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Steam Controllers will be produced by Valve only

Sunday, 10th November 2013 23:47 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Valve will allow multiple manufacturers to produce Steam Machines, but its unique controllers are an in-house affair only.

Valve’s Greg Coomer confirmed with IGN that Steam Controllers will not be licensed to third-party manufacturers.

“The controller is going to be a Valve product.We’re going to manufacture it. We’re going to supply all the people who are making third party Steam Machines with controllers,” he said.

“It’s not really because we’re super anxious to get in the hardware business and we think it’s the best way to turn 90 degrees and start racing toward success in hardware and making money in that way. It’s really because we want the controllers to exist.

“We want them to have the attributes that we think are important, that allow people to play all the games on Steam, and we didn’t think that it was really going to be possible to outsource the design for manufacturing and the finishing of the controller in a way that would allow third parties to take from us an idea or a reference design and bring it to market soon enough.

“We just think that, for now, at least, we have to do that ourselves. So we’re going to be doing high volume production of the controller for ourselves.”

Valve doesn’t expect to turn a profit on the controllers, which represent its very first step into mass hardware production – a costly decision.

“We’re making a lot of decisions that are not actually optimized for cost. We’re not going to lose money when we go make the controller. We have enough confidence around that, that we’ve thought through the manufacturing. But we’re also not looking at it the same way that typical hardware manufacturers would look at it,” he said.

That said, Coomer believes Valve has made some smart decision with its controller; the shift from physical analog controls to haptic touch pads will save money, he said. The unusual inputs seem to work really well in this Steam Controller demo featuring Portal 2, Civilization 5 and more.

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10 Comments

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  1. Panthro

    I wasn’t even aware that this was a debated subject.

    Thanks for the confirmation anyway though :)

    #1 6 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    The interesting thing is that Valve knows that due to the openness of the platform, once the Steambox is out there, they’re not going to stop people from being able to produce controllers for it anyway. I think this is more about people getting a quality first impression with the Steambox. The input method is more important than people often give it credit for.

    It’s also interesting that they’re not planning on turning a profit, which makes me more inclined to believe that my notions are correct.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Telepathic.Geometry

    I guess their plan is to have the steam controller as a standard, obviously keyboard/mouse support and maybe PS4/xbone controllers’ support to cover all bases. Any more than that would be bad…

    #3 5 months ago
  4. Dragon

    @Brenna,
    “Valve doesn’t expect to turn a profit on the controllers, which represent its very first step into mass hardware production – a costly decision.”

    “We’re not going to lose money when we go make the controller.”

    Nitpicking, but aren’t they saying the opposite?

    #4 5 months ago
  5. Junior

    @dragon

    Making $0 fullfills both statement. So it is not opposite.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. Dragon

    @5,
    Actually, it is. Consumers dont really like it when companies say they are making a profit (how ironic), so “not losing money” is essentially “we are making a profit” is in more subtle way.

    Seriously though, planning to make a 0$ is like, impossible.

    #6 5 months ago
  7. Junior

    @ dragon

    Hehe I know, I was just being a little smart ass. Slow news tonight

    #7 5 months ago
  8. debug

    @Dragon @6 What?
    But Brenna is the source of the first statement, and Greg Coomer said the second statement.

    Valve said they’re going to make money, but they are not optimizing for cost. I think that what Brenna said is confusing a bit.

    #8 5 months ago
  9. Dragon

    @8,
    “I think that what Brenna said is confusing a bit.”
    That was what I meant.

    #9 5 months ago
  10. GuuR

    This will probably cost more than an arm and a leg…

    #10 5 months ago