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Valve Shows Off the Steam Controller

Valve shows us just how accurate the Steam Controller can be.

News by Mike Williams, .

When Valve unveiled the Steam Controller, I said that the device was so different that the company would have to place one in consumer's hands to get them on board. That's something that may happen in the future, but until then Valve is going another route. The company has released a video showing the controller being used to play Portal 2, Civilization V, Counter-Strike, and Papers Please.

All told, it looks rather impressive. The controller works with strategy games like I expected to and I can totally imagine myself playing Civ V using Valve's device. Even more surprising is how well it seems to work in Portal 2 and Counter-Strike. I'm still concerned about pinpoint accuracy in first- and third-person games, but I'm far less concerned than I was before. The trackpad controller looks like the perfect hybrid between keyboard/mouse and standard controller.

The real strength of the Steam Controller seems to be its configurable nature. If developers and the community really dive in, you can expect to see some interesting configurations for your favorite games. Even more exciting is the control possibilities for PC games built just for the Steam Controller. It's worth noting that the prototype controller does not have the center touchscreen that will be available in the final model, so we can expect more customization in the future. I'm definitely looking forward to picking one up if the price is right.

Valve says this video is only the first of many, so we can expect to see the Steam Controller used for more games in the future. Still on the fence on the controller, or has this video changed your mind a bit?

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Comments 6

  • Avatar for weevilo #1 weevilo 3 years ago
    Certainly looks to be an improvement accuracy-wise over analog sticks, and capable of playing a lot of mouse-based games reasonably, but the CS GO and Papers, Please demos seem to show there's still going to be a considerable gap between the speed and accuracy of a mouse and the current Steam controller. I don't really expect it to ever compete with K&M for some things, but it's going to be nice to be able to play a lot of games with the controller that have traditionally been too cumbersome with analog tech.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #2 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    This article says "the real strength of the Steam Controller seems to be its configurable nature." Unless part of that configuration is to be able to add a d-pad or analog stick, then I'm afraid this controller is just not usable for a whole lot of games. An analog stick is the superior implement for 3rd person action games, and d-pads are superior for 2D games. That's a pretty huge variety of games that the Steam controller is going to be substandard for.
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  • Avatar for docexe #3 docexe 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 Analog sticks are excellent for movement on 3D, but for aiming, I honestly think they can be very cumbersome. You are better with a mouse, or even with something like the IR pointer of the Wiimote.

    Honestly, I’m not exactly surprised by these demos. I actually thought since the beginning that the controller would work perfectly for this type of games that usually thrive on PC, provided the haptic feedback worked as advertised.

    But I’m really curious about what would happen if they used it in a fighting game or a brawler in the vein of Devil May Cry. Seems very unwieldy for those types of games.
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  • Avatar for artrexdenthur #4 artrexdenthur 3 years ago
    It seems like this controller's usefulness is very dependent on the desire of PC gamers to game on the couch, since it's certainly not going to be better than either an Xbox-controller-for-PC or keyboard-and-mouse for the respective games that they're good for. Additionally, I'll eat my hat if it's cheaper than a wireless 360 controller. Its usefulness will necessarily lie in the desire to play Civilization-type and Portal-type games on the TV. Can Valve unearth that desire in the gamers of the world? Time alone will tell.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #5 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @docexe Well you're right, a mouse is better for anything that requires aiming. But an analog stick is superior for moving a character in 3D, and a d-pad is superior for moving in 2D.

    IMO, a modern controller gives you more balance between these options. An analog stick is servicable for aiming, and you also get a d-pad for 2-D games. These controllers seem very focused on just games that control best with a mouse. They may be great for those types of games but I think for overall gaming thier usefulness will be much narrower.
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  • Avatar for johnmakatura91 #6 johnmakatura91 3 years ago
    This controller looks fantastic. I will no longer be forced to skip 90% of my Steam games while my PC is connected to my HDTV... Terraria, FTL, Torchlight II and many more mouse driven games on my TV? Sign me up!Edited October 2013 by johnmakatura91
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