Today Valve presented an image of the latest Steam Controller. As announced back in Mid-January, the Steam Controller now lacks the OLED touch screen in favour of XInput based buttons like a 360 controller. A new feature that was announced today is that the face A, B, X, and Y buttons feature analogue pressure sensors. Which is interesting as an XBox 360 controller features them, and work on the 360 console, but the Windows driver for the 360 pad doesn’t utilise them and treats the buttons as on and off switches. I wonder what games will use them? Could it mean that Metal Gear HD Collection can get a PC port now!?
Personally, I found the original design interesting, but I can how some people might see it as a little unwieldy and unconventional. I’m still interested to know what Valve had in store with the OLED touch screen. Maybe you were able to chance controller mapping whilst in-game without needing to pause it, which might come in handy for online FPS games. But maybe the beta test showed that it might be unnecessary, even though the beta testers got the non-touch screen versions of the first steam controller prototype. Even with the lack of touch screen I’m still hyped about it!
Click the image above to view a side-by-side comparison of the new design over the original prototype.
Kotaku announced an hour ago that the retail version of the Steam Controller will ditch the mini OLED touch screen and reposition the oddly placed face buttons and include a Dpad; making it look like a conventional controller. This mock up drawing shown at Valve’s #SteamDevDays event, shows face buttons in a A/B/X/Y configuration and a Ddpad that looks like just a set of face buttons; I’m assuming that’s because Valve is avoiding infringing Nintendo’s Dpad patent. It’s believed that the 3 pairs of triggers are going to be kept in the final design.
It was announced that the controller will have X-Input support, making it compatible with games that are not from Steam. Making the controller act as if it’s an XBox 360 pad. Meaning that games such as Bastion for example, will work straight away rather than spending time mapping each button on the controller to a keyboard key.
Sound like a better plan now, as there’s now a Dpad and better placed buttons. It’s a shame that the touch screen is gone. Though it makes you wonder what Steam had to offer with it?