Valve Software late on Friday said that it would demonstrate the latest version of its Steam Controller in action at the upcoming Game Developers Conference next week. The company did not reveal whether the version of the device is the final one or not, but it showcased the new unit on a picture.
The new version of the controller is significantly different compared to the original one showcased last Fall and the one demonstrated at the Steam Dev Days in January. The latest version refines ergonomic aspects of the controller by adding two diamond-patterned button layouts (a D-pad and ABXY buttons) in the area previously designated for a touch screen display. These analog buttons are offered in addition to the touch pads featured in the original prototypes.
At the GDC next week Valve will showcase working prototypes of the new controller and will let gamers and professionals to try it. It is likely that the company will also seek input from visitors and will then decide whether or not to stick to the new design and start its mass production.
Steam Controller is a crucial component of Valve’s Steam Machines initiative, which is supported by over a dozen of PC makers. While the computer manufacturers introduced their Steam Machines gaming systems based on Valve Software’s SteamOS at the Consumer Electronics Show early this year, none of those PCs will enter the market before the software developer finalises its Steam controller as well as the operating system.
In case Valve sticks to the current design of the Steam Controller and starts its production late this month, then Steam Machines may arrive sometimes in mid-2014.
KitGuru Says: The new controller looks definitely better than the previous versions. Perhaps, it will be the final one. However, it just looks too bulky for the final one.