Valve Revamps Steam Controller (Again)

The beauty of a product that hasn't been released yet is that the company can redesign it as many times as necessary. Valve's upcoming Steam controller has already seen two different designs, but a new image reveals a possible third that finally adds an analog stick.

The information comes from the Steam Database Twitter account, which trawls through Steam files and shares interesting new findings with the Internet. Its latest unearthed picture shows a tentative design for a 15-button controller that may supersede its earlier models.

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The Steam controller has been an idiosyncratic beast from the start, and one of its most unusual features was replacing traditional analog sticks with two circular touchpads. These pads would, in theory, make it possible to play traditional PC genres (like real-time strategy and simulation) on a console-style controller.

If Valve is indeed adding an analog stick, then it's possible that the touchpads have not been as effective as the company originally hoped. Right now, a handful of fans and developers have access to gaming rigs that run on SteamOS and Steam controllers in order to provide Valve feedback. The feedback was, it seems, "this needs an analog stick."

Otherwise, the controller is much as it was before, with the usual assortment of face and shoulder buttons, plus the two touchpads. The new design only incorporates a single analog stick, meaning that users will have to control the camera some other way (likely with one of the touchpads).

The controller may undergo further revisions, but for now, Valve seems to be willing to make one very big concession to traditional peripheral design. Expect to see a final version of the controller as well as the large-scale debut of Steam machines in 2015.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • Merry_Blind
    They're really being retarded with this controller... I mean, it's not that hard... here I'll help you out a bit Valve.

    -Replace the left Circle TouchPad with a proper joystick, leave the right one as is (so yes, only ONE Circle TouchPad, which would be for Mouse control)
    -Underneath it, put a proper D-Pad (not that 4 round buttons joke you had in the previous prototype).
    -Leave the rest as is, except having the small touchscreen back would be great, though I understand how it might be difficult to implement due to compatibility stuff. If you DO bring it back, make it rectangle (like 2:3 or, ideally, 16:9) so that we can type with it (SOMEWHAT replaces the keyboard to type quick things in-games or when surfing the web)

    There you go.