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Valve's Steam Controller seems to have sprouted a thumb stick

by Mark Tyson on 24 July 2014, 10:07

Tags: Valve, PC

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A diagram has been found in the latest Steam beta client which shows a new design for Valve's Steam Controller. From this image we can see that Valve is still reconfiguring, tweaking and testing new input strategies for its all important games controller. This controller is vitally important to Valve as it seeks to conquer the living room by rivalling the PC gamer's favourite keyboard & mouse control combo.

As you can see from the diagram of the new layout, above, Valve hasn't sacrificed either of the touch sensitive thumb pads at the core of the controller's 'newness' to accommodate the little thumb stick - but 4 other conventional buttons have been chopped.

The change to the controller layout was first seen by a member of the forums. However anyone with access to the beta can find the files themselves if they stick their virtual nose in their Steam directory:

[Steam directory]\tenfoot\resource\images\library\alpha_conroller_lines_d0g.png

Interestingly the new design is there alongside older designs in a sort of gallery showing the history of the Steam Controller Design. However, just because we haven't seen this design before doesn't necessarily mean it is the most recent finessing of the controller, it might have been a design which has been succeeded by another one we have seen.

If this is the latest evolution of the Steam Controller I'd think that the left thumb stick would be a natural choice for your character movement with the right side touchpad superior to a thumb stick on that side of the controller for things like aiming and precision selections.

After all these prototypes do HEXUS readers think Valve is getting pretty close to the ultimate games controller design?

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Is that a trackball version i see?! That would be so awkward to use… .. good try though… but no thanks. Until i have a hands on try and it works to navigate desktop use too, ill stick with my xbox 360 controller for casual pc games.
Don't forget, this controller is made to be usable with FPS, RTS and other game genre that are unplayable on an usual xbox or ps controller.
I think with this latest design they've pretty much got it done. Only thing I would alter is to add a Pinky button behind one of the heels for Push-To-Talk, unless either LG/RG could be set to such.
A dedicated push to talk button would be nice :D

I'm glad to see that they have been very happy to go back to the drawing board a few times with this controller instead of sticking to their guns. Looks like this might nail it, really want to try one :)
IIRC the dev kit, or what ever it's called allows for total reconfiguration of the buttons & trackpads.
So i would expect that once the community gets hold of it there will be downloadable profiles for most games, with different layouts, like dedicated push to talk buttons.