Posted Fri Mar 6, 2015 at 09:18 AM PST by Brian Hoss
Valve's hardware ecosystem is not far off.
After years of public and private development, Valve appears to be ready to unleash its hardware onslaught. While the SteamVR HTC Vive may the most exciting part of the line-up as of today, it's pretty clear that the long in development Steam Controller is the gateway to the bulk of what Valve has in mind. This past week, Valve revealed the latest revision, which is being described as final. This latest version is a far cry from the original public prototype. Valve has been working in user and developer feedback over the past two years, and thus the final result should at least be usable.
Here is the original public prototype:
Moving ahead and gone are the touchscreen and odd action buttons. In the more recent version, the controller had a d-pad to go with its symmetric haptic touchpads.
And now, the controller has a full-blown analog stick on the left side, and the left haptic pad has a plus recession to help guide thumbstrokes.
It's important to note that the stated intent of the Steam controller is to bring the precision of mouse and keyboard to a controller form factor. To wit, to make PC gaming viable on the couch without any kind of mouse and keyboard. Valve has been leading the Steam machine train for a while, and come November Steam machines like the Alienware Steam Machine are expected to reach the market alongside the Steam controller. (The Alienware Steam Machine is virtual the same composition as the Alienware Alpha, which has been pitched as SteamOS and Steam Controller "ready.")
But while Steam machines continue to occupy a space between PC and set-up box, Valve has revealed a new product that is all about linking the office PC with the living room TV.
At $49.99, The Steam Link has a small footprint (Roku like), and with its wired/wireless networking option, it's a device with one purpose, to stream games from a local PC to a TV. Naturally, the Steam Link, which is smart enough to just detect PCs that are running Steam on the home network and pull from them, is meant to pair with the Steam Controller.
The Steam Link is set to debut in November.
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