In fall 2013 Valve followed up on the stunning announcement of a whole line of Steam Machines with the reveal that the gap between console and PC was also about to be bridged by the Steam controller. Serving the needs of PC gamers who prefer a gamepad to using a keyboard and mouse, the Steam controller was designed to include the best of both worlds: the portability and ergonomic feel of a gamepad with the precision of a mouse.
The Steam controller has undergone a redesign since its original reveal as Valve traded the touchscreen in for a more traditional set of eight buttons, but as early as October last year Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes said that his hands-on experience with the Steam controller was very positive. Many gamers are clamoring for their own turn with the brand new hardware, but so far there’s been no official retail release date set for the Steam controller.
According to PC Gamer, a “trusted hardware source” commented on the Steam controller at PAX East, saying that it would release in October or November and that it would immediately precede the release of most of the Steam Machines, which will in turn be on shelves by the end of 2014.
Though the report is an unofficial one, it more or less tallies with what we’ve previously heard about the plans for releasing Steam’s hardware products. Back in January, Alienware announced that its first Steam Machine would be on shelves in September 2014, so an estimate that they will arrive a month or two later than that sounds feasible. It also makes a lot of sense that Valve would want the new products to be available in time for the holiday season.
Unlike most new console releases, which usually have only a very limited selection of titles available at launch, Steam Machines will have the benefit of being able to run a great number of PC games, and the Steam controller has a “legacy mode” that will make it work even with games that haven’t been modified for compatibility. PC Gamer‘s source also claims that “about 500” games will be playable on SteamOS by the end of the year, so there should be plenty of different ways to get accustomed to – and experiment with – the Steam controller.
The Steam controller and Steam Machines are currently both expected to hit retail in fall/winter 2014.
Source: PC Gamer