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Valve Shows Off the Steam Controller

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

By Mike Williams. Published 6 months ago

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?

The best community comments so far 6 comments

  • weevilo 6 months 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.

  • brionfoulke91 6 months 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.

  • docexe 6 months 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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