For the most part, the prototype Steam Controllers never lost their traditional gamepad shape. The less traditional features are what were put into that geometry. Rather than a right analog stick, for example, a few versions of the prototypes had a big trackball, presumably to more easily replicate the precision of a mouse.
The Steam Controller launches on November 10. Priced at $49.99, it's built to work with and adapt to all kinds of PC games, such as platformers, shooters, and RTS games. The controller will be available for purchase via Steam and physical retailers, including GameStop and other select stores.
Valve itself may have plans for the long-term evolution of the controller, which could actually see it become closer to its original design. According to Engadget, Valve would like to ditch the left thumbstick, which Walker said was added to help smooth the transition from conventional controllers, and also hasn't given up on the idea of the touchscreen that was included in the first prototype but ultimately dropped.
Will it become my go-to gamepad? I’m not sure. Will it replace my mouse-and-keyboard altogether? Hell no. But that was never its intended purpose. At the very least, I’m gonna keep playing with it for the next few weeks, and I’ll have a review for you when it officially launches early next month.
Ultimately, this is the sort of controller that takes some getting used to and, perhaps, could offer an edge once you do. I'm delighted it comes with Alienware's Steam Machines and even more delighted that I could just use a keyboard and mouse or standard controller if I felt like it.
As Evan said, the weight distribution of the pad is definitely unique, but it feels well built, and the bottom-heavy design keeps it steady in my hands.
Yes, I loathe the idea of using a 360 pad to play an FPS, but absent of some perfect user-created profile that I haven't downloaded yet (I'll continue to experiment with these), I'd absolutely prefer analog sticks to trackpads in first-person games.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is a luxury item. It won’t completely transform the way you play Xbox One games, though it may tweak it significantly. No one needs metal and rubber and magnets and satiny plastic. No one needs the extra paddle buttons, or the ability to fine tune every input on the controller. No one needs a zippered carrying case packed with interchangeable parts.