In late 2013, Valve announced its 'Steam Controller', an elegant joystick which will replace the normal thumb-sticks found on regular gamepads with trackpads equipped with advanced haptic support. A few developers were allowed to test prototypes of the device and found it extremely easy to use. Dan Tabar of Data Realms rated it highly stating that:
It just feels good. It's a challenge to verbally describe it. When [your thumb] moves toward the outer zone of the trackpad, you can feel that. [The zones on the trackpad] are independent of each other.
Fast forward to 2015, and it looks like Valve is finally ready to unveil its Steam Controller. GameSpot reports that we can expect to see the gaming peripheral at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March. This hint comes from Origin PC CEO Kevin Wasielewski who states:
At GDC, they're going to have more information, and we'll be there. That's the official stuff we can say. They came out with the controller, then they got some user feedback, and they had to revamp it; they got some more user feedback and had to revamp it again. So they went through that like three or four times. And now their controller is finalized. So now they're going to production and at GDC is when they're going to announce more stuff.
As Wasielewski says, the controller has gone through a redesign according to the feedback that Valve has received from the beta testers. The new Steam Controller design (pictured above) was leaked in December and appears to have a D-Pad which will possibly allow for more directional input rather than the conventional four-way directional pad. The device also possesses an analog stick, faceplate buttons and a touch pad. The standard L and R trigger buttons can also be observed in the photo which suggests that the Steam Controller will be a hybrid of the originally announced Steam Controller and the traditional console joysticks.
Wasielewski further went on to say how the term 'Steam Machine' is obsolete now, saying that the Steam Machine is basically a Living Room PC which is nothing new:
I think that's kind of pretty much dead, it's like a living room PC--is now the new term. Living room PCs have been around forever. That's not anything new either. But it seems like there's a legitimate demand and push for living room PCs.
Moving forward, it's quite possible that we'll finally see the Steam Controller in its full limelight at the Game Developers Conference in March. Valve is yet to announce pricing and general availability details.
Source: GameSpot |Image via GameSpot