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Steam Controller Announced

The Steam Controller is the third and final announcement in Valve's promised three-prong assault on the living room. They say their goal was to create "a new kind of input technology," which has them proposing a haptic, dual-trackpad controller they say is "driven by the player's thumbs" (what will they think of next?). They also invite the community to get cracking on this when it is released, saying it "was designed from the ground up to be hackable." Here are details on the major new feature, the touchscreens:

In the center of the controller is another touch-enabled surface, this one backed by a high-resolution screen. This surface, too, is critical to achieving the controller’s primary goal - supporting all games in the Steam catalog. The screen allows an infinite number of discrete actions to be made available to the player, without requiring an infinite number of physical buttons.

The whole screen itself is also clickable, like a large single button. So actions are not invoked by a simple touch, they instead require a click. This allows a player to touch the screen, browse available actions, and only then commit to the one they want. Players can swipe through pages of actions in games where that’s appropriate. When programmed by game developers using our API, the touch screen can work as a scrolling menu, a radial dial, provide secondary info like a map or use other custom input modes we haven’t thought of yet.

In order to avoid forcing players to divide their attention between screens, a critical feature of the Steam Controller comes from its deep integration with Steam. When a player touches the controller screen, its display is overlayed on top of the game they’re playing, allowing the player to leave their attention squarely on the action, where it belongs.

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80. Re: Steam Controller Announced Oct 3, 2013, 20:52 Redmask
 
Ladron3dfx wrote on Oct 3, 2013, 03:58:
http://goo.gl/Hzpns2
Linux 1.66% of worldwide OS market share. Of that percentage, the use of Linux for gaming should be significantly less.

All this hype and noise about Linux gaming is just pure bullshit.

You forgot every Android platform and also forgot that they're building a custom distro with a GUI, not just using Debian or something.
 
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79. Re: Steam Controller Announced Oct 3, 2013, 03:58 Ladron3dfx
 
http://goo.gl/Hzpns2
Linux 1.66% of worldwide OS market share. Of that percentage, the use of Linux for gaming should be significantly less.

All this hype and noise about Linux gaming is just pure bullshit.
 
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Steamworks
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78. Re: Into the Black Sep 30, 2013, 01:42 Undih
 
Wesp5 wrote on Sep 29, 2013, 05:37:
I don't see SteamOS replacing Windows, except maybe for some gamers moving into the living room. Because to me the beautiful thing about the PC compared to consoles or tablets or smartphones is that I have one high end computer on which I can WORK AND PLAY! A SteamOS game only platform wouldn't help me with that so my PC will have to stay anyway.

Sure SteamOS isn't replacing Windows for the average user but what is it you can't do on Linux that you do for Work on your PC?
 
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77. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 30, 2013, 01:39 Undih
 
I'm nothing but pleased with Valve having a go at the controller. I'm a k/m guy but I also like to kick back on the couch with my Xbox controller and play a game of what ever PC game I'm playing at the moment on my TV. It looks like they are on to something good so.. thumbs up Valve!!  
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76. Re: Into the Black Sep 29, 2013, 09:52 Redmask
 
Wesp5 wrote on Sep 29, 2013, 05:37:
I don't see SteamOS replacing Windows, except maybe for some gamers moving into the living room. Because to me the beautiful thing about the PC compared to consoles or tablets or smartphones is that I have one high end computer on which I can WORK AND PLAY! A SteamOS game only platform wouldn't help me with that so my PC will have to stay anyway.

It's not a game only platform, it's an operating system that will run web browsers and all of that other nonsense too.

It's not emulated either.
 
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75. Re: Into the Black Sep 29, 2013, 09:25 Dmitri_M
 
SteamOS = Playing console ports through an emulation layer  
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74. Re: Into the Black Sep 29, 2013, 05:37 Wesp5
 
I don't see SteamOS replacing Windows, except maybe for some gamers moving into the living room. Because to me the beautiful thing about the PC compared to consoles or tablets or smartphones is that I have one high end computer on which I can WORK AND PLAY! A SteamOS game only platform wouldn't help me with that so my PC will have to stay anyway.  
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73. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 22:00 Jerykk
 
As Prez said, I think SteamOS has the most potential. Not only will it (supposedly) provide better performance than Windows but if it succeeds and gains widespread support by publishers and developers, we could see Microsoft's stranglehold on the PC gaming market finally come to an end.  
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72. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 15:39 Prez
 
I doubt I'll ever use a Steambox - or whatever their self-contained hardware will be called - but I am pretty excited about the controller and extremely excited about the possibilities of the new Steam OS.  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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71. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 14:59 Redmask
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 14:39:
Insecure. Try pragmatic, sport. And as usual you miss the entire point.

What point is that exactly? It is an optional set of additional things that you do not need to use and Steam will keep working the way it's always been. They even say this in the documentation.

Maybe for your next build you don't feel like buying Windows again so you run SteamOS...or not because it's free and it's totally optional. Maybe you decide to buy a SteamBox desktop and customize it...or not because you can still keep rolling your own. Maybe you try the controller...or you keep using a keyboard and mouse since it will work with both SteamOS, Steam and whatever else Valve does. No one is trying to turn you into a console gamer or something.

Not really seeing a problem here. Valve is continuing the time honored enthusiast and PC tradition of giving people options and customization. I don't see how any PC gamer could have a beef with that.

This comment was edited on Sep 28, 2013, 15:10.
 
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70. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 14:39 Cutter
 
Redmask wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 00:13:
Haven't even touched the thing yet and already passing judgment, I shouldn't be surprised though. You're too insecure, no one is trying to take away your keyboard and mouse. Console games are expensive and have a very limited genre representation compared to the PC so you won't escape to that platform even if they went away. They are making this so that people can play PC games in the living room comfortably if they choose to, not to drive away everyone from desktops.

All of this stuff from the past week is about growing the platform, keeping it relevant in the face of changing markets and trying new things. If you that offends you so much then just keep using Steam exactly the way you have been, nothing is changing there.

Insecure. Try pragmatic, sport. And as usual you miss the entire point. I don't know why I even waste my time with you.
 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's dead… Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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69. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 14:13 jacobvandy
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 10:03:
The hardware business is a tough one. Valve are not Microsoft or Sony. If they try to mass produce this thing I see them going bankrupt.

LOL. Gabe could produce several million of these things with the money saved from switching to regular toilet paper for a year (instead of gold foil-embossed $500 bills made with his picture on it).
 
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68. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 13:44 HorrorScope
 
Redmask wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 13:10:
Highlights:

"These are not like laptop trackpads," Tabar said. "Everyone is like, 'Oh we're replacing thumbsticks with trackpads, oh shit.' [laughs] But this is not at all like a laptop trackpad. It just feels good. It's a challenge to verbally describe it.

It's a challenge to describe it... Let me simulate a situation...

I put it in my hands, I am expecting something that is good to start with. Is it a better game pad? Is it a better K/M? Is it trying to mold the two togther being a hybrid. Once I determine that, does it work well? Is it quick? Is it intuitive?

Even if I couldn't describe it, I'd know if it was killer, ok or bleh. So the worst case in describing it would be... using a good case:

"This thing is really really good, you'll see when you get your hands on it. Don't make assumptions until you try."

IMO like Oculus.

But the famous words of "I can't describe it", you sir did nothing to help me understand, thanks. LOL
 
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67. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 13:10 Redmask
 
Here's what some people who actually got to use the thing had to say.

Highlights:

"These are not like laptop trackpads," Tabar said. "Everyone is like, 'Oh we're replacing thumbsticks with trackpads, oh shit.' [laughs] But this is not at all like a laptop trackpad. It just feels good. It's a challenge to verbally describe it.

Chris Remo, designer and writer at The Cave developer Double Fine had a hands-on of the Steam Controller at the San Francisco studio.

Remo played a couple different games: Double Fine's upcoming point-and-click adventure game Broken Age and the already-released platform-adventure game The Cave.

"We just plugged it in, and it worked," he said. "We didn't have special support for it or anything. It worked really, really well. I was really impressed with the mouse imitation. It doesn't feel like a trackpad."

Sounds very promising.
 
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66. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 11:28 HorrorScope
 
Ray Marden wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 06:25:
I still prefer the PC for a collection of reasons (uprgradeability, game modability, strong indie market, multi-tasking, work functionality, graphical excellence, genre depth and maturity, etc.,) but the consoles are starting to take on some of those items.

All those items aside, one of my personally most beloved items of PC gaming is the mouse and keyboard input,

Agreed. It is amazing why every other platform seemingly wants to hate it and get rid of it, when many people have spoken, test have shown. It has a place without question, beyond question.

Here is my guess as to why, in fact way back before the first Xbox came out, it was supposed to have a k/m, one of the main reasons for abandonment... Piracy. The mouse is too fast at getting things done. The keyboard is deadly in hacking. They were trying to reduce piracy. Now you wonder what part of the game NSA has in this, I bet they'd like to get everyone off a keyboard as well. Empires have fallen over the pen. The keyboard is today's pen. (NSA part at worst is good fiction here).

As for the controller... I will not fear a controller. I hope it amazes k/m players. We shall see.
 
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65. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 10:49 NKD
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 10:03:
The hardware business is a tough one. Valve are not Microsoft or Sony. If they try to mass produce this thing I see them going bankrupt.

I don't see Valve going out of business because they decided to make a controller.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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64. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 10:06 fujiJuice
 
I think people are jumping to way too many conclusions with nothing to go on but a few paragraphs and a 3D rendering. I will wait to pass judgement on an entirely new and unique design of a controller, from a PC oriented company, until it is in my hands for a while. Pictures of it are worthless in terms of how it will control, perform, or feel.

It seems like Valve is attempting to build a bridge across the gap between consoles and PC's. The bridge they are building is completely optional, no one is forcing you to use it. They are a game company after all, and despite your feelings, PC's and consoles both play games.

As for Valve abandoning their games, they aren't. I'm sure the team responsible for programming an OS or designing hardware, is not the same team that would design games or build levels.
 
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63. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 10:03 Dmitri_M
 
The hardware business is a tough one. Valve are not Microsoft or Sony. If they try to mass produce this thing I see them going bankrupt.  
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62. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 09:50 Redmask
 
Wesp5 wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 09:40:
I see it like this: Formerly Valve made games, great single player games like HL and HL2 long ago, only small episodes, riddle games and multi player games more recently, but still games! Now they seem to bet everything on Steam and hardware against the major consoles. If they fail the game company Valve may become history. If they succeed probably too, why create games when you can make even more money just by selling other peoples games for them? Where the hell is HL2:EP3?

This post is basically 'I want Half-Life 3'. Valve still publishes great games and has a significant hand in making them. They just haven't made Half-Life 3 yet. I feel your pain man, I really do but they have consistently put out great games for the past 15 years. This doesn't risk the company, they partnered up with hardware companies instead of trying to manufacture anything themselves.

I don't think any of this detracts from game development anyway. The skill overlap in development on an operating system and a videogame isn't significant.
 
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61. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 09:40 Wesp5
 
HoSpanky wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 09:13:
Several posters in here are flat out TERRIFIED that Valve is abandoning traditional pc gaming. They aren't. Calm down. Ignore all three announcements if you want.

I see it like this: Formerly Valve made games, great single player games like HL and HL2 long ago, only small episodes, riddle games and multi player games more recently, but still games! Now they seem to bet everything on Steam and hardware against the major consoles. If they fail the game company Valve may become history. If they succeed probably too, why create games when you can make even more money just by selling other peoples games for them? Where the hell is HL2:EP3?
 
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