While it's been a few months seen any big news has come out regarding Valve's Steam Machine experiment, the console-esque PCs are poised to make a big showing in 2015. That's when most expect many of the major players to finally release their Steam Machine offerings, and when Valve should finally unveil the finalized version of their Steam controller.
Adding more credence to that assumption is a new Steam Controller design tucked inside the latest Steam client update. The design itself doesn't boast any major changes when compared to the one unveiled a few months ago, which suggests Valve is now just fine tuning aspects of the controller.
At the same time, it appears nothing from the last controller design has been removed either; all the major pieces are still here. The controller still features the dual touch pads, the joystick on the bottom left side, two sets of shoulder buttons, and four action buttons.
The only significant addition we can see is a d-pad shaped groove in the left touch pad. Or it could be a raised portion as well; it's hard to tell. Either way, it seems that Valve is still struggling with how to make the controller's touch pad-focused design more palatable for traditional controller users, and this appears to be a move towards that.
As far as when we might see this new controller design in the flesh, CES 2015 seems the likeliest candidate. Much like with CES 2014, we expect Steam Machines to have a major presence at the event, but where this year's show was focused on debuting the Machines, it could be that more companies start talking firm price points, specs, and release dates.
Even then, the Steam Controller is still a viable option for those who won't ever purchase a Steam Machine. In its early infancy, Valve suggested the controller was designed with PC-focused genres (RTS was a big example brought up) in mind, but things have changed a lot since them. The introduction of that joystick has opened up the controller's potential to include PC gamers in general. We have yet to use one, but we can't wait to see if it becomes the new standard in PC controllers.
What do you think of this leaked Steam Controller design? Is there anything else you think the controller needs?
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