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Latest Steam Controller design spotted in client beta?

Durante

Member
Oct 1, 2006
48,836
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peter.metaclassofnil.com
If you ever change something with the intention of making it better, that means the whole thing was a bad idea and you should just give up. As an engineer, I find nothing wrong with this statement.
Heh.

I hope they retain the dual touch pads. For pointer-driven games, I feel like I need both of my thumbs at the very least to match a mouse ;)
 

veritassin

Banned
May 19, 2014
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Dual trackpads are meant to accommodate games with multiple kinds of mouse-type actions. A game with native support could use the left pad to pan the camera (click and drag) while the right pad can independently move the cursor around the screen.
It doesn't need two trackpads any more than you need two mice. You could click and drag with the right one and move the cursor just fine,
 
Dec 9, 2010
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Replace the joystick with a D-pad and they might be on to something. Actually the more I think about it, I don't think they need the left track pad at all. Put a joystick/dpad combo on that side and leave it at that. It's the mouse emulation that needs innovation, not the WASD part (which controllers are superior at imo so just copy that part).

I know why they got rid of it, but I still feel like it needs something like the original touchscreen. Maybe it didn't need to be a touch screen, but something like extra buttons that could easily be differentiated without looking would help with something like hot keys. Maybe if you added them to the back of the grip or something.
This is probably more your speed.


Honestly though the build quality of these things suck, i've had 3. You're better off frankensteining together your preferred gaming mouse and PSMove Nav Controller into your set up
 

family_guy

Member
Mar 17, 2013
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470
Just get rid of the left trackpad but keep the one on the right. Put a normal Dpad and analog stick there. I dont see a purpose for the left one. The right one would be the mouse.
 

GuitarAtomik

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Jun 13, 2008
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Dual trackpads are meant to accommodate games with multiple kinds of mouse-type actions. A game with native support could use the left pad to pan the camera (click and drag) while the right pad can independently move the cursor around the screen.
But that's just one thumb. Can't imagine that would be comfortable.
Couldn't you just emulate that with a joystick or D-pad though? Maybe I need to hear a specific scenario.

This is probably more your speed.


Honestly though the build quality of these things suck, i've had 3. You're better off frankensteining together your preferred gaming mouse and PSMove Nav Controller into your set up
I have a Logitech G13. Works pretty well for me even though the joystick isn't the greatest thing ever.
 

Kssio_Aug

Member
Sep 14, 2013
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445
I hope this is fake or a discarded prototype. Because seriously, their big bet was that the touchpads would be more precise for aiming and as much precise for movements, that said why would I want a left stick on it??

It would make sense a d-pad there for fighting games, but a left stick is a huge let down on their own intentions. Is like they're saying "if the touchpad is not good enough, you still can use the left stick!". But if I want a usual controller I would go for a X360 or Xone conroller, since theyre very well designed and completely compatible for PC nowadays.

If Valve intends to sell this controller they might hold to their original idea and do a good job with it, honestly.
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
69,543
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I hope this is fake or a discarded prototype. Because seriously, their big bet was that the touchpads would be more precise for aiming and as much precise for movements, that said why would I want a left stick on it??

It would make sense a d-pad there for fighting games, but a left stick is a huge let down on their own intentions. Is like they're saying "if the touchpad is not good enough, you still can use the left stick!". But if I want a usual controller I would go for a X360 or Xone conroller, since theyre very well designed and completely compatible for PC nowadays.

If Valve intends to sell this controller they might hold to their original idea and do a good job with it, honestly.
But what if they were mistaken?

I was very pleased by the delay, it showed that they're handling this project right. They made a big move with a radical design, and they're listening to feedback and clearly intend to iterate until it's really great.

There's nothing wrong with being mistaken, this open iteration is great in fact.
 

BigDug13

Member
Dec 20, 2006
20,191
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But you don't control movement with a mouse, you do it with WASD.

That's what I've always thought was so stupid about this design. It's two mice, pointless.
Agreed. A left trackpad is not a valid replacement for WASD. But based on console gaming, a left analog stick definitely replaces WASD. The inferiority of a standard controller comes from aiming with a stick on the right side compared to aiming with a mouse in your right hand.

A left stick and a right trackpad has the potential to be a closer emulation of mouse/keyboard than we have ever seen before in a controller. Hopefully it works well.
 

Kssio_Aug

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Sep 14, 2013
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But what if they were mistaken?

I was very pleased by the delay, it showed that they're handling this project right. They made a big move with a radical design, and they're listening to feedback and clearly intend to iterate until it's really great.

There's nothing wrong with being mistaken, this open iteration is great in fact.
But if they were mistaken would still be a good idea to keep both touchpads? And also, if they were mistaken wouldnt that mean that a standard controller like the X360 one is still the best option if not using a mouse + keyboard?

I mean, the 2 touchpads, if Im not mistaken, were created to replace both sticks but trying to simulate a more accurate way of aim and move, almost like a mouse. So, if they were mistaken then the whole idea seems a mistake to me.

Im really expecting this to be successfull, if it works can be a cheaper and better way to play then buying those alien mouse + keyboard kits. But what was holding my interest was that idea that their trackpads were indeed very precise.

Maybe they believe that the left stick is better to move but the touchpad is still better to aim though, but somehow that seems strange to me, since theyre keeping the left touchpad. Well, I guess I will have to wait for some impressions anyway.
 

veritassin

Banned
May 19, 2014
251
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Agreed. A left trackpad is not a valid replacement for WASD. But based on console gaming, a left analog stick definitely replaces WASD. The inferiority of a standard controller comes from aiming with a stick on the right side compared to aiming with a mouse in your right hand.

A left stick and a right trackpad has the potential to be a closer emulation of mouse/keyboard than we have ever seen before in a controller. Hopefully it works well.
Yep this is what I always thought as well.
 

Krejlooc

Banned
May 27, 2014
25,437
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These threads are always so incredibly frustrating.

EDIT: Not the thread itself, but the people rushing to dismiss something they haven't even tried.
 

Sendou

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Aug 8, 2011
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I hope this is fake or a discarded prototype. Because seriously, their big bet was that the touchpads would be more precise for aiming and as much precise for movements, that said why would I want a left stick on it??

It would make sense a d-pad there for fighting games, but a left stick is a huge let down on their own intentions. Is like they're saying "if the touchpad is not good enough, you still can use the left stick!". But if I want a usual controller I would go for a X360 or Xone conroller, since theyre very well designed and completely compatible for PC nowadays.

If Valve intends to sell this controller they might hold to their original idea and do a good job with it, honestly.
I don't remember anyone claiming that trackpad is better for movement than traditional analog stick. Do you have source for that claim?

I think this is a logical next step. The controller seems to be getting better and better.
 

Sulik2

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Apr 17, 2012
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I still wish it was a stick and a trackball on the right, but that looks pretty nice. Anyone complaining about no DPAD look at the last thread, multiple people mentioned that the for buttons on the touchpad on the left work as an excellent dpad.
 

Kssio_Aug

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Sep 14, 2013
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I don't remember anyone claiming that trackpad is better for movement than traditional analog stick. Do you have source for that claim?

I think this is a logical next step. The controller seems to be getting better and better.
Not for the movement really, just for aim I guess. But still, if the left stick is better to move, why keep the left touchpad? Would it control something else? Im not sure if Im missing something here, but it seems like theyre not really safe about the touchpad (at least the left one) and giving another option. I would rather have there a d-pad, and if the left tochpad cant replace a left stick, then replace that one for a d-pad and keep the left stick... wouldnt that be a better option?
 
The trackpads on the Steam controller are WAY better for mouse emulation than a stick. This is not an average touch pad, it has feedback and has different levels of sensitivity based on the rings within it.

The movement using the left pad always felt too "floaty" to me and I mentioned that to them at Dev Days, so I think a stick is a huge improvement over just the pad.

To be honest, I kind of wish they had some sort of removable stick on the right side to, that you can swap in and out. That way it would allow people who play left handed some flexibility, as well as letting people who like to have two sticks for standard 3rd person or shooter controls, the option not to use the pads.
 

Sendou

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Aug 8, 2011
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Not for the movement really, just for aim I guess. But still, if the left stick is better to move, why keep the left touchpad? Would it control something else? Im not sure if Im missing something here, but it seems like theyre not really safe about the touchpad (at least the left one) and giving another option. I would rather have there a d-pad, and if the left tochpad cant replace a left stick, then replace that one for a d-pad and keep the left stick... wouldnt that be a better option?
Well think about it: mouse movement. Using two trackpads you should be able to go faster with mouse movement much easier than with one. Two fingers to the same direction if you want to go fast. Here's a video of a guy from Valve explaining it.
 

Nzyme32

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May 23, 2013
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How many times will this get redesigned before they just realize it's a bad idea and drop it?
The whole point of the controller being produced this way is to continually iterate on it till there is a product that is actually useful for both old and new pc games and using crowd-sourcing of ideas and feedback as opposed to a similar process done behind closed doors with no public input
 

alexandros

Banned
Jan 30, 2012
7,045
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The trackpads on the Steam controller are WAY better for mouse emulation than a stick. This is not an average touch pad, it has feedback and has different levels of sensitivity based on the rings within it.

The movement using the left pad always felt too "floaty" to me and I mentioned that to them at Dev Days, so I think a stick is a huge improvement over just the pad.
Yup. I think this setup is pretty much perfect for the needs of most people.
 

Haines

Banned
Apr 21, 2013
8,017
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Funny how the front of the controller looks like the back of a normal controller mold.

Anyways I don't care what they make I'm buying it day 1 for fun.
 
Also one thing that people don't get about the control until they have it is that it's EXTREMELY customizable. You can map pretty much any key/combination to different buttons, combinations, etc. Also don't forget that the pads have quadrants that when clicked down map to diff inputs as well.

There's a lot of cool stuff about the controller. They just need to tweak it until it they get all the big uses cases for game types, and like I said, the ergonomics. The controller felt a little awkward to hold on it's first iteration for me, something about the little wings on the ends feels maybe a bit too thick, and the weight of course was off, since the version I have is wired only (they said the weight would feel better once they had wireless/battery packs in the controller to provide counterweight)
 

ashecitism

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Jun 29, 2013
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Also one thing that people don't get about the control until they have it is that it's EXTREMELY customizable. You can map pretty much any key/combination to different buttons, combinations, etc. Also don't forget that the pads have quadrants that when clicked down map to diff inputs as well.

There's a lot of cool stuff about the controller. They just need to tweak it until it they get all the big uses cases for game types, and like I said, the ergonomics. The controller felt a little awkward to hold on it's first iteration for me, something about the little wings on the ends feels maybe a bit too thick, and the weight of course was off, since the version I have is wired only (they said the weight would feel better once they had wireless/battery packs in the controller to provide counterweight)
and it's also 3d printed.
 

Forsaken82

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Oct 9, 2010
6,250
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Looks like they don't have much faith in those trackpads.. >_>
I fail to see how you come to that conclusion because of the inclusion of an analog stick over a D-Pad. It would be a different story if they got rid of one of the track pads in favor of the Analog stick. but its an analog stick infavor of a D-pad.
 

The Cowboy

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Feb 14, 2013
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Planet Earth.
I really like the look of the layout now, but as others have said - putting an analog stick in that place makes no real sense when you have the left trackpad, if they are happy to do away with the 4 arrow buttons that used to be in the stick area, then it would make a lot more sense to put in a propter d-pad.

If they took the current design and simply swapped the stick to a proper d-pad, i recon the controller would be pretty much perfect. In saying this, are we even sure its an analog stick?, it could be a d-pad with a nub styled top.
 

jimmypop

Banned
Nov 14, 2007
319
0
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lobsterland
So the trackpad haters have tried the controller, right?

Gamers say, "Innovate, but make sure it's the same as the thing I like today. Thanks!"
 

Mr. X

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Feb 28, 2013
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I would love to try out the track pad as a d-pad alternative. I think it would work out.
 

s3ltzer

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Jun 12, 2014
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So the steam controller went from possibly being a revolutionary gamepad to just another controller...eh.
 

Nzyme32

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May 23, 2013
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I'm still optimistic for the thing, but I still want some form of force-feedback like a typical controller than just the haptics of the pad. I always forget about rumble on controllers... until someone or some game turns it off, then it's massively noticeable to me
 

npa189

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Apr 29, 2013
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I never had much faith in this thing, let alone actually being able to buy one. no dpad is no buy for me. I'll stick to an x1 controller for my PC needs.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
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They're willing to lose symmetry, but not to add a d pad.

Does Valve even know what a platformer is? Tetris? Fighting games? Shmups? Beat 'em Ups? These people work in games, right?
Is it not possible that they've come to the conclusion that you can't make a single controller that works for all games, and so they'd rather make a controller that works to solve the couch KBM issue than a controller that exactly duplicates the dualshock, which you can still use with games on Steam that have controller support?
 

Eusis

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Apr 15, 2011
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Because a certain subset of gamers won't accept anything other than a Dualshock or Xbox pad, and anything that has anything extra must be shot down, because their favourite console is perfect and nothing can ever possibly be better than it.
I'd argue it's less console favoritism and more picking a favorite and refusing to accept alternatives, but that's just splitting hairs.

It is disappointing how many go "just make a twin stick controller!" though. Especially as they can pull a Nintendo and put that out in addition to their more experimental controller (Classic Controller alongside Wii Remote) which will probably work out even better here given how open PC and its derivatives are and that Steam's great about patches unlike the Wii. This is trying to make a controller that can actually play the likes of Civilization, Starcraft, or overhead turn based/RTwP RPGs well (well, the latter can be adapted but this skips that) and possibly be superior for FPSes (which... probably is why the thumb stick took the place of the directional arrows because technically dual stick controllers DID have the possible advantage of analog movement), this isn't something made for playing Mario, Dark Souls, or Batman with. Platform issue aside for that first one that's why you'd stick in an Xbox, Logitech, whatever controller instead, and if those don't work out for Steambox Valve can still produce their own knock off in addition to their unique controller.
 

Nzyme32

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May 23, 2013
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valve has earned my trust that they will do whats best
I generally agree, but of course I have not seen them do hardware before, so I am more wary. That said, I like most of what they are showing but I'm not too certain about what a stick adds to the controller. The extra 4 buttons seem more useful. And they seemed pretty hung up on making the controller good for both lefties and right handers, so not sure where they are going. Would really like impression or to actually have one to try
 

GravityMan

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Jun 8, 2004
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If accurate, this latest design is a step back from previous iterations (which had flaws themselves). Having both a left trackpad and a left analog stick is silly. Either ditch the left pad, move the stick up there and put in a real dpad...or keep the left trackpad and replace the stick with a proper dpad.

I'm starting to wonder if Valve really knows what they're doing here. Iterative design can sometimes lead to great results, and sometimes lead to a disaster. The Steam Controller is looking more and more like the latter.

The closer to a "traditional" gamepad this becomes, the less useful this becomes for KB/M games, and ultimately the more pointless the controller becomes. People will question why they should get this controller when a 360 or Xbox One controller will work just fine, or a KB/M designed for living room tenfoot use. Maybe the time has come for Valve to take a step back and reconsider whether this whole Steam Universe initiative is really worth continuing to devote resources to. Valve may have bitten off more than they could chew.
 

GuitarAtomik

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Jun 13, 2008
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Yeah, I think if you completely remove the track pads, there's no reason for this to exist. I don't know if the left one is worth it even with the example in that video linked above, but I think there's still a lot of merit to the right one. As long as that stays in, I'll eventually pick this up.