First Footage Of The Steam Controller - And The Verdict Is?

The Steam Controller looks amazing for strategy games, but I'm not too keen on that swiping motion for FPS games...

These days gamers are used to playing games either with a standard controller or a mouse and keyboard. When Valve unveiled the Steam Controller, they introduced a new way to play - instead of having dual analog sticks and a d-pad, they came up with a unique dual trackpad controller.

No one except those who had the opportunity to play with it had been able to see just how well it worked. But now, Valve has released the very first footage of the controller being used in multiple games with varying playstyles - Portal 2, Civilization V, CounterStrike: Global Offensive and Papers, Please.

Many gamers were excited for the initial announcement, while others weren't so enthusiastic about it. Our very own GS RoundTable discussed it quite a bit in our last episode and our consensus was that while it looked really cool and was an interesting idea, we weren't sure of how well it would work when compared to the control styles us gamers have been used to.

After watching the video, I have to admit that it looks like it controls better than I thought it would. I like the fact that I'll be able to have precise control of the mouse when playing games like Civ V and Mike Williams at seems to agree. Trying to play that kind of game with a dual analog controller is frustrating because the pointer will sometimes overshoot the item you want to click, causing simple tasks to take much longer.

However, I do have concerns about the swiping motion that was used during Portal 2 and CS:GO. Having to swipe across the pad in order to move the camera seems like it would be very tiring on the thumbs, which no gamer wants to deal with.

If they include an option where it worked like my old Turbo Touch 360 that I used on my NES, I think it would be much better. On that controller you would rest your thumb on the touchpad and it would continuously go in that one direction, much like today's analog sticks. Even if it isn't a standard option, with the controller being completely configurable I hope it would be something that's easy to implement.

What do you think after seeing the footage? Have you changed your mind from your initial reaction? Or do you need to see more of it in action before you can give a final verdict? Let me know in the comments below!

Published Oct. 12th 2013
  • S2riker
    I'm actually less impressed after watching the latest footage. The controller seems to work decently enough but it doesn't look like it will be very comfortable to hold while sliding your thumbs all over the trackpad surface.

    Also, I have some doubts over how precise the gamepad will work in shooters. That Portal 2 demonstration in particular looked very awkward in how much he was swiping his thumb on the right thumbpad.

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