Valve have announced a few little updates for their
riotously obtuse Owlface curious Steam Controller. Originally, Steam Controller gamepad featured a touchscreen between the two circular touchpad controllers, with fiddly little triangular face buttons dotted around the periphery.
Evidently someone at Valve realised that idea was bonkers, and pretty much everything apart from the two haptic-feedback circular pads has been shifted and tweaked, including the complete removal of the central touchscreen in favour of a D-pad and standard face buttons.
It's not quite all been finalised just yet, but Valve produced a mock up (see above) to demonstrate what they're planning. As well as acknowledging that touch inputs are a little divisive, Valve also noted that this shift would allow for more widespread backwards-compatibility.
The controller will still run on AA batteries, it'll sport gyroscopes, and the API will support up to 16 players simultaneously, but it's unlikely that Valve will be looking for biometric feedback from the device as apparently hands aren't really the best place to measure such things.
Also announced at Steam Dev Days was the news that the Alienware Steam Machine will be launching this September, and will incorporated Intel Haswell and Nvidia chips, that Steam now has 75 million active users, and that Valve are planning on getting rid of Greenlight, "not because it's not useful, but because we're evolving."
I'll be honest, though Carl and Jon have expressed excitement at the Owlface, I've only really ever seen an uncomfortable, impractical controller that I'm almost certainly going to never want to use. But these changes do bring it slightly more in line with existing accessories, though it does lose something in terms of owlish charm. But what do you think dear readers? Are these changes for the better? Do you crave a Steam Machine now that the controller has been revamped? Will you be lining up to drop a grand or two on the Alienware Steam Machine come September? [SteamDB]