Valve’s radical, idiosyncratic Steam Controller has undergone a slight makeover, Steam DB reports. The fine-tuned device, which will come bundled with every iteration of the Steam Machine (yes, all of them!), has ditched the central touchpad in favor of a more traditional D-Pad and four corresponding face buttons, in order to accommodate backwards compatibility.
The announcement was made during Valve’s Steam Dev Days — a developer-focused event held in Seattle — with the company ensuring that the refined device will be compatible with Steam’s vast digital library. Mind you, considering that price remains a fundamental part of the Steam Controller’s chances of success, it’s not hard to imagine that Valve removed the touch screen to curb manufacturing costs, too.
In addition, the Steam Controller will require AA batteries to use, while the device’s AP interface allows for 16 players. Much like other input methods on the market, Valve’s unique controller will also feature gyroscopes, though the trait won’t be implemented until a future firmware update. Nonetheless, the device will connect to your PC or Steam Machine by using low latency Bluetooth, though the range of the signal remains unclear at this point or, more importantly, how much battery life we can expect.
Considering that the company is still receiving Beta feedback for the peripheral, Valve hasn’t ruled out any further changes to the experimental hardware in the build up to launch. Either way, whether the Steam Controller will serve as an out-and-out replacement for the keyboard and mouse or a nifty alternative remains to be seen.
What do you think of the alternative gamepad? Will the Steam Controller act as the catalyst in Valve’s plan to bring PC gaming to the living room? Let us know below.