Valve replaces Steam Controller touchscreen with new analog face buttons

Valve logoWhen we briefly got our hands on Valve's prototype Steam Controller earlier this year, we found the face buttons placed right up against the lip of the circular touch pads more than a little awkward to use. Now, Valve is showing images of a new version of the controller that replaces those buttons and the planned touchscreen on the face of the controller with new analog directional and action buttons that resemble the layout of many other gaming controllers.

Valve first announced a redesigned version of the controller back at the invite-only Steam Dev Days conference in January and even showed the developers there a very rough mockup image for the new controller. Today, the company released a much more detailed photo of the new design, shown above, with four separate directional buttons on the left side and four face buttons labeled X, Y, A, and B on the right, in an arrangement and color scheme similar to that of Microsoft's Xbox 360 pad. The top-center area of the controller, which previously was devoted to a dynamic touchscreen, now features two buttons labeled with the universal "stop" and "play" symbols, as well as a light up button that resembles a Steam logo.

Valve replaces Steam Controller touchscreen with new analog face buttons

"The latest version refines ergonomic aspects of the Controller by adding two diamond-patterned button layouts in the area previously designated for a touch screen display," Valve said in an e-mailed statement. "These analog buttons are offered in addition to the touch pads featured in the original prototypes."

The new layout should offer a much more natural backward compatibility option for Steam games that already have native support for an Xbox 360 gamepad or other standard handheld controllers. We're also hopeful that the addition of directional buttons will solve many of the problems we encountered when using the left touch pad to emulate the digital WASD movement scheme for legacy games.

A Steam Controller will be included with every official Steam Machine released by Valve's hardware partners and will also be sold separately. Valve says it will be showing off the new prototype controllers at the Game Developers Conference next week, and Ars will be on hand to try it out and report back on how the new layout feels.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Valve, Valve

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