Your thoughts on the Steam controller?

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#1 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3238 posts) -

The Steam Controller got sent out to press today so I was wondering what you guys thought of the potentially final design.

Personally I think it's a bad design due to many of the buttons being hard to hit (particularly ABXY) while using the "thumbsticks".

#2 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1699 posts) -

Isn't that design like three iterations out of date? They have since show multiple revisions, one of which has a more traditional diamond layout of the face buttons with a d-pad, the second of which has a real thumbstick.

#3 Posted by Sinusoidal (1481 posts) -

I'm not sure how I feel about these dual touch thingies. Also trigger overload. I have massive hands and fumble thumbs. I don't really trust this thing to be usable at all...

#4 Edited by Steadying (1211 posts) -

Looks like complete and utter trash.

#5 Posted by 71Ranchero (2765 posts) -

I think that the sticks are not the biggest prob I have with modern controllers so I dont understand why they are doing these touch pads. Instead of trying to reinvent the controller, they could have instead worked on making a better solution for kb/mouse on the couch. As dumb and scammy the Phantom lapboard was, I still liked the idea and wish a respectable company would have done something with the concept.

#6 Posted by Demoskinos (14823 posts) -

It looks like hot garbage.

#7 Posted by Andorski (5309 posts) -

The thumb stick should be a D-Pad. Makes sense considering the number of 2D games on Steam.

I'm willing to give it a shot, but I've yet to hear anyone say that the touch circles are better than thumb sticks when playing console-like games, nor have I heard anyone say that the controller works well enough for PC-style games that they would consider playing them with the controller on the couch rather than with a KB+M at their desk.

#8 Posted by Zeik (2425 posts) -

In theory this thing seems like it was designed with me specifically in mind. I dislike M&K controls in all but a handful of circumstances and would more often than not happily choose to play with an inferior control scheme if it meant being able to play in comfort with a controller, on my TV, while relaxing in bed.

In reality, nothing about that thing actually looks comfortable or even very functional. It's probably unfair to say that without ever trying it, but I just cannot fathom how that thing could reliably replicate a good console controller.

#9 Posted by Dark (379 posts) -

Look, I know technology has made things that didn't look like they would work, actually work but ... cmon guys. The analogue stick is used for a reason, why couldn't they do something novel like making the analogue sticks force feedback or something? I don't really want to struggle to find the center point on a flat pad without looking whilst some axe wielding maniac is attempting to open my skull.

#10 Posted by Sin4profit (2931 posts) -

One of those things i'd have to try for myself. I like the fact that they're doing something different and i think touch pads have the potential to be more precise and create more dynamic control scenarios for software developers to experiment with but until i get a chance to experiment with it myself it's hard to have a solid opinion.

Isn't that design like three iterations out of date? They have since show multiple revisions, one of which has a more traditional diamond layout of the face buttons with a d-pad, the second of which has a real thumbstick.

I'd prefer the variation that has the thumb-stick, but i feel like the face buttons are in an awkward position.

#11 Posted by Dixavd (1358 posts) -

I don't get it, but maybe in use it clicks or something; or maybe it's just good enough to allow non-competitive keyboard & mouse games to be played more efficiently without needing to be near a desk/flat surface - but I doubt it. That said, if they end up doing what Nintendo does, such as packing in a game with the controller that's been designed to show off what it can be used for (basically okay mini-game collections) I might think about getting it to find out what it's trying to do (and if it succeeds).

Regardless, all controllers look stupid in pictures (the only reason we think others don't is because we are used to them).

#12 Posted by conmulligan (482 posts) -

I think it's impossible to judge how good it is without using it for an extended period of time, and given how many times Valve has already iterated on the initial design I have faith that they'll figure it out by the time it actually ships.

#13 Posted by falserelic (5436 posts) -

Don't know how its going to work...I don't even want know at this point.

#14 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3238 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: The one I embedded pictures of is the one Brad got from Valve. Except now it has blue highlights to match the new Steam design.

#15 Posted by ripelivejam (3944 posts) -

@demoskinos: @steadyingmeat: spoken like people with open minds!

i've always wanted to give it a go. i did cave in and got a Dualshock 4 which was a bit wonky for PC but i sort of got it working fine now across the board. i'm a bit sad that they backed off from their original vision; but those face buttons on the original do look awkward as hell. i think the 2nd one is the one they should have stuck with; the dual touch pads can already serve as analog sticks. in retrospect the touchscreen may have been superflous and costly so that's not a huge loss.

i also really really like the apparently beefy size.

#16 Posted by 49th (2755 posts) -

I think it's a good idea and I want to try it for myself. I trust Valve enough for them to make sure that the touchpads work correctly, but I will probably only get one if the price is ok.

#17 Posted by Steadying (1211 posts) -

@ripelivejam: I apologize for giving my opinion in a thread asking for my opinion.

I didn't say I wouldn't wanna try it out (in fact, I do), but it looks like crap.

#18 Posted by onarum (2084 posts) -

IDK, I'd have to try it first, but in my head it seems that playing a FPS with those track pad things could be awesome if they work right, it could potentially give something close to the precision of a mouse with the laid back nature of a controller.

though I gotta say that no D-pad is a really weird decision

#19 Posted by Demoskinos (14823 posts) -

@demoskinos: @steadyingmeat: spoken like people with open minds!

i've always wanted to give it a go. i did cave in and got a Dualshock 4 which was a bit wonky for PC but i sort of got it working fine now across the board. i'm a bit sad that they backed off from their original vision; but those face buttons on the original do look awkward as hell. i think the 2nd one is the one they should have stuck with; the dual touch pads can already serve as analog sticks. in retrospect the touchscreen may have been superflous and costly so that's not a huge loss.

i also really really like the apparently beefy size.

The question was posed to my thoughts. I gave my thoughts. I don't know what else there is to say about the subject. I think it looks horribly un-ergonomic

#20 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -

If Valve can make it work, it will make the current gen gamepads seem like an archaic relic. But the newer iterations of the controller don't seem as interesting.

#21 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1699 posts) -

@corruptedevil:

I don't know why they are sending out the old design, but the images I linked are definitely the more current iterations of the controller.

#22 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3238 posts) -
@ll_exile_ll said:

@corruptedevil:

I don't know why they are sending out the old design, but the images I linked are definitely the more current iterations of the controller.

Maybe they went back on it? The one they sent out does have a different colour scheme that reflects yesterday's Steam Beta update.

#23 Posted by bybeach (4823 posts) -

I think that the sticks are not the biggest prob I have with modern controllers so I dont understand why they are doing these touch pads. Instead of trying to reinvent the controller, they could have instead worked on making a better solution for kb/mouse on the couch. As dumb and scammy the Phantom lapboard was, I still liked the idea and wish a respectable company would have done something with the concept.

I kind of agree with you. I have my PC in the living room with K+M wired to the PC. I would have considered something though, dedicated to gaming that was an abbreviated version of K+M with minimal lag ( and wireless.) But I personally do not believe Steam (Valve) will come out with Garbage. I'm not sure I like that new EVGA mouse though. So by that example perhaps, I have something new to learn in life (having much faith in EVGA).

#24 Posted by Virtualpolecat (59 posts) -
#25 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1699 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll said:

@corruptedevil:

I don't know why they are sending out the old design, but the images I linked are definitely the more current iterations of the controller.

Maybe they went back on it? The one they sent out does have a different colour scheme that reflects yesterday's Steam Beta update.

I doubt that very much. The way the guy talks in that video I linked, they are putting tons of thought and feedback into their iterations, there's no way they would chuck all that in favor of the early designs. My guess would be it's just a logistical issue of production. They likely had made a bunch of the early of prototypes, whereas they aren't doing any mass production on the iterations until the final design. He even says in that video that the newer versions were made by hand with components they 3D printed. It's likely they aren't going into major production until the design goes final, so they just sent what they had on hand.

Given the major point of demonstration are the haptic trackpads (which seem to be the same in every design) it makes sense they'd be okay with folks getting impressions based on earlier prototypes.

#26 Edited by mellotronrules (1192 posts) -
@ll_exile_ll said:

@corruptedevil said:

Maybe they went back on it? The one they sent out does have a different colour scheme that reflects yesterday's Steam Beta update.

I doubt that very much. The way the guy talks in that video I linked, they are putting tons of thought and feedback into their iterations, there's no way they would chuck all that in favor of the early designs. My guess would be it's just a logistical issue of production. They likely had made a bunch of the early of prototypes, whereas they aren't doing any mass production on the iterations until the final design. He even says in that video that the newer versions were made by hand with components they 3D printed. It's likely they aren't going into major production until the design goes final, so they just sent what they had on hand.

Given the major point of demonstration are the haptic trackpads (which seem to be the same in every design) it makes sense they'd be okay with folks getting impressions based on earlier prototypes.

moreover:

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-steam-controller-design-adds-analog-stick-repo/1100-6421328/

it seems more credible that the bomb has contacts in valve that did the favour of sending over a prototype that's collecting dust.

#27 Posted by TheHT (11240 posts) -

It looks terrible. Something about it makes me really want to hold it though. It's mostly the way the handles protrude forward instead of just back.

I wanna try it!

#28 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3238 posts) -
@theht said:

It looks terrible. Something about it makes me really want to hold it though. It's mostly the way the handles protrude forward instead of just back.

I wanna try it!

I just tried holding my DS4 upside down to try it and NOPE, it's awful. That may be partly because of my tiny baby hands though.

#29 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4496 posts) -

It looks neat, but like any controller, I have to test it for myself to have any real opinion. Honestly, as someone who switched to Linux, I'm much more interested in how the actual SteamOS is shaping up.

#30 Posted by Random45 (1199 posts) -

I think it looks horrible, I don't think it would be fun to use at all. Though I'd really need to test it out first before having any final judgement.

#31 Posted by Slag (4348 posts) -

Looks uncomfortable which is the deal maker/breaker for me.

And no d-pad? No thanks. The button split itself is interesting, not sure if that's good or bad. Going to guess bad, given how most games are designed (not sure I'm going to want to take my left thumb off the left thumbpad to press Y or X. There's a quite a few games where you need to be whiting one of those buttons while using the left thumbstick simultaneously.

I can't see playing a Fighting game with one of these and I don't see how it would help with a Civilization of RTS or whatever they are trying to adopt to a controller.

Won't really know till I hold one myself of course.

#32 Posted by Hailinel (24721 posts) -

Looks uncomfortable to hold and the over-dependence on the slide pads rather than a D-pad or analogue sticks kills it for me. It's a controller that appears as though it were designed by people that have no idea how to design a controller.

#33 Posted by probablytuna (3654 posts) -

The handles look really big and uncomfortable, but I wouldn't say no to giving it a try if I was given the chance. Certainly wouldn't pay money for it until I've actually held it in my hands first.

#34 Edited by shozo (49 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: Thanks for the link. Listen for the name of the beta prototypes. Last version was Chell, current is Dog. Every major revision is named after a Valve character.

#35 Posted by Pr1mus (3904 posts) -

The people judging this controller as garbage and making definitive statement about it are ridiculous. Not only have none of you tried it but it's so different from other regular controllers that you don't even have any point of reference to judge it either.

#36 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3238 posts) -
@pr1mus said:

The people judging this controller as garbage and making definitive statement about it are ridiculous. Not only have none of you tried it but it's so different from other regular controllers that you don't even have any point of reference to judge it either.

I know how a controller works and I can immediately tell this is bad for the types of games I like (specifically Character Action). You can't move and hit X or Y without curling your index finger in a really uncomfortable way. Stuff like Parrying in MGR is basically impossible with this controller.

#37 Posted by Pr1mus (3904 posts) -

@corruptedevil: It must be nice living in that magical world of yours where you know anything and everything at all time with absolute certainty even when you see something new for the first time. Mind telling me the lottery numbers for this week?

#38 Posted by Tychoid (53 posts) -

--The thing that had me hyped about this controller was the haptic touchpads. Something about them being versatile enough to be turned into a makeshift speaker. I haven't heard a peep about the haptic stuff since the reveal. But it could be really exciting and revolutionary if the touchpads could actually turn into different control surfaces based on the game. Playing a simple sidescroller = left touchpad turns into a d-pad, right touchpad forms into two buttons. I don't really think this is going to be the case though. It simply won't work if those touchpads are simply touchpads. I guarantee it. Touchpads are bad bad bad for gaming.

--Its really hard to judge without actually having the controller in your hands, so its hard to say.

--The argument that "well if you want something like a 360 controller, this is not for you" doesn't hold up. For this controller to be successful, it has to be universally accessible. People won't buy it if they can't use it IN PLACE of a 360 or DS4 controller for their PC. The market for people buying more than one controller is extremely small. It just won't sell. It has to AT LEAST do everything the 360/DS4 can do, if not better. Competition is king.

tl;dr It won't sell if its just filling a 'niche' market. It has to compete functionally with 360/DS4 controller standards.

#39 Posted by Zeik (2425 posts) -

@pr1mus said:

The people judging this controller as garbage and making definitive statement about it are ridiculous. Not only have none of you tried it but it's so different from other regular controllers that you don't even have any point of reference to judge it either.

I'm not going to call it garbage without trying it, but I do have enough years of experience with gaming controllers to know what I like and dislike in a gaming controller. It could work totally "fine", but that doesn't necessarily mean it will provide the experience I expect and want from a video game controller.

#40 Posted by MB (12384 posts) -

I remember similar backlash about the Wii controller when it was first unveiled - before anyone had tried it - and look how that turned out.

Moderator
#41 Edited by Pr1mus (3904 posts) -
@zeik said:

@pr1mus said:

The people judging this controller as garbage and making definitive statement about it are ridiculous. Not only have none of you tried it but it's so different from other regular controllers that you don't even have any point of reference to judge it either.

I'm not going to call it garbage without trying it, but I do have enough years of experience with gaming controllers to know what I like and dislike in a gaming controller. It could work totally "fine", but that doesn't necessarily mean it will provide the experience I expect and want from a video game controller.

And that's fine. You seem at least interested in trying it before passing final judgement. I'm not talking about people like you. I'm talking about those that just "know". That's the ridiculous attitude. This isn't a case of say, someone who finds the Xbox 360 controller a bit too big for their hands. If that's the case they don't need to try the duke for the original xbox to know it's going to be even worse. But this steam controller is unique, there really aren't any other comparable controller for anyone to compare with. Hell i played DmC on PC with the keyboard and mouse for my first playthrough and the 360 controller for my second and achieved the same results. If a game like that works totally fine with a kb/m then this controller could totally work too. People pretending to know with certainty this controller can't work and is garbage are talking out of their ass.

#42 Posted by CorruptedEvil (3238 posts) -
@mb said:

I remember similar backlash about the Wii controller when it was first unveiled - before anyone had tried it - and look how that turned out.

It ended up being completely broken for anything requiring finesse and hated by everyone who is into videogames?

#43 Posted by Zeik (2425 posts) -

@mb said:

I remember similar backlash about the Wii controller when it was first unveiled - before anyone had tried it - and look how that turned out.

I'm actually not sure what your implication is meant to be. I feel like the general attitude toward the Wiimote now is that it was "functional" for the most part, but generally inferior to the Xbox controller and dualshock, especially for anything that did not require motion control. I doubt you'll find many people that consider the Wiimote a "great controller".

#44 Posted by MB (12384 posts) -

@corruptedevil: That's entirely subjective. The parallel I was trying to draw was about pre-release controller backlash, not whether the Wii controller was good at something or not. Saying it's "hated by everyone who is into videogames" is clearly not correct as evidenced by the millions of people who love playing video games on their Wiis. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean no one else does either.

Moderator
#45 Posted by MB (12384 posts) -

@zeik: The "implication" is that we once again have people judging and dismissing a controller that not only have they not even held in their hands, but that isn't even final.

Moderator
#46 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2387 posts) -

I'd have to try it to really say, but for now I think it looks uncomfortable and pointless.

#47 Posted by ripelivejam (3944 posts) -

man people like speaking in absolutes.

#48 Posted by TheSquarePear (168 posts) -

I guess the touch pads will provide good support for mobile and mouse/keyboard games but I'm not sure if it will work well with games like Star Citizen or Elite

Though I wish they had tried something radically different like using your index fingers for analog directional input instead of simple bumper buttons. I think we are much more capable of precision input with index fingers than our thumbs because that's what our eyes focus on.

#49 Posted by cloudnineboya (820 posts) -

I like the idea of it and i like the look. i am one of the people that was cool with the look of the sony boomerang controller and thought it could be a cool design. if they nail the track pads witch is my only doubt then this could be a cool device for games and for using it as a mouse for the computer when sitting on the couch in the living room .

#50 Posted by Amafi (766 posts) -

That one with the stick is almost there. Just stick another analog stick on the other side, get rid of the touch pads, add a d-pad and move the face buttons around a bit and I think it'll be a winner.

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