different Steam Machines being made, the Steam Controller is the face of the movement. Now it'll be a face that looks just a bit less like Darth Vader.



    The controller idea dies with the touchscreen. It'll just be another alternative now, since we can't custom map stuff to better button placement. What happened to all the sweet-talk about how they are giving gamers what they need, etc? Now the only saving grace will be the touchpads, which IMO are stupid.

    LOL, more stuff got cut. Biometrics and rechargeable batteries.

    Last edited 16/01/14 10:22 am

    This article is not particularly clear on what is happening. This tweet makes it a little clearer.

      Kind of sad when a Tweet can better communicate information than an entire blog article.

      Ahh. Okay, I thought they were doing away with the touch-circles on either side (joystick things). Basically they're just adding in buttons to the middle. Thats not so bad.

      Gotta say though they look awfully close together... almost uncomfortable looking.

    I need to try it before I can make any judgement. The prototype picture of it though makes it look a bit cramped in with the button placement, and tbh, I'm happy with my PS4 controller now and using that on my PC

      Are most PC games compatible with PS4 controller? I thought we were waiting on an update or something.

        admittedly I've only really tried Fallout 3, NV & Skyrim, but those worked no problems with the PS4 controller with the same software that the PS3 controller works with. I might give a few older FPSs a crack over the weekend, but honestly I'd rather play them with mouse and keyboard anyway

        There is an official Microsoft USB to Wireless dongle so you can pair 4 wireless Xbox controllers to your PC for about $20 (you can find on ebay), I've been using one for about 6 years now and it works seamlessly. I also have a USB to 2 x PS4 controller adapter as well. The difference is most games recognize the Xbox dongle as it's an official Microsoft product, the PS4 adapter usually requires you map the buttons manually.

        You can use it in the same way in which a ps3 controller was used. You can get a driver which makes windows register it as a xbox controller. That way, games are none the wiser.

    I don't think this is a bad thing. The best thing about the Steam controller is the circle pad thing. Mainly because I hate joysticks and their inaccuracy.

      I agree. The concentric circles look like they'll give a lot more tactile feedback than joysticks, in regards to which direction they pointing in.

      You just have to watch videos of people using it on the net. It's just a controller.
      There is no increased accuracy over joysticks and it works on games the same way you would expect any other controller to do but with a greater freedom with changing buttons.

        Obviously it's just a control.
        However, looking at it and seeing how it functions, I believe I would be more accurate with it then a joystick. I may be wrong though, and obviously haven't tried it myself to prove that.

        I am personally waiting till they are released officially and I can see what people say regarding its overall accuracy. Because I would love to replace the Xbox controller I use with my PC for something more accurate when the game doesn't suit mouse + keyboard.

          Like I said, there are videos all over the web showcasing the controller. Right now (testing phase obviously) the touch pads play like you would expect them to, not bad but suffer in high speed movements and somewhat clumsy to get used to for accurate pin point movements within the zones.
          It may have started as something unique, but it seems to be rolling back toward the standard controller config already.
          (And I bet there is a Joystick version available when it hits stores)

            Yeah. I understand that's what you're saying. I'm just saying I am absolutely shit with joysticks, and I think I will be far more accurate with these pads. I've seen the videos.

    Erg, I think they should have kept the screen, for older games just let us use the PS4 controller.

    I saw this publicity stunt coming a mile away

    there is far too much adoption of the 360 layout and style for something too radically different to pick up so i think this is a good move... i don't think it'll be anywhere near as nice to use as a 360 controller though... look forward to be proved wrong or right on that though :)

    I think we're all missing the point in that blog post here. They'll be giving us prices in AUD by next year. I don't think that'll be a good thing.

      Could it be any worse than the current situation where we get given Australian prices in US dollars?

        With the exception of Activision and 2K (I must exclude Deadpool which was $10 cheaper here than in the US at launch), prices have been somewhat below Retail. I see that coming to an end.

    lol, way to stick it to the consoles Valve ;)

    I agree with not having a touchscreen, but why not tactile buttons with a screen background? Like the razer deathstalker

      Perhaps the $400 price tag on that keyboard would give you a clue.

    Also it just looks like the nintendo wii u pro controller now.. with touch pads.. yawn.

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