I wanted to start this off with a joke about Oprah and, quite possibly, a gif involving a ponderous amount of bees. It seemed appropriate. According to an excited flood of tweets online, everyone attending Valve's Steam Dev Days apparently just received a Steam Controller each.
And a small Gigabyte Steam Machine.
I won't lie. I'm reeling with jealousy right now and the nagging certainty I'm on the wrong end of the media camera. God damn. To recap for those who are feeling a little lost, the Steam Dev Days is the two-day game developers' conference that Valve is currently running right at this minute. According to the website, it's supposed to be a "relaxed, off the record environment" which, in a way, is true. However, while the gaming press might not be in attendance, it looks like the developers themselves are eager to spread the news. Twitter has been positively a-fire since the conference began. And for good reason. The information being discussed are mind-bogglingly exciting in so many ways. Take this revelatory nugget from Hot-Blooded Games' Dave Oshry, for example:
"Our goal is to make Greenlight go away. Not because it's not useful, but because we're evolving." #SteamDevDays"
Holy bovine creature. Valve isn't shy about removing fixtures in order to improve upon its services, is it? Personally, what has my adrenaline going is the tweet that preluded that. The puissant Gaben apparently remarked on how he wanted developers to "take control of content on Steam", something that involve taking control of the store and the promotion of said content.Could this potentially mean that miniaturized versions of Steam, unique to each and every organization that might make use of them, might one day be a reality?
There's more, of course. Valve's apparently in need of hardware people and are looking into hiring more engineers. Steam can now boast of having 75 million active users. A dev kit is apparently not required for development; you'll just need to reach out to hardware companies for help.The Steam Controller, which apparently began as a trackball, was made to embody all the things that make Steam great and to emulate the mouse and keyboard. Valve will not be expecting exclusives, but are expecting some developers to potentially release exclusives, anyway. No pressure.
Speaking of the controller, it looks like it contains "real-time firmware" allowing you to re-program controls on the fly. Button diamonds for backwards compatibility with other controllers will be present but mid touch screens will not. They take either AAA batteries or rechargeable ones; no word about a convenient USB port yet. A Steam Controller, whose final form will apparently include "low-latency Bluetooth(?!)", was also given to everyone at the conference. Along with a Steam Machine. Have I mentioned that? Because that happened.
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