New Steam Controller Version Unveiled at GDC 2016

It’s been five months since Valve’s Steam Machines and Steam Controllers released, and reviews for both were mixed. The Steam Controller in particular won criticism for its lack of thumbsticks, not labelling buttons, no headphone jack, and a bad layout. It did, however, get just as much praise for its ease of use and adaptability, allowing you to configure it for a number of different games. The new Steam Controller aims to take that praise and address some of the criticisms.

At the Game Developer’s Conference 2016 in San Francisco, Valve announced that there would now be a new version of the Steam Controller. The new version, which can be seen in the picture above, has been redesigned to enhance the appearance and convenience of the controller.

In the future, we will work on refreshing the controller in order to improve its appearance and ease of use, but we are pleased with the functions offered by now, so I do not want them to drastically change – if at all it will change.

Valve has already gotten a number of other manufacturers on board with making Steam Controllers when it released the CAD geometry for the controller under Creative Commons licensing, allowing people to make their own versions of the controllers. However, they would have to contact Valve if they wanted to sell the versions that they made.

The changes to the original Steam Controller include taking away the thumbstick in favor of a directional pad, leaving the two “mouse” pads intact, and also moving the grips.

400,000 units of Steam Controllers have already been sold to the public for $54.99, which leaves a lot of ground for the new Steam Controller to catch up to. How it will be received is another question to ask, if Valve has taken the criticisms of reviewers and users of the controller into account.

What do you guys think? Does the new controller look promising to those of you with a Steam Controller already?