The last we heard about Valve Software’s Steam controller, the peripheral lost its touchscreen and gained a few buttons. At the time, reports stated that the screen was removed because Valve felt that it was just too distracting. However, there’s a good chance it was simply too expensive and would shoot the price higher than competing gamepads.
With the screen gone, Valve could then mount four buttons next to the left touchpad to serve as a D-pad, and four buttons planted near the right touchpad in the classical “ABXY” configuration. Both groups were supposedly added to deal with backwards compatibility issues.
Now Steam Database has discovered an image stored away on the hard drive that reveals a new configuration. To see it, Steam users must have installed the latest client beta update dated July 23, 2014. After that, head on over to the Steam\tenfoot\resource\images\library folder. There you’ll see a diagram of the controller with an analog thumbstick residing where the D-pad buttons were once installed.
Looking at the recent revisions taking place this year, Valve’s controller seems to have moved away from being a game changer to more of a mainstream gaming peripheral. Still, given that the controller isn’t expected to make a final retail appearance until sometime in 2015, there’s plenty of time to test the waters and spit-shine the design.
“We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers,” said Valve’s Eric Hope back in May. “It's generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we'll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it's also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014.”
“Obviously we're just as eager as you are to get a Steam Machine in your hands, Hope added, "but our number one priority is making sure that when you do, you'll be getting the best gaming experience possible.”