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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 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 3.
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40. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 01:40 The Half Elf
 
Why don't they do a freaking lap pad, 1 part mouse 1 part nostromo keypad?  
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39. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 01:29 entr0py
 
DangerDog wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 00:57:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 00:08:
DangerDog wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:16:
How would you use the touchpad while using an Oculus?

Yeah, the touchpad might be a trick, but not the rest of it. But even looking at the Portal 2 layout, it looks like the position of the buttons on the touchpad would be clickable by feel.

I guess it could give you audio ques for which button quadrant you're on, it looks like it'll have 4 squares to program.

or you could just do something like this

http://imgur.com/YU2po57,hPFQrKn,6PkYRH8,2fm2NCZ#0

I doubt haptics would need to be involved to do any of that. Like with the left touchpad, it seems the diagram is saying touching close to the center is maped to WASD(walking), further out is WASD+LShift (sprint) and clicking is spacebar(jump). All pretty intuitive. The quadrants in the center are on the HD screen, so it could just display what they do.

Looks pretty promising over all. I really hope they've solved the problem of accurate mouse-like input on a couch friendly controller.

 
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38. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 01:26 Ladron3dfx
 
http://i.imgur.com/JnEhx3U.jpg
http://mediacdn.disqus.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/635/5541/original.jpg

It sure is ugly and I'm being kind. Trackpads? WTF? Button placement is atrocious.

Don't want!

Gamasutra - Steam Controller
SuperMeatBoy dev review of the controller.

This comment was edited on Sep 28, 2013, 02:08.
 
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Steamworks
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37. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 01:19 xXBatmanXx
 
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:57:
Bats look at the button layout around the screen, and look at your game collection, or any game you've played on a 360 or PS3, how well would that work for ya?

Yea it is just weird and terrible. So I can't push to talk while I am moving? I dunno. I just don't get it.....
 
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36. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 00:57 DangerDog
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 00:08:
DangerDog wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:16:
How would you use the touchpad while using an Oculus?

Yeah, the touchpad might be a trick, but not the rest of it. But even looking at the Portal 2 layout, it looks like the position of the buttons on the touchpad would be clickable by feel.

I guess it could give you audio ques for which button quadrant you're on, it looks like it'll have 4 squares to program.

or you could just do something like this

http://imgur.com/YU2po57,hPFQrKn,6PkYRH8,2fm2NCZ#0
 
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35. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:48 NKD
 
Not sure what to make of this. I'd have to actually use one to fully pass judgement, but it seems like it would be awkward as fuck to use. That said, I doubt Valve is going to let something out the door that no one can figure out how to use.  
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34. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:29 Prez
 
To me this is all seems geared more towards getting console-only people looking at PC games rather than convince those of us who play at our monitors with a m+k setup to change. I don't know how successful they'll be but I'm pulling for it to be a massive success. More PC gamers means more PC games, which is a win no matter how you game if you are a PC enthusiast like I am.  
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33. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:13 Redmask
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 00:07:
Redmask wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 23:38:
This isn't for console gamers really. This is for people like us if we decide to stop buying a desktop for whatever reason.

Then we'll just play on consoles instead because why would I play an FPS - or other game that's better played with a kb/m - with a controller?

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.
 
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32. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 28, 2013, 00:08 jdreyer
 
DangerDog wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:16:
How would you use the touchpad while using an Oculus?

Yeah, the touchpad might be a trick, but not the rest of it. But even looking at the Portal 2 layout, it looks like the position of the buttons on the touchpad would be clickable by feel.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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31. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:07 nin
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 00:00:
Modern controllers simply aren't precise enough to play FPSs (thus aim assist on console shooters), RTSs, turn-based strategy, etc. It sounds like that's the issue they're trying to address. If they've pulled it off, it will be brilliant.

Agreed. Can't be any odder than the spaceorb.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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30. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:07 Cutter
 
Redmask wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 23:38:
This isn't for console gamers really. This is for people like us if we decide to stop buying a desktop for whatever reason.

Then we'll just play on consoles instead because why would I play an FPS - or other game that's better played with a kb/m - with a controller? Valve is way off base with this one. The majority of their customer base are PC gamers first and foremost. If they do console game they'll be buying a PS4. Why would they need or even want SteamOS and a new controller? Honestly, I hope this fails miserably otherwise things are going to get even worse for PC gamers.
 
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29. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:06 jdreyer
 
DangerDog wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:41:
They'll hand it off to people who strictly play on consoles and film them praising how awesome it is.

Are there really that many PC Gamers using "Big Picture" and playing their games on the living room TV or is this really just Valve pushing an end game agenda to cut ties with Windows?

This is Valve, not MS. I doubt they'll pull that crap.

I am one of those people that would like to play more games on my TV. My desktop sits next to it, but I still end up using the monitor most of the time.
 
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28. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:03 jdreyer
 
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 23:04:
Go through the Big Picture game list, vast majority are designed for consoles, Big Picture was designed to be used by a current gen controller, and they layouts for the next gen consoles are the same. Why would you be so stupid to try to reinvent the wheel when you know that 1) what the main 2 console system controller are for the next 7 years, 2)what the controller setup has been for the last 2 generations?
I just don't understand Valve's thinking on this.

This isn't an attempt to replace modern controllers. It's an attempt to make a controller that can function as well as a keyboard and mouse in an attempt to make Valve's vast library of PC games designed for keyboard and mouse accessible on your TV while sitting on the couch. My game machine sits next to my TV, but I still end up using the monitor for this very reason.
 
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27. Re: Into the Black Sep 28, 2013, 00:00 jdreyer
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:53:
Between the ps3 and xbox controller, I am not sure what needs to be fixed. I don't think they are broken. That being said, good for them, and I hope I get in the beta, but I have never been a fan of touchpad items. As sensitive as those will have to be, I am not sure there is going to be a lot of precision involved.

oh well. I applaud them for trying.
Modern controllers simply aren't precise enough to play FPSs (thus aim assist on console shooters), RTSs, turn-based strategy, etc. It sounds like that's the issue they're trying to address. If they've pulled it off, it will be brilliant.
 
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26. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 27, 2013, 23:41 2nd_floor
 
nin wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 22:24:
I'm a little disappointed there's no credit card reader on one side, so I can just swipe during steam sales.

Other than that, looks neat.


Haha. I think having a "gun controller", that you aim at the screen, hopefully PC compatible, would be great. I think this works with CoD on Wii maybe, never played it though.
 
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25. Re: Into the Black Sep 27, 2013, 23:39 Prez
 
I don't want to be in the living room. My wife watches TV in the living room. And while she is watching "Say Yes to the Dress" or "Curb Appeal" I am gaming because there's no way in hell I'm watching that shit! (The controller looks fine though)  
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24. Re: Into the Black Sep 27, 2013, 23:38 Redmask
 
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 23:04:
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 22:02:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:53:
Between the ps3 and xbox controller, I am not sure what needs to be fixed. I don't think they are broken.

For some types of games they are ideal but for others they are second rate. The games most pc players play... second rate. They are not the best choice for FPS, RTS or Driving. They are second rate to all of those.

So I believe the point of this design is to enhance the speed and accuracy of the gamepad to get closer to mouse functionality. If not, I have no clue what they are doing.

Aim Assist is console lose.


Go through the Big Picture game list, vast majority are designed for consoles, Big Picture was designed to be used by a current gen controller, and they layouts for the next gen consoles are the same. Why would you be so stupid to try to reinvent the wheel when you know that 1) what the main 2 console system controller are for the next 7 years, 2)what the controller setup has been for the last 2 generations?
I just don't understand Valve's thinking on this.

This isn't for console gamers really. This is for people like us if we decide to stop buying a desktop for whatever reason.
 
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23. Re: Into the Black Sep 27, 2013, 23:24 Axis
 
As someone who generally despises controllers on games like FPS's, I think Valve's idea is fantastic for people like me if you 'had' to have a controller.


 
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Yours truly,

Axis
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22. Re: Into the Black Sep 27, 2013, 23:04 The Half Elf
 
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 22:02:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 21:53:
Between the ps3 and xbox controller, I am not sure what needs to be fixed. I don't think they are broken.

For some types of games they are ideal but for others they are second rate. The games most pc players play... second rate. They are not the best choice for FPS, RTS or Driving. They are second rate to all of those.

So I believe the point of this design is to enhance the speed and accuracy of the gamepad to get closer to mouse functionality. If not, I have no clue what they are doing.

Aim Assist is console lose.


Go through the Big Picture game list, vast majority are designed for consoles, Big Picture was designed to be used by a current gen controller, and they layouts for the next gen consoles are the same. Why would you be so stupid to try to reinvent the wheel when you know that 1) what the main 2 console system controller are for the next 7 years, 2)what the controller setup has been for the last 2 generations?
I just don't understand Valve's thinking on this.
 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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21. Re: Steam Controller Announced Sep 27, 2013, 22:28 Kosumo
 
nin wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 22:24:
I'm a little disappointed there's no credit card reader on one side, so I can just swipe during steam sales.

Other than that, looks neat.


Don't you have the new touch and go credit card yet?

Card readers pfft, old tech!
 
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80 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 3.
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