Valve announces the Steam Controller with touch screen, haptic feedback, more

Friday, 27 September 2013 18:00 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Valve has revealed its third, planned announcement for the living room and it’s the Steam Controller – a “hackable” controller with dual trackpads, a touch screen, and haptic feedback that works with all past, present, and future games available through the Steam service.

The Steam Controller is designed to work with all the games on Steam: past, present, and future. Even the older titles in the catalog and the ones which were not built with controller support.

The news follows the SteamOS and Steam Machine announcements earlier this week.

Wednesday, when Valve posted the beta details for its Steam Machines, a controller was mentions in the agreement page, so it sort of ruined its own surprise today.

The company said it spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input, thus the Steam Controller was born.

The Steam Controller was designed to work with all the games on Steam including older titles in the catalog and the ones not built with controller support. The controller offers a “vastly superior control scheme,” with high-precision input technologies and low-latency performance.

It also contains two circular trackpads each with a high-resolution trackpad as its base which is also clickable, allowing the entire surface to act as a button. The trackpads allow “far higher fidelity input than has previously been possible with traditional handheld controllers,” the firm said.

“Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse,” said Valve. “Whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa. RTS games. Casual, cursor-driven games. Strategy games. 4x space exploration games. A huge variety of indie games. Simulation titles. And of course, Euro Truck Simulator 2.

“In addition, games like first-person shooters that are designed around precise aiming within a large visual field now benefit from the trackpads’ high resolution and absolute position control.”

The controller is also built around “super-precise haptic feedback,” which makes use of “dual linear resonant actuators,” which means there are weighted electro-magnets attached to each of the dual trackpads capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration.

This haptic capability can deliver the user in-game information such as “speed, boundaries, thresholds, textures, action confirmations, or any other events about which game designers want players to be aware.”

It is a higher-bandwidth haptic information channel “than exists in any other consumer product that we know of,” and as a “parlour trick” they can even play audio waveforms and function as speakers.

The high-resolution touch screen in the center also supports all games in the Steam catalog and allows various actions to be made available to the player. The screen is also clickable, so actions are not invoked by a simple touch, they instead require a click.

The Steam Controller is part of the same Steam Machines beta, and the controller will work with any version of Steam, not just Steam Machines.

“This allows a player to touch the screen, browse available actions, and only then commit to the one they want,” said Valve. “Players can swipe through pages of actions in games where that’s appropriate. When programmed by game developers using our API, the touch screen can work as a scrolling menu, a radial dial, provide secondary info like a map or use other custom input modes we haven’t thought of yet.

“In order to avoid forcing players to divide their attention between screens, a critical feature of the Steam Controller comes from its deep integration with Steam. When a player touches the controller screen, its display is overlayed on top of the game they’re playing, allowing the player to leave their attention squarely on the action, where it belongs.”

Every button and input zone has been placed based on frequency of use, and there are a total of sixteen buttons on the Steam Controller with half accessible to the player without requiring thumbs to be taken off the trackpads, and this includes the two on the back.

All controls and buttons have been “placed symmetrically, making left or right handedness switchable via a software config checkbox.”

A legacy mode that allows the controller to present itself as a keyboard and mouse will allow the user to create and share bindings all of their favorite games and even choose from a list of the most popular configurations.

It is also “hackable,” so expect Steam Community and Workshop contributors to help contribute to the design of the Steam Controller. Tools will be made available to enable users to participate in all aspects of its engineering.

The Steam Controller is part of the same Steam Machines beta, and the controller will work with any version of Steam, not just Steam Machines.

The first 300 or so beta units of the controller coming with the Steam Machines won’t include a touch screen, and they won’t be wireless but will instead have four buttons in place of the touch screen, and they’ll require a USB cable.

Valve said it will “talk soon” about the design process and how it arrived at our current prototype with detailed specs to be available next week alongside the SteamOS prototype.

Valve will release its Linux-based SteamOS machines in 2014 and there will be “many” options to choose from made by different manufacturers.

his year, the firm is shipping 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing. You can make yourself eligible to get one through here.


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  1. pcbros

    “The Steam Controller is designed to work with all the games on Steam: past, present, and future. Even the older titles in the catalog and the ones which were not built with controller support. (We’ve fooled those older games into thinking they’re being played with a keyboard and mouse, but we’ve designed a gamepad that’s nothing like either one of those devices.)

    That’s a nice feature.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Mike W

    What the hell is that?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Pitts

    Want. Now.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. EVO V

    Proper mental that ! I see where there coming from using track technology, inovitive i must say . Say goodbye to dead zones:)

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Yoshi

    Such a massive let down.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. EVO V

    @5 Why ? Out of interest.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    Dude, it’s really only missing a beak to look like an owl. That’s cool as shit.

    Hoo wants an owlpad? I want an owlpad.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. mistermogul

    Hmm.. I’ll need a hands-on to be convinced…

    @7 – lol


    #8 2 years ago
  9. Hcw87

    Needs optional thumbsticks. No way in hell you can play FPS games properly with trackpads.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Yoshi

    @6 If I’m perfectly honest, I thought they would have announced some new software aka Source 2. It seemed like a right moment to say “We’re pushing new boundaries, and here’s another boundary we’re pushing alongside the hardware.”

    An announcement for a controller could have been bundled with the SteamBox announcement.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. EVO V

    @7 It does have a certain charm to it i must say !

    #11 2 years ago
  12. pcbros

    I was expecting a game announcement personally but I guess that will come with time. I guess the controller made more sense. Lots of people were wondering if they could use a keyboard/mouse or if it was going to be a gamepad only machine.

    Now we know that you can use any controller, your mouse/keyboard or use their new gamepad. Also, this could possibly be the most advanced/accurate controller ever made. Shows the amount of time and effort they are putting into their Steam Machines.

    I think we have a better understanding of what these Steam Machines will be.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. EVO V

    @10 Dont worry Source 2 is on its way , afterall Valve need some new cutting edge games for the systems , all in good time :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. _LarZen_

    That is one spaced out controller…

    But I like it, it sounds and looks interesting. Cant wait to get my hands on it and give it a go.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. pcbros

    @10 – I’m pretty sure they just wanted to get people talking about the hardware and build up interest. It’s a teaser.

    Eventually they will release more info.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. EVO V

    @9 Im sure theyve tested it with fps games lol Valve dont do half measures ,it WILL work i can assure you of that.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DSB

    I don’t think Source 2 is gonna be this huge landmark thing. I think it’s gonna be designed for modders, and that’ll make it stand out from the rest.

    That being said, I was amazed at how well they modified Source for Portal 2. Loading screens were shit, but the game looked amazing considering how old the core tech was.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DuckOfDestiny

    Looks like it could either be amazing to use play games with or total crap.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Edo

    If anything I certainly can’t wait to hear first impressions of this thing.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. killersense

    they are probably going to hold off annoucing source 2 and related games until they are closer to launch of their steam machines, controller and os which will probably be early 2014 after their beta test.

    personally i am hoping for it to be compatible with ps4 alongside a steam app and we have the perfect living room machine. this obviously is a long shot but a man can dream right

    #20 2 years ago
  21. marioporfirio

    Its impossible play fighting games with that.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Dave Cook

    @21 how do you know? Just trace the inputs on the left pad surely? It’d work (maybe).

    #22 2 years ago
  23. silkvg247

    Looks like it’ll never fit comfortably in my hand with the size and position of the grips. Oh well, nice for the male gamers if it works as well as they say :)

    #23 2 years ago
  24. pcbros

    @21 – Could actually be really smooth…

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Dave Cook

    The legacy mode is incredible. Proper USP for someone like me who is shite at keys and mouse games. Can finally play Binding of Isaac with a pad without faffing with Joy to Key first.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. pcbros

    @25 +1

    #26 2 years ago

    That just looks bizarre.

    I kind of guessed they’d probably identify a new control method was needed, but this…?

    This just looks…

    …like it needs more work.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Ireland Michael

    Can’t decide if this is the stupidest looking hig ever… or the greatest.

    #28 2 years ago


    You need proper buttons. No doubt about that.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Opalauge


    #30 2 years ago
  31. DSB

    The zones on the trackpad are buttons, right? But how are those little ridges gonna hold up under heavy use?

    My oldest 360 pad used to have these little studs on the top of the sticks, but after playing halfway through Super Meat Boy they’ve been completely ground down :P

    #31 2 years ago
  32. NinjaHart

    I have to admit that it is pretty inovative. But the ABXY buttons look like a mess and going to take time to get used too. I like having real sticks so I can feel that I’m controlling.

    But it just look unfinished and ugly to me. Sorry for the people that have a hard time accepting that I have a different opinion, but that’s my opinion. :P

    #32 2 years ago
  33. pcbros

    They’ve been testing this controller for some time. I’m pretty sure they tried every genre.

    I doubt it they said, “Playing Super Street Fighter IV sucks balls on this pad. Oh well, full speed ahead!”.

    #33 2 years ago

    ^ Maybe they said: ‘This pad is a m/kb replacement. If people want to play SF, they can get an arcade stick.’

    Edit: they kind of did say the first part, at least…

    ““Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse,” said Valve. “Whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa. RTS games. Casual, cursor-driven games. Strategy games. 4x space exploration games. A huge variety of indie games. Simulation titles. And of course, Euro Truck Simulator 2.”

    #34 2 years ago
  35. _LarZen_

    I dont care how strange it looks, I just want one.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. taternuggets

    Well, first impression is this looks just awful to me…. but I guess one would need to actually try it. Yikes.

    #36 2 years ago

    People have been trying to put mouse functionality into a controller for years for genuine gaming reasons, and have failed.

    Now Valve come along and try it, because Gabe hates Windows 8, and think they can succeed?

    I’m not convinced.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. yeoung

    Looks radical. I do have some doubts about input precision regarding movement in 2D fighters, and the lack of a face for the facebuttons. Can’t really simultaneously move and press X or Y with just one thumb.

    Perhaps a new peripheral? Steamthumb?

    But then again, I haven’t exactly used it, could be the bee’s knees. Nonetheless, looks mighty interesting for sure. Consolidating the PC and Console space by means of a controller is sheer genius.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Xbone

    One has to try it before the final judgement. It surely looks silly and not so useful, but who knows?
    BTW… comparing this to the xbox’s “spending hundreds of millions to desing” the controller… yea… pretty pathetic.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. EVO V

    Something tells me its gonna be dam expensive lol

    #40 2 years ago
  41. NiceFellow

    I’m super impressed how many people can tell this is going to feel by looking at it – particularly given the unknown experience of the main input devices. Incredible.

    It might be great or it might not – but people making claims about whether it is or not from a picture (and it’s pretty obvious most people have only looked at the picture and not ready the text giving the rationale for the design) are just being plain daft.

    I’ll wait for some proper impressions before jumping to a lot of half arsed assumptions personally.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. monkeygourmet

    Needs more cowbell.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. taternuggets

    @41 as long as you’re super impressed pal.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. KAP



    Welcome to the VG247 comment section, where everyone thinks they know it all.. or atleast pretend they do.

    People on here rile themselfs up so much they build solid views on a product in minutes. Its a sad sight to see sometimes…

    Lets watch on shall we……

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Exsecratus


    #45 2 years ago

    I’m pretty impressed that in 2013, there are apparently still people who have no idea what it feels like to use a trackpad or a touchscreen.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Moonwalker1982

    Hold on…no analog sticks at all?

    #47 2 years ago
  48. spazman

    thumb sticks please, if they’re good enough for fighter pilots, then they’re good enough for me. A controller has to feel tactile – has too. Just copy the 360 controller and be done with it – it’s the best. Don’t build something for the sake of building something, you’re thumbs need to push and pull against something okay gabe, you fat c**t? And where the fuck is half life?

    #48 2 years ago
  49. KineticCalvaria

    @Giga, that’s my concern, I can’t get the feeling of frustration out of my head that I get every time I use a trackpad… uhh it’s not good.

    Although surely Valve have done their research and made something that works well?

    #49 2 years ago
  50. freedoms_stain

    It looks daft (I reckon it looks like a stoned Stormtrooper) but I can see the potential here.

    Personally I don’t think analogue sticks are very good so I’m all for the notion of getting rid of them completely.

    #50 2 years ago
  51. gomersoul

    I really want to try this, are we looking at the future

    #51 2 years ago
  52. sebastien rivas

    Let down or not let down that is the question!

    The control pad is indeed intriguing, though and I am sure as many on VG247. I was convinced we would have a steambox lineup specs, what, how, why conponents can be switched by its user. More in depth of stealux and what it is defined by. And finally as a cherry on the cake, the beginning of a game lineup.
    A controller is already good to know, especially it is away from traditional MS/Sony controller with D and stick pads.

    Hope we hear more and asap. It feels like Steam/Valve have a good vibe with it. Do not let the flame go down ;)

    #52 2 years ago
  53. yeoung


    Aye, you’d think the big companies focus test and do proper research, but succesful companies tend to get complacent after a while. Happened to Ninty, happened to Sony, currently happening to MS, might happen to Valve.

    #53 2 years ago
  54. DrDamn

    Agree with the comment above that it will either be rubbish or brilliant. Interesting at least. I suspect it’ll be quite divisive. Kudos for something so different.

    It does look an awful lot like a render mind, any pricing? Also if touching the screen puts an overlay on the main screen then ummmm … Why make it a screen at all? One last point placement of ABXY buttons … No.

    #54 2 years ago


    Well, you’d have to assume that they weren’t just going to go the bog standard trackpad route, or this thing would surely flop.

    I’ve played Metroid on the DS with the touchscreen as a ‘look’ controlling trackpad, and it was just no replacement for a thumbstick.

    Having said that, it doesn’t mean that Valve couldn’t do a better job. I’m not convinced, though…

    #55 2 years ago
  56. worntreads

    Don’t underestimate what haptic feedback can bring to this. Recent developments have been able to produce incredible results regarding how the surface of an object feels. This may be a bit of a stretch, but with proper implementation, various portions of the tracks could be made to feel like buttons. The variability of tactile sensations available is pretty staggering.

    It all depends on how it is used.

    I’m excited to see how this thing feels in my hands.

    #56 2 years ago
  57. Max Payne

    Here is a better image which now makes more sense

    #57 2 years ago
  58. DSB

    @53 The big difference between Valve and those companies is really in the attention to detail. Valve has around about 400 people, tops.

    If you’re Microsoft and you’re doing a new project, throwing a billion dollars and a thousand bodies at it is really nothing.

    The only way Valve functions as a company is if they get the best of the best. It’s force multiplication all the way.

    If you look at the amount of high profile guys currently employed by Valve, it’s really quite staggering. From Microsoft greats to the lead designer on Thief.

    They don’t fuck around, it’s a quality operation, not a quantity one. That obviously doesn’t mean that they can’t fail, but complacency isn’t really an option for them.

    I imagine the main challenge on the average Microsoft project is how to handle all the people and money you’re throwing around. Logistics and organization. It must really be quite easy for a leader to lose track in that environment.

    With Valve I would think the main question is how you move the chains with a vastly smaller force.

    #58 2 years ago
  59. Clupula

    Well, to anyone who likes that, more power to you.

    The only positive I can say about it is that, at least, it’s symmetrical.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. KAP

    I find it funny that Gamers moan for innovation, then moan when innovation comes, because its “too different”.

    Ahhh fuck my life!

    #60 2 years ago
  61. wildBoar

    Hmmm, this makes me curious if it’d work on PS4 and X1.. They do allow third party gadgets, so it’s quite possible. Nice.
    Rear panel touchpads seem a bit alien though, the Vitas rear touch isn’t all that intuitive from what I’ve heard.
    And then there’s price, is this gonna be an everyman’s pad or a commodity? Cause it looks expensive..

    #61 2 years ago
  62. Citrus raptor

    If MS or Sony would have announced this amount of stuff for their next consoles (in this case One and PS4), they would have been ridiculed.

    #62 2 years ago
  63. CyberMarco

    I’m kind of baffled. The controller announcement could have been part of the SteamBox one.

    The controller sure looks different and weird compared to the rest, but how can you press 2 front buttons at the same time?

    e.g. In Batman AA/AC you perform combos by pressing A+X or X+Y, how the hell can you do that with this controller? Unless if you are Dr. Fantastic that is.

    #63 2 years ago
  64. Moonwalker1982

    But what is it going to feel like, controlling a character in a tps or fps?

    #64 2 years ago
  65. DSB

    @63 The trackpads are also buttons, so I think you’re looking at it in reverse. I was thinking the same thing, it wouldn’t make sense if ABXY was actually used as ABXY.

    Basically you’ll be using the trackpads, so you’ll rarely ever need to take your thumbs off them.

    At least that’s how I understand it. If not, yikes.

    #65 2 years ago
  66. noamlol2

    still the question of price and specs is yet to be answered…

    #66 2 years ago
  67. Judicas

    From playing/trying many games on my ipad I can definitely say I’ll be passing on this, too awkward! I still try and look for a controller for iPad from time to time without any luck as when I play chaos rings, final fantasy and some other not built for iPad games the touch screen controls are painful to use!

    #67 2 years ago
  68. CyberMarco

    @65 In that case you should remap the whole control scheme, let’s hope it’ll work.

    Also, how exactly is the track-pad going to function, will it be like a laptop mouse pad, where you have to constantly wipe the surface to move the cursor, or will it function like a touch surface, like those on tablets?

    #68 2 years ago
  69. DSB

    @68 Definitely the latter. It has to be.

    Although I’m sure you’ll be able to mod it to be like a laptop. It sounds like that’s how they’d like the touchscreen to be used.


    Basically with a contemporary pad you’re feeling for the tilt of the stick to know how much “pressure” you’re applying. With this one you’ll be feeling for the ridges to know approximately where you are.

    Like others are saying, it could be brilliant or it could be terrible.

    #69 2 years ago
  70. ps4fanboy

    not sure if it will work very good.
    but still lets be hopeful

    #70 2 years ago
  71. DennoCoil

    A LOT of problems I see here.

    1. Oh my God, that thing is ugly as shit. No, seriously. I laughed my ass off when I first saw these screenshots. I thought something like the Dreamcast looked silly when I was young, this thing looks like a monstrosity. You could dip some paint onto the damn thing to make sure it’s not a jet black turd that I can easily lose in my room.

    2. Also, cramping your thumbs inside a concave bowl and scraping your finger nails against a featureless surface ISN’T better than a dedicated joystick and buttons. This isn’t an Android we’re talking about, it’s PC gaming. You need something much more precise than smooth finger sensitive plates.

    3. I bought a 3rd party Rock Candy Xbox360 controller from Best Buy for $20 last year. If Valve can even come close to that price at all, I’d call look at it better than the Official 360 controllers that sell for $40 a piece online.

    4. Valve is lying out there ass here. Making games that don’t have dedicated controller support forced to have controller support is only possible VIA an emulator like JoyToKey, hacking it in one-at-a-time for the THOUSANDS of games on their store (Many of which were made by small indie teams, closed studios, none supporting publishers, or uses aging technology from a decade+ ago), and many games are TERRIBLE on a controller. STALKER? Team Fortress 2? Quake? CSS? Any kind of RPG or turn based strategy? Any game released on the PC more than 3-5 years ago? You have to fiddle around with the emulator settings for almost a half hour for each game to dial into something that the player feel is intuitive and feels good. If you can get it close to that.

    I’m calling bullshit on their controller.

    #71 2 years ago
  72. sebastien rivas

    While you make a point, we all truly don’t know. Perhaps Steam did create and emphasized a joy2key.. who knows.. perhaps they did not. All we know is what we see so far.
    So…. let’s wait and see.

    #72 2 years ago
  73. Moonwalker1982

    One of the developers of The Cave on the controller:

    As for the Steam Machine….

    So it’s meant for the living room, but is not a console. So it functions very much like a normal pc or laptop? What makes it a ‘rival’ for MS and Sony?

    #73 2 years ago
  74. yeoung


    Fair argument. There’s a significant amount of visionaries employed at Valve, several of them with diverse yet relevant specialties and much less wiggle-room. I hope you’re right.


    Not much of a pc gamer, though I have been fiddling around with Xpadder as of late. Looking for a challenge I tried getting some mouse based ARPGs working nicely with a controller. Tried Torchlight and Path of Exile, both featuring point and click movement. Simply replacing mouse control with a thumbstick is a cinch, obviously.

    However trying to emulate pointy-clicky into direct character control is hard. I got it to work eventually with additional cursorlock software and meddling around in the advanced settings, mapping 2 functions to one execution, etc. Still having to rearrange inputs and then having to trial&error your way into responsive controls is certainly tricky. having share-able layout profiles might resolve some if not most of the issues of getting a good input scheme going though.

    I realize I fall in to that “guy who inexplicably uses a controller for traditional pc games” category, but as Valve is trying to consolidate both markets (console and PC) this niche becomes a main demographic.

    Either way, exciting times. I’m confident Valve knows their stuff, regardless of an absent hardware track record

    #74 2 years ago
  75. monkeygourmet

    I think the haptic feedback makes the track pad a viable control device for games.

    #75 2 years ago
  76. Moonwalker1982

    Can anyone answer me? :) Cause i’m quite curious about these new happenings.

    #76 2 years ago
  77. derpachu


    #77 2 years ago
  78. XanderZane

    The control is weird, but intriguing. You really can’t judge it until you actually try it with a few different games from different genres. I have no idea how a fighting game would would with this controller. With SSFIV you have to push 2 and 3 buttons at once to do specials. I would guess you would back those 2 or 3 buttons together as one button or something. I don’t know. I’m used to analog sticks for FPS, so trying to use a trackpad probably won’t be an easy learning task. No one knows what the price is going to be like for the SteamMachines or Steam Controllers. This thing looks like it will be more then $60, that’s for sure. I’m assuming there will be wired and wireless controllers. What kind of battery will it use? Who is Valve marketing the SteakMachine to? Console gamers aren’t going to be interested in this, that’s for sure. I’m assuming this is aimed at PC gamers who want to move their PC games to the HDTV. I guess time will tell.

    #78 2 years ago
  79. Stardog

    I think the ABXY buttons might be a problem here. I can already see a number of games that won’t work well with this current setup.

    Having the XY on the left thumb is an issue. You’ll have to stop moving to press them. The buttons on the back are maybe some kind of alternative, but not ideal.

    There’s no way you can play FIFA (not on Steam, I know) with them spaced liked this. Being able to roll the thumb quickly onto the next button is important for some games.

    And if those two extra buttons are called Z1 and Z2, I’m going to do a big murder.

    #79 2 years ago
  80. monkeygourmet

    This will work… Valve wouldn’t state their rep on a control pad that didn’t deliver.

    If anyone understands the difficulty of delivering PC games / Console control and can come up with a solution, its Valve.


    Just because you mere mortals don’t understand, doesn’t mean it won’t work…

    “Ohh, I’m so confused?! It has no thumb sticks… I don’t know what to do?! The buttons are all over the place?!”

    Wah wah….

    Come on grandpa… Get your shit together…

    #80 2 years ago
  81. pcbros

    @79 – But you do have two extra buttons on the back. Maybe XY can be used for non-moving actions :)

    I do see fighting games being a problem, since they don’t even have 4 buttons lined up.

    I’m sure they expect people to release other revisions of this design (it is hackable after all) or use their own controllers as well. It’s not like this is a closed system (like consoles) that require you to use their own gamepad.

    #81 2 years ago
  82. DennoCoil


    It just goes to show how much work is needed into configuring a controller, and what you had to do is beyond the scope of what a company like Valve could do. We’re talking about a small company with thousands of products that would need to be configured or have a Workshop set up specifically made for Controller Setup. It’d be outsourcing the work to the users again, many of which will still be “screw that, I’m sticking with Key+Mouse”.

    I’m pointing out how ridiculous it sounds that they want a heptic feedback controller to work with games that were never designed for it or taken into account.

    #82 2 years ago
  83. monkeygourmet


    It’s basically irrelevant. The 360 pad was shit for fighting games…

    If you like certain genres, you may have to get a better pad.

    #83 2 years ago
  84. pcbros

    @82 – “We’re talking about a small company with thousands of products that would need to be configured or have a Workshop set up specifically made for Controller Setup.”

    But they announced this…

    “We’ve fooled those older games into thinking they’re being played with a keyboard and mouse, but we’ve designed a gamepad that’s nothing like either one of those devices. ” (Valve)

    Calling them liars without any base is kind of pointless. Why doubt something just because you don’t understand it?

    #84 2 years ago
  85. monkeygourmet

    Burn the spinning jenny!

    #85 2 years ago
  86. pcbros

    @83 – Not sure why people are complaining though. You can use whatever controller you want.

    I personally have no idea what this will feel like or how accurate it will be, but I’m excited to see the results. It’s atleast different.

    I’m sure when the analog stick was introduced people complained the d-pad was the way to go :P

    #86 2 years ago
  87. XanderZane

    @80 It won’t work for some games unless the controller is redesigned. I don’t care who’s designing it. Using a trackpad isn’t going to be ideal for several games. We’ll see what people say once the reviews start coming out. To come out and say, “Oh yeah, this will work” because Valve is making it is just ludicrous. Especially since gamers haven’t even tested it out on various games yet. Games that require multiple quick taps on the controller to put off moves will be interesting on this controller. The first two games I would try with this would be SSFIV and Cod:BO2.

    #87 2 years ago
  88. DSB

    It would be nice if Valve could come out and explain the trackpads clearly.

    The way I read it, the trackpads are the buttons. Otherwise the pad makes no sense. You can’t be expected to use both thumbs to access all the buttons.

    So then the ABXY is really a lie. But it would be nice to know for sure, because the current description is quite vague.

    @80 I think that’s playing it up a bit. This is definitely optional.

    The big gamble here is SteamOS and the livingroom PC. If you want to hook up a mouse, keyboard and 360 pad, then it’ll accomodate that just as well.

    #88 2 years ago
  89. pukem0n

    don’t we all agree that touchpads generally suck and nothing beats controller sticks?

    just because it’s valve everyone hopes this will be different ^^

    #89 2 years ago
  90. pcbros

    @87 – It might surprise many people and be a better way to play FPS games (the larger diameter on the right circlepad could equal more precise aiming). Fighting games not so sure.

    “To come out and say, ‘Oh yeah, this will work’ because Valve is making it is just ludicrous.”

    But to shoot it down before it’s even tested can’t be much better. I don’t think anyone can really say, “it will” or “it won’t”… the BEST we can do is say, “I think”.

    @89 – “just because it’s valve everyone hopes this will be different”

    Actually, because it’s different, everyone hopes it will be different.

    #90 2 years ago
  91. worntreads

    @89 – nope. Plain trackpads might suck, but few people are taking into account the haptics. Tactile sensation is going to factor in here. It’s not because ‘this is Valve,’ it’s because it could be awesome.

    #91 2 years ago
  92. monkeygourmet


    Haptic feedback should sort out all the problems with touchpads…

    Look at the tech first, the possibilities are there. Wether Valve can deliver that quality into each pad is another thing but it could revolutionise PC gaming as we know it.

    The Xbone triggers are just the start.

    This would have been tested on FPS primarily… I bet it controls like a dream compared to the 360 pad.

    It’s a perfect bridge if they’ve got it working right.

    #92 2 years ago
  93. DennoCoil

    @84 Get a citation or link on where you copy pasted that from because I’m calling you a liar as well for posting a “statement” that doesn’t exist.

    #93 2 years ago
  94. worntreads

    @93 –

    it’s in the official announcement. Under the heading ‘Complete Catalog’

    #94 2 years ago
  95. pcbros

    @93 – Valve’s statement

    It’s under, “Complete catalog”… if you actually read the article you would have seen it.

    VG247 Article Quote: “A legacy mode that allows the controller to present itself as a keyboard and mouse will allow the user to create and share bindings all of their favorite games and even choose from a list of the most popular configurations.”

    So get your facts straight before you call people a liar. It’s obvious you don’t do any research and just blow a lot of hot air.

    #95 2 years ago
  96. fearmonkey

    The best controller I have ever used was the spaceorb, bar none. it shamed today’s dual stick controllers for 3d games. It wasnt good for fighting games and platformers, it was just a 3d controller.

    This is something new and I am certainly willing to give it a chance, its a gutsy move not going dual stick. If they can get the sensitivity and control right, this could be way better than a stick, no dead space between movements.

    #96 2 years ago
  97. DSB

    @96 That’s what I’m thinking. It’ll take some getting used to, but if it’s actually more precise, then ultimately you could end up having something even more intuitive.

    But what about the buttons?

    #97 2 years ago
  98. monkeygourmet

    Basically… Nail MMORPG, FPS and RTS in a pad… Genius really.

    Something consoles just can’t do with what’s currently offered.

    #98 2 years ago
  99. DSB

    I’ll believe the strategy bit when I see it. Most modern RTS games, and classic style RPGs are all about actions per minute, and if you’re slowed down by the pad, then you’re gonna have a much worse experience.

    #99 2 years ago
  100. pcbros

    @97 – You have your thumbs on two circle pads, index fingers on the shoulder buttons/triggers and now you can use your middle fingers for the extra buttons on the back.

    So you can atleast access six buttons without removing your thumbs from the circle pads.

    #100 2 years ago
  101. xBASSxMONSTAx

    #101 2 years ago
  102. DSB

    @100 That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I can do the same thing with a 360 pad.

    #102 2 years ago
  103. pcbros

    @102 – The 360 doesn’t have any buttons on the back.

    #103 2 years ago
  104. monkeygourmet


    Yes… For online play…

    But this whole setup is for LESS intense environment. Something that puts people off PC gaming…

    Playing RTS games on this in solo will be great I’m sure.

    Do we seriously think a Valves biggest play was done without testing?! :)

    #104 2 years ago
  105. pcbros

    I’ll say one thing…we can say what we want but I’m sure everyone wants to ATLEAST try it ;)

    It’s too different/odd/cool looking to pass on it…

    #105 2 years ago
  106. Lounds

    give it chance, until you actually use it. I imagine it will be a weird experience. I imagine SNES fans lost their minds when they saw the N64 controller.

    #106 2 years ago
  107. pcbros

    @106 – lol I remember how I felt… pretty much sums up my feelings about Steam Machine gamepad.

    Atleast it’s new… the dual-analog approach has been used since the original Playstation. It’s time to try something different.

    #107 2 years ago
  108. DSB

    @103 ….. Sooooo?

    That’s not exactly a plus.

    @104 Solo isn’t much different though. RTS hasn’t been chill for years now.

    Something like World in Conflict was specifically designed to make you feel like you were up shit creek 90% of the time, and then you eventually got bailed out at the last second.

    If that pad is slowing you down, you’re not gonna make it in that game.

    #108 2 years ago
  109. pcbros

    @108 – Didn’t you originally ask about the buttons? I thought you were concerned about how you would access the buttons, since the ABXY buttons were placed differently. Maybe I misunderstood.

    The buttons on the back mean you are less likely to have to remove your thumbs from the circle pads to do actions.

    Example, if you play COD, you aim with the right stick and jump with the “A” button. Well when you jump, you have to remove your thumb from the right stick and press the “A” button. But with the back buttons, you could essentially jump and still have your thumb on the right circle pad.

    #109 2 years ago
  110. Erthazus

    That is actually amazing. I don’t know how this thinbg will work but it smells like a lot of innovation here compared to any console out there.

    But this is a first controller with decent controls. It has SHIFT, CTRL and other stuff that consoles require to have. That thing have some BUTTONS in them actually.

    #110 2 years ago
  111. DSB

    @109 Thing is, if they’re expecting people to go under the pad and use the middle fingers, then they’re going against a good 30 years of convention.

    Ever since the NES (at least?) you’ve had movement on the left and actions on the right, and if you can basically do the same thing with a 360 pad without missing a beat, then it’s gonna have a hell of a time convincing people.

    I doubt that the functionality for strategy games is gonna be anything close to 1-to-1, and if it isn’t a genuine step up from the 360 pad, then I don’t see why you’d bother.

    That could make me fear that they were so busy cramming features they forgot about the basics.

    #111 2 years ago
  112. MrWaffles

    A few years ago we were discussing this same concept in ars technica forums.

    Lots of guys posted a few concepts which… Look too similar to this.. Hope Valve pays them…

    #112 2 years ago
  113. pcbros

    @111 – “Then they’re going against a good 30 years of convention.”

    That’s what innovation is all about ;)

    We’ve been gaming the same way for too long. Besides better graphics, there really hasn’t been anything new to look forward to (except for Nintendo’s efforts).

    “Ever since the NES (at least?) you’ve had movement on the left and actions on the right”

    But then the second analog stick was introduced and people were asked to use the right side for actions AND camera control (or whatever the right stick is used for in a game). Not the most efficient way but gamers acustomed to it.

    But with the buttons on the back, after some getting used to, it could be a much smoother experience.

    As for strategy games, I always thought gamepads (360 included) were a bad solution that forced companies to make dumbed down RTS games. There are very few RTS games on consoles for a reason.

    #113 2 years ago
  114. DSB

    @113 But it doesn’t just have to be innovative, it also has to be appealing.

    The problem is that you already have a market dominated by other controllers.

    The camera thing is only half true, because if the design of a game is any good, you really won’t be spending a lot of time trying to wrangle the camera, and likewise in an FPS, most are designed so you won’t need to spend a lot of time pressing the buttons.

    So why would anyone switch?

    #114 2 years ago
  115. pcbros

    @114 – But in a market dominated by other controllers, this one will stand out.

    This controller has to perform and be intuitive no doubt, if not people will pass on it. I agree 100%.

    I just think gamers have been brain washed into thinking that every controller needs two analog sticks, a d-pad (not sure why), four buttons on the right (not six, has to be four), and two triggers.

    Yet, FPS games would benefit from back buttons. You are constantly jumping, climbing, switching weapons, reloading, and crouching. That requires you to take your thumb off the right stick quite often.

    It works but it’s not the BEST solution. There is always room for improvement and innovation.

    #115 2 years ago
  116. DSB

    @115 I have no clue why controllers still have D-pads personally. It’s a ridiculously poor solution – I guess it must be a cost saving measure at this point?

    But I’m also highly skeptical about going under, and adding fingers when I feel like I’m pretty good with the ones I’m using now.

    That’s really what it comes down to. I have no problem with the trackpads, but “mo’ fingaz” seems like “mo’ problems” to me. We’re not Koreans, dude, we’d like to take things one digit at a time if we can.

    (No offence to Koreans, you’re just kinda superhuman. Keep doing what you’re doing)

    #116 2 years ago
  117. Moonwalker1982

    If the controller works really well, then it’s just a matter of how much interest there will be from people. Are console-only folks willing to give it a chance? I game only on consoles and i will definitely give this a chance. I just wonder if it could become a success next to MS and Sony. I hope it will.

    #117 2 years ago
  118. Erthazus

    D-pad are just buttons. It’s not a poor solution. Even Steam Controller use them but just in weird and different way.

    #118 2 years ago
  119. pcbros

    @116 – But you know there are some custom gamepads for the 360 designed for FPS games that have buttons on the back (ex. Mad Catz F.P.S. Pro).

    Don’t forget too that this is a prototype. They will get feedback soon from beta testers.

    #119 2 years ago
  120. Erthazus

    Steam btw won console and PC war:

    Gamers own OS + Innovative controller = instant winner

    Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo bring Zero innovation. Just the same old eco system consoles with outdated technology from hardware perspective and in general console generation innovation + software on both consoles are outdated as hell. Only in 2013 there is alt-tab feature. Lol

    this is indeed the last gen of TRADITIONAL consoles and I’m glad that this is happening to gaming.

    #120 2 years ago
  121. DSB

    @119 I’d love to try it, but it just sounds a little off to me.

    If there’s one thing I don’t see though, it’s PC gamers using a pad for FPS games. Even if they wanted to, they wouldn’t be competitive. Even with the trackpad being a lot faster, it still won’t be as fast.

    Absolutely, it’s a prototype, and it’s an optional part of their livingroom project, because there’s no reason why you can’t hook up a 360 pad and be happy anyway.

    But I really don’t envision this becoming truly viable either in FPS or strategy games. I really think it’s gonna stand and fall for the vast majority on the classic console fare. I’d be delighted to be proven wrong on that though.

    #121 2 years ago
  122. DennoCoil

    @95 That statement was not on the links and wasn’t in the article itself buried under PR. It’s most likely an cheap emulator bound to the face buttons of the controller, nothing special to see there

    #122 2 years ago
  123. worntreads

    You must be smoking something. Also, dream a little. This is the future, it’s about time we had a future controller.

    #123 2 years ago
  124. pcbros

    @120 – To be fair, I think Nintendo really tries to be innovative with their hardware, Microsoft is pushing the cloud and Sony is bringing streaming tech to consoles.

    @121 – I guess we’ll just have to wait and see :)

    @122 – Seeing how you base your info on brief readings of VG247 articles and do very little research on your own… you’re comment is most likely “cheap” and “bound” to pure speculation, nothing special to read here.

    #124 2 years ago
  125. Christopher Jack

    I recall dual track pads not working too well with Sony’s Xperia Play but then again this looks like a vastly superior effort- particularly when it comes to details. Guess we won’t know how it is ’til we get the chance to handle it.

    #125 2 years ago
  126. ddtd

    I almost quit gaming all together when the Dualshock 2 came out. I didn’t think I would ever get my brain and thumbs to work out the new control scheme.

    Eventually, and not that long in fact, it felt like second nature.

    I’m sure, if the design is good, people will bet used to this controller too.

    #126 2 years ago
  127. Maabren

    Nice. Have to try. Hopefully VR on SOS. Belive it will be awsome.

    Must ask my neighbour if she wanna try SM, SOS hooked up with two new SC. Prepare for an excited thumb experience…

    Hopefully I can build my own SM, fire it up with SOS and use my hacked SC when gaming in my living room. I guess XO are done. PS4 may still end up in my living room this year. Need a new telly, maybe Sony KDL-46W905A.

    #127 2 years ago
  128. DennoCoil


    You must awfully like nit picking little things that aren’t remotely linked to an article your in.

    #128 2 years ago
  129. redwood

    looks like one of those weird controllers we saw back in the sega ages. they should show it with bindings of games that are more traditional.. like say maybe NFS or street fighter, right now this is the last controller on earth i would buy/recommend for any game, other than portal 2.

    #129 2 years ago
  130. CyberMarco

    @Erth, keep up the fanboy-ism, you are about to break the limit ps3fanboy/units etc. have reached.

    @DSB/pcbros – Isn’t the D-pad useful for fighting games?

    #130 2 years ago
  131. Kreion


    But feedback from the 300 ‘beta testers’ isn’t all that accurate and is likely to be clouded by whatever allegiances they already have. Gamers are not known for being objective and fair – they are known most of all for being subjective and loud. Now that’s based on the vocal minority, but if even one of them gets a hold of a beta kit then they’re going to be the loudest shouter and likely the place people first hear about it from.

    We won’t really know anything until some reviewing sites get their hands on the kit – Now they might not be completely non-bias but they are likely to be more so than random people. And more to the point you are more likely to know if they have bias before reading the article.

    I really don’t know about this…I mean if this works then it’s a good thing I suppose. But to all intents and purposes this could just be innovation for innovations sake. It doesn’t have to be a step forward to be innovative after all; just suitably different from what we already have. But we have that because it’s worked for years :/

    Who knows – as much as I am skeptical about this (and about everything Valve and other big companies do really) I look forward to seeing what the word is on how they actually function.

    #131 2 years ago
  132. Erthazus

    @CyberMarco, Fanboyism? More like common sense you know?

    I’m not a fanboy of any device. I have consoles and play PC’s and current gen consoles and controllers require some serious innovation and stuff.

    Valve knows what they are doing. They always know what they are doing and the fact that someone brings innovation to gaming, you need to have balls for that.

    but you can stick to your old eco-system that has zero innovation and shitty hardware. Next year there will be different Steam machines and some of them will be more powerfull than 4 PS4′s combined.

    #132 2 years ago
  133. Hcw87

    If you think this will outsell XB1/PS4 you’re delusional. Consoles won’t die for atleast another 10 years.

    #133 2 years ago
  134. monkeygourmet

    Good feedback so far. I knew ‘haptic feedback’is the key… I bet it feels amazing for FPS:

    #134 2 years ago
  135. Dragon246

    “More like common sense you know?”
    Like how Nvidia Shield was the next big thing according to you?

    I bet you will show your truly amazing vocabulary in response.

    #135 2 years ago
  136. Lengendaryboss

    I don’t know why i’m always late to post this but, some running themes i noticed:

    #136 2 years ago
  137. stretch215

    That sounds….interesting. I’ll reserve judgement until I use it, but I like the concept. It’s ugly as hell though, that I’m sure about.

    #137 2 years ago
  138. monkeygourmet

    You could make a good MP3 DJ ‘mixing’ app with these. 1 deck for each trackpad the the X-Fader could be the touch pad in the middle… Effects could be generated via the buttons…

    Yeah… That would work…

    #138 2 years ago
  139. CyberMarco

    ^ Or as a BoomBox. :D

    #139 2 years ago
  140. viralshag

    Erth thinks this is amazing? Even though when I said “More people are playing on the PC with a pad hooked up to their TV.” He said “show me statistics of this bullshit and then we will talk.”

    Guess I can add you to the list as one of those people then?

    It’s all there. I think I can safely say I made a somewhat close to calling this:

    #140 2 years ago
  141. G1GAHURTZ

    #141 2 years ago
  142. G1GAHURTZ

    #142 2 years ago
  143. G1GAHURTZ

    #143 2 years ago
  144. Djoenz

    Those aee great articles Gigahurtz. And those pics on there…man It did something to me. That pad is sure as hell innovative, but it seems it functions properly already but imagine it being tweaked to perfection.

    I even like the design now, but that could be tweaked as well. Man great stuff.

    #144 2 years ago
  145. sebastien rivas

    +1 G1GAHURTZ

    Thanks a bunch for the links, it was helpful to get a more in depth of the controller capabilities and how it feels so far.

    #145 2 years ago
  146. pcbros

    So far, developer’s feedback on the early beta version of this controller seem positive. At this point, I just want to try something new. I’m tired of using the same controller for +20 years.

    #146 2 years ago
  147. DennoCoil

    @146 Go fuck yourself you piece of shit. Joysticks have been working well for the past 30 years and it’s not going away.

    #147 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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