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Input Devices Games Hardware

Steam Controller Drops Touchscreen 84

An anonymous reader writes "Last year Valve announced a new game controller that was trying to innovate on the designs that have been with us for over a decade now. The biggest changes were replacing analog sticks with circular touchpads and plopping a small touchscreen into the middle of the controller. Valve has now revamped their prototype hardware, and the touchscreen is nowhere to be seen. In its place are stop/play buttons (which appear similar to start/select buttons) and a bigger Steam logo button. They've also moved around the directional and ABXY buttons, reverting to a more traditional layout (picture). They'll be demonstrating the latest prototype next week at GDC."
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Steam Controller Drops Touchscreen

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  • Re: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @05:36PM (#46494863)

    What does this say about the Wii U GamePad?

    I'd posit that the Wii U sacrificed a significant amount of hardware in their console for the sake of that fancy gamepad. Even with this new console generation's modest hardware barely being able to render at HD resolutions, the Wii U is still a generation behind. That's not necessarily a criticism, mind you... it's a choice that you have to make about the realities of pricing and hardware specs. Nintendo obviously isn't trying to compete in the high-specs console market, and that's fine. They choose to innovate in other ways.

    Valve has to make the same choices regarding price and hardware tradeoffs. Keep in mind that it might not only be about price - it could be that the touchscreen wasn't living up to their expectations in terms of performance. As such, why not go with a tried and true (and cheaper) alternative. After all, the big three have kept their analog sticks and D-pads all this time. There's surely a reason for this other than history or momentum.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @05:44PM (#46494901)

    Not that I don't like the idea of a touch screen on the controller but I have yet to see a game take advantage of it properly. So far implementations of the Wii U touch screen have been a major pain to use and serve no real purpose in a game. Even the best example I can think of from the Mario game requires a person to pause, change what they are looking at, and then let go of the controller to press the touch panel.

  • Re:OLD NEWS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @06:37PM (#46495163)

    Clearly you must be new here.

  • Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @07:46PM (#46495485)
    No gaming control pad should have a touchscreen. It was absolutely ridiculous on the Wii U and it'd be ridiculous here...especially considering none of the Steam games out already (that I know of) take advantage of such a feature and TBH I find that touchscreens are one of the worst gaming input devices in existence. Actually, touchscreens are the worst modern input devices bar none, excluding point of sale use cases. Tossing the touchscreen is a great choice.
  • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:33PM (#46496155)

    "No gaming control pad should have a touchscreen. It was absolutely ridiculous on the Wii U"

    I strongly disagree. Used properly, the touchpad and second display can be a great addition. Just look at some of the DS or 3DS games for how it should be done. In fact, if Nintendo would release a WiiU addon that would allow me to use my 3DS cartridges on it, I'd buy it in a heartbeat and airmail them a thank you cake.

  • Re:DS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:55PM (#46496219)
    You do realize that the distance between the two screens is less than an inch, right? And that the distance between the top of the top screen and the bottom of the bottom screen is less than six inches?

    Now compare that to the perceived distances between your TV and your controller. Or do you hold your controllers with your arms outstretched parallel to the ground?
  • Yeah but Steam sales mean we PC gamers really don't have to care and with AMD chips going so cheap you can build nice gaming PCs for a little of nothing. My oldest has a hexacore with 8Gb of RAM and a TB HDD and it only cost $350 shipped, add in another $70 for his HD7750 and he can play pretty much any shooter he cares to play. the youngest decided to go for a quad and spend the extra for an HD7790 and everything is smooth even with the bling cranked.

    So who cares if you have to get more than 1 copy? Thanks to steam we only have to download it once and then just copy the folder to the other 2 PCs and between Steam sales, Humble Bundles, and FTP games we literally have more new games to play than we have hours in the day and as a nice bonus you have a system that will play console games going back to the Atari 2600, PC games going back to DOS, and of course web, video, hell you can even get your work done on it ;-)

    Oh and if you don't want to even spend that much? head over to Craigslist, plenty of Phenom Is and IIs and C2Qs being sold for cheap. Had a friend that wanted to get into PC gaming but money was tight, found him a nice C2Q system with 19 LCD and KM for just $130, he slapped in an HD6770 he found for $35 and is happily flying his WWII airplanes.

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