Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Opinion: The Steam Controller deserves a fair shot

1:00 PM on 01.10.2014 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

It isn't for everyone, and that's perfectly fine

I've been playing PC games since the late '80s. Ever since I was old enough to grasp a keyboard I was introduced to PC games by way of my uncle, who was in IT at the time and had access to basically every new piece of technology on the market.

As such, I acclimated myself to mouse and keyboard controls fairly early in my developmental stages, and it's a habit I generally stick to when playing PC games to this day. But not everyone is the same way, and Valve is looking to ease those people into PC gaming with the Steam Controller.

For that, they deserve a fair amount of praise, and a fair chance to prove their point.

When I shared the story regarding Valve's attempts to make Dota 2 playable with a Steam Controller, the discussion exploded. Some of the more popular comments noted that "Dota 2 would never be playable with a controller," and that "controller players would be laughed out of games." Let me say right off the bat as someone who has been playing MOBAs since 2005, I don't think the Steam Controller is going to fully replace the mouse and keyboard -- but it has potential.

Valve's goal is not to take over the mouse and keyboard setup by force for every single game. Alternatively, when they do launch the Steam Controller, developer support for 360 or PS3 gamepads isn't going to be magically shut off. The vast majority (if not all) of Steam's games are still going to support traditional control schemes -- that's not the problem. The problem is that both the mouse and keyboard setup and a traditional controller don't really work for some genres when you're playing on the couch.

For genres like MOBAs, RTS, simulations, some MMOs, and even a few shooters that reach beyond a controller's limits, it's really tough to play them on a couch without having a M/KB awkwardly placed over your lap and on a table. One portion of Steam's new strategy going into 2014 is to make PC gaming more accessible with a variety of Steam Machine options.

More and more I'm seeing new PC gamers getting into the scene by way of a living-room setup, hooked directly up to their TV using Big Picture Mode. Sometimes, they don't even have a mouse and keyboard attached, instead springing for a remote control or simply using the a laptop's touchpad to scroll to Steam. The Steam Controller furthers that vision by allowing another option for people like that.

Also, it's important to think of the possibilities of advanced controller mapping built into Steam's API. Typically, if a developer doesn't support controllers by way of plug and play, gamers are forced to look elsewhere for a "mapping" program, to "trick" the game into thinking a controller is a mouse and keyboard. I can't count the amount of times I've seen comments like "I don't want to boot up Joy2Key just to play this one game." Given the advanced tech on the Steam Controller, this solution isn't necessarily guaranteed, but it's more possible than the current gamepad limitations.

Looking back throughout gaming history, controllers had to come from somewhere. There was a day and age when keyboards were commonplace, then joysticks, then a basic one button controller, all the way up to the devices we know and love today. But in order for the medium to advance, someone has to shake things up -- and I think Valve is doing just that with dual disc-like trackpads and a customizable layout.

Valve isn't trying to replace the wheel -- they're just adding another axle. Although I don't plan on using the Steam Controller for every single game I own, I am excited to try it out on a few games that wouldn't otherwise be possible on a gamepad without the technology Valve has developed. It's an exciting time for games, and like all things, we should wait until the tech actually drops before fully judging it. Who knows? You might like it!



Chris Carter, Reviews Director, Co-EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Torchman avatarTorchman
http://gonintendo.com/stories/251840-fire-emblem-fates-petting-mini-game-is-in-game-but-only-availa I THOUGHT THIS WAS GONE. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS PEOPLE
Shinta avatarShinta
God damn, Bernie Sanders is just killing it with this speech. Hitting basically every point. He even used the word "oligarchy." Probably the first time I've ever heard that word uttered on CNN. I think a lot of people in power are shitting their pants
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In my haste to finally factory reset my tablet, I erased a blog I had worked on. Thankfully, it's fresh in my mind. It's another MGS blog, but it goes the opposite way of my last MGS blog. Pray this guy is not your husbando, for he is shit.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Just ate a disgusting amount of sugary wonders in a Fat Tuesday blowout. Chocolate (birthday) cake, Oreos, brownies, cookie dough, and some creme brule thing. Satiation by way of eat-'til-you-puke is what Shenanigans says!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Is there any real difference between the PS3 and the PS4 versions of Valkyria Chronicles?
Shinta avatarShinta
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Say whaaaaaat?
Gundy avatarGundy
Voting for Broforce made me think of the most American person that could ever exist. President Michael Wilson!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
By the way, that IGPX collection is a new release. It's the first time the show is available in a complete package, and the first time it's been available in any format in about 10 years. [url]http://amzn.to/20JSMCd[/url]
gajknight avatargajknight
This is your daily reminder that Taxi Driver is the best movie ever and if you disagree then all I can say is: God, you're square.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
I love when someone at work tries to claim you screwed up on something and it completely backfires on them. I try to help them save face afterwards, but secretly I'm like...
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I still love Tearaway Unfolded despite the shit pacing and hell yeah I'm going for that plat. It'll be my 2nd plat, first since Sly 2 Remastered back in 2012. So it's been a while. gotta beat the game first tho :P
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Tearaway Unfolded's final level is my least favorite kind. Life is Strange-esque linear path (through a void) of moments from the game. Bleh.
Shinta avatarShinta
Gravity Rush Remastered looks reallllllyyyyyy nice. Video and screenshots didn't quite do it justice. Seeing it in person is much better.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
We are T-7 days until the release of Street Fighter V! There will be a blog released on the February 15, only one day before the release. This blog is about reflecting on Street Fighter IV.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Can good videogame music sugarcoat a game so much that we forget it's a bad game?
lewness avatarlewness
My Wii U came back from repairs... It does not recognize me anymore. It does not remember anything - Xenoblade, Smash, everything. Also, the game disc that was trapped when I sent it is in a separate sleeve, cracked. RIP data.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Separated at birth? [img]https://38.media.tumblr.com/dc4c946f418196e87160398f851c19fb/tumblr_nuwhksbSVu1sjh5bfo1_400.gif[/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I got my RNDM Viynl by Mega Ran last night but forgot to post a picture. Enjoying it so far though.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Damn, my 26" monitor just crapped out on me. S'what I get for buying knockoff brands I guess. Back to the 19" non-HD monitor for me.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -