If you’ve always wondered exactly how Valve put the Steam controller together, and what their manufacturing processes looked like, here’s the perfect opportunity.
It almost looks like the perfect home for GLaDOS: the manufacturing plant where Valve’s Steam controllers are built. Like most factories and manufacturing plants, it’s an incredibly bright, sanitary space. There’s more robotics than humanoids.
We’re able to see what that manufacturing process looks like today thanks to a broader update on how the Steam controller is tracking. Judging by the URL, it seems to suggest that the next major update for the Steam controller — potentially a beta — will land on December 15 (Dec. 16 Australian time).
But the coolest bit is watching how the controller is put together, so let’s go through that first.
“To achieve our goal of a flexible controller, we felt it was important to have a similar amount of flexibility in our manufacturing process, and that meant looking into automated assembly lines,” Valve wrote in the video description.
“It turns out that most consumer hardware of this kind still has humans involved in stages throughout manufacturing, but we kind of went overboard, and built one of the largest fully automated assembly lines in the [United States].”
It’s cool to watch the controller get put together piece by piece, but what’s important is how practical it is to use. And on that front, Valve has some news.
The next Steam Beta client update will allow you to save configuration profiles to the controller, making it easy to take settings with you “even when you’re playing a co-op game on a friend’s Steam account”. “Register a controller to have it draw configurations from your account. Personalise it while you’re there,” the company says.
Support for Steam controller settings in non-Steam games will also be added in the next beta client too. “The next Steam Beta client will add [configurations for non-Steam games] as well … and we’ll automatically find configurations that other uses have published.”
The rest of Valve’s missive isn’t really news, but more an advisory about how users have found ways to maximise the potential of the Steam controller. Some of those are courtesy of updates pushed out by Valve, such as the introduction of mouse regions, while others came directly from the community (like Mouse-Like Joystick mode, a suggestion sourced directly from a NeoGAF user).