Valve Steam Controller gains a thumbstick

The latest images to emerge of Valve’s revolutionary Steam Controller show that it has gained a rather traditional-looking thumbstick.

Back at the end of May, Valve revealed that its ambitious Steam Machine program – a gaming PC ecosystem that could operate in living rooms like a console – had been delayed until 2015. The reason for that was the design of its unusual Steam Controller.

The company had set this controller a tricky task – to emulate the speed and precision of keyboard and mouse inputs, but in the compact form factor of a console controller.

To that end, early prototypes revealed a design with sensitive twin-touchpad areas, a central touchscreen, and no traditional physical fascia buttons.

Much of that has changed due to Valve’s exhaustive test process, including the removal of the touchscreen and the introduction of eight physical fascia buttons.

Now an image pulled from Valve’s latest Steam client beta by SteamDB reveals that four of those buttons (the ones that seemed to form a kind of fudged D-pad) have been replaced by a left-mounted analogue thumbstick. You know, the kind you’ll find on your PS4, Xbox One, or Wii U.

Everything else appears to be the same as before, but it’s surprising – and perhaps a little deflating – how ordinary the Steam Controller now looks compared to when it first burst onto the scene.

Of course, this still looks like an improvement over that clunky-looking D-pad. Here’s hoping this means Valve is close to finalising its controller design, too.

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Via: Engadget