Tag Archives: CES

The Steam controller changes



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?

Sources: KotakuSteamDB – Steam Developer Days

Steam Consoles!?

So…  If you’re not aware, I’m a co-host on the Stalking the Retro Podcast, and on episode 22 we talked about Steam’s “Big Picture” and how I believed that Valve is making a console. One: because the “Big Picture” is controller friendly, and Two: Valve possess patents towards a unique Valve branded controller with interchangeable sticks and buttons.

Well… CES is here, and even a day or two before CES, there’s now more than one piece of kit that can get your Steam games on you TV without the need of building a Mini ITX PC.

First is the NVidia Shield.

Sorry NVidia, this is fugly…

And then there’s the Xi3’s Piston.

Valve Steam Box Piston
I swear there’s more ports on the back of this thing than my desktop PC! 😮

In short, the Piston is more of a PC crammed into a tiny box, more of an actual Steam Console, that’s really just a tiny gaming PC, and the NVidia Shield in essence is an XBox 360 controller sized portable with a flip up screen that runs android and features a Shield exclusive software that can stream the video from a PC running Steam and play PC games on the Shield’s screen, or output it to a TV via an HDMI output.
Seriously though, seeing pictures of the Xi3 Piston, and it looks awesome! I’m amazed how they crammed so much in it. And of course it’s built out of more than one board that builds up a complete motherboard with more than on board and shaped into a small cube. If this was a Mini ITX PC, it’ll be made of a Motherboard, a graphics card and a PSU, which would be A LOT bigger than this. Plus I would like to know what kind of graphics chips they use in this thing. The only downside of this little machine is that it’s price tag is estimated to be a whopping $999! Now, building your own Mini ITX gaming PC would be cheaper than this. However Xi3 have stated that they’re going to make the system upgradable and that you can take it apart and replace it’s 3 boards that come with more RAM and faster processors. But with it’s $999 price tag on it, yeah… I’ll leave this for people with more money thank you very much!
The NVidia Shield on the other hand is pretty much an Ouya crammed into a 360-like controller with a flip up screen, and features video streaming from PCs that have Steam running on them.
NVIDIA Project Shield Hands On: A Little Less Weird Than It Looks
So it’s a two-in-one deal here, it’s a Tegra enabled Android tablet, so you can play your existing Android games on this, but with real buttons. Plus it has the function to stream Steam games onto either it’s 5 inch screen or out from it’s Micro HDMI output to a TV screen. There’s no price estimated for this, but I can’t see this costing the same price as the $999 Piston. I just hope they can change the design of it to make it look a bit more sleeker, I bet the designer was a huge fan of the original XBox!