The growth of Valve has been nothing short of phenomenal. The studio, famed for its creation of the legendary Half Life series, has become much more than a games developer. Valve first created Steam as a platform for the easy distribution of game updates, but the service has since grown to become the go-to platform for digital game releases.
Valve has recently moved away from the digital and into more physical products. In 2013, the developer announced plans to create Steam Machines, home console variants aimed at creating a hybrid between traditional console and PC gaming. Alongside the Steam Machines, which are to initially be manufactured in 14 different versions, Valve also gave plans for the Steam Controller. However, news became quiet after the project was delayed until 2015 after feedback from early testers.
Now, Valve has offered further details on the Steam Controller. Speaking at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the developer has revealed that the Steam Controller will be available to purchase in November of this year. Valve also set a finite price tag of $50. Worldwide prices will be revealed closer to the controller’s release.
As it stands, the Steam Controller itself looks similar to leaked images from December. Initial designs gave the controller a pair of touchpads and two sets of buttons, but December’s leak saw a number of revisions including the addition of an analog stick. We’ve yet to get a chance to try the controller, but can’t wait to see if it lives up to its promise as a controller for the PC gamer’s palate.
The news was revealed alongside another Valve announcement. The developer gave a first glimpse at the Steam Link, a streaming device that will allow users to stream content at 60 Hz and 1080p resolution. The Steam Link, which will work akin to a set top box, will make it possible to stream from any PC, Mac, Steam Machine or Linux device on the same home network. The Link will also be available in November, and will retail at $50 – although there is currently a free in-home streaming service available.
It’s been a huge GDC for Valve. Alongside the Steam Link and Controller, the developer also unveiled its own virtual reality headset. Dubbed Vive for Valve, the headset will compete against the likes of Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. Given Valve’s place in the PC market, however, Vive could be a strong contender in the VR Race.
It remains to be seen just how these moves will work for Valve. The developer has taken part in a number of projects so ambitious that it makes the free Source 2 engine seem conservative, and they all seem to be hitting the market within a short space of time. Whichever way the projects go, it’s hard not to admire Valve’s ambition.