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Post by Eorl @ 07:31am 12/10/13 | 22 Comments
With the reveal late last month of Valve's preparations to bridge the gap between usual desktop PCs and the living room using Steam Machines and their in-house Steam Controller, many were left scratching their heads as to how such a controller - which utilises trackpads instead of the traditional stick layout - would actually work for mouse-dominated games.

Well, Valve has you covered there with the release of a new demo showcasing the controller in action for the very first time with a number of mouse games including Portal 2, Civilisation 5, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Papers, Please.
Here's a quick look at some games being played with the prototype version of the Steam Controller -- the same version that we'll be shipping to 300 Steam users later this year. We'll post more demonstrations like this soon, including footage of some other game developers using the controller to play their own games.
The original announcement revealed that the controller offers up to 16 buttons for the player to use, including four on the front touchscreen which is currently being represented on the prototype as four individual buttons. Each game is able to customise exactly how they use the controller, with an example given in the video with Papers, Please, a game that is set up to use both trackpads as one mouse-controller function.

Check it out below for a great look at the potential of the Steam in the living room. For all three previous announcements on SteamOS, Steam Machines and the Steam Controller check out the landing page over here.




steam controllersteamvalvedemo





Latest Comments
groganus
Posted 08:58am 12/10/13
IMO didn't look so fluid for Civ 5, A lot better than a stick controller though.

Looked great for the shooters though.
dais
Posted 11:51am 12/10/13
Very impressive, I'm surprised by how well it works in FPS games.
Eorl
Posted 11:54am 12/10/13
That is what surprised me the most, plus the very easy-to-use nature that Civ 5 offered. If this closes the barrier between RTS and big screen couch gaming I'll be one happy man.
dais
Posted 12:10pm 12/10/13
Yeah I thought the same about the RTS demonstration, well and truly getting there.
Though for multiplayer RTS games that require a high APM to be competitive (like StarCraft) it still doesn't come close to the kb and mouse.
carson
Posted 01:22pm 12/10/13
It looks quite intuitive. I always thought it would be. Though I don't know if I'll use it over the KB/Mouse for games like Dota and multiplayer fps, but I could see myself happily using it over the 360 controller for anything else.
d0mino
Posted 01:29pm 12/10/13
I like fps games from my couch — definitely going to wait and see on next gen consoles now.

The one thing that I do like about consoles is only upgrading every 8 years or so. Upgrading every time a new game comes out doesn't appeal to me.
RuleofBooKz
Posted 01:49pm 12/10/13
after watching the vid id prob still stick with a keyboard and mouse but like has been said if there are games id play with a controller on my PC id prob get this over a 360 controller

upgrading every time a new game comes out


really? You really believe this is a thing? i haven upgraded my gtx 580 since i last upgraded my rig a few years ago. And its been even longer since i upgraded my i7 cpu. The 580 can play all new games fine at reasonably high settings. With only things like "ultra massive realistic super water ripple effects" turn down. Only the real enthusiast PC people actually go out and buy a new graffix card / cpu/ rig every 6 months just because a new range has been released. The only real reason i even got the 580 was for DirectX 11.

What the real interesting thing is here is that one would think having 8 year old tech would not be something to be happy about?
mental
Posted 02:06pm 12/10/13
Looking good. Computer is in the lounge so I play most games on the couch through the Tv, some games make this hard, this should make it better for me.
ph33x
Posted 02:13pm 12/10/13
Each control method suits certain genres of games. Imagine using the steam controller in a fighting game. Could be pretty weird..

I bought this Logitech touchpad the other day.

t650-wireless-rechargeable-touchpad.jpg

A glass panel basically, but very smooth and fluid movement of the cursor. It's still not as good as a mouse to control a cursor though after using it for a few hours. This is for the htpc cause it's unhygienic sleeping with mice on your room. I am a vegan so this clearly presents a problem in my life.

:/
carson
Posted 02:42pm 12/10/13
Gonna have to agree with Rulez on this. Is upgrading every 6months even a thing? My gtx560ti runs everything on ultra perfectly fine. I think the only game it struggled a bit with was Tomb Raider and the crazy hair settings. Even then, turn a couple things down to very high and it runs everything fine. It's around 2 years old now.
ph33x
Posted 02:48pm 12/10/13
My gtx560ti runs everything on ultra perfectly fine.

I just can't believe this.

I guess the best thing I can say is picture quality is subjective. High frame rates are also subjective.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 04:11pm 12/10/13
Ph33x the 560ti is a capable card. Unfortunately too many people ignore CPU, particularly for later gen games. For instance in almost all intensive games in 2012-2013 for me have been limited by my CPU, my 560ti never gets to burn full power :(
groganus
Posted 05:50pm 12/10/13
I'm running a 4 yr old machine that is still running everything at ultra with out a hitch.

When I built it I planned to only get 4 years out of it, the way it's currently going though I see no reason to upgrade what so ever.
Nukleuz
Posted 07:23pm 12/10/13
My GTX295 was doing everything just fine until it finally shat itself (OK it was noisy like a leaf blower but it still managed great frame rates at high resolution). I didn't even feel the need to get an upgrade since DX11 just wasn't enough to make me open the wallet.
Saint
Posted 08:02pm 12/10/13
I liked the way "flicking" across the controller caused the person to turn around quickly in the FPS game, looks like it adds another degree of control which is good.
carson
Posted 11:29pm 12/10/13

I just can't believe this.

I guess the best thing I can say is picture quality is subjective. High frame rates are also subjective.

Believe it son. I've been able to run Arkham City, AC3 and Tomb Raider all on the highest settings without any issues in frame rates. Tomb Raider has issues with some things, but other than that it ran fine.

Those are really the only AAA games that would be graphic intense.

I liked the way "flicking" across the controller caused the person to turn around quickly in the FPS game, looks like it adds another degree of control which is good.

Yeah. I can see it opening a heap of possibilities with games like dark souls that have really complicated moves that take advantage of different combinations of flicking and what not.
ravn0s
Posted 11:44pm 12/10/13
i like what i see.

I liked the way "flicking" across the controller caused the person to turn around quickly in the FPS game, looks like it adds another degree of control which is good.


same here, however i can see thumb fatigue possibly becoming an issue.
Rdizz
Posted 11:53pm 12/10/13
560ti struggles to run BF3 with no tessellation and even on medium settings its just playable.

It's almost as good as having 2 4850's in crossfire.

ph33x
Posted 12:10am 13/10/13
Ph33x the 560ti is a capable card. Unfortunately too many people ignore CPU, particularly for later gen games. For instance in almost all intensive games in 2012-2013 for me have been limited by my CPU, my 560ti never gets to burn full power :(

I upgraded from a 580 because it wasn't good enough. Granted that minimum FPS is what gets to me, it pulls me out of the game. An average of 60fps isn't enough, I prefer a bare minimum 60fps, with it sitting about 90-110fps on average.

My GTX295 was doing everything just fine until it finally shat itself (OK it was noisy like a leaf blower but it still managed great frame rates at high resolution). I didn't even feel the need to get an upgrade since DX11 just wasn't enough to make me open the wallet.

That's what I had prior to the 580. DX11 doesn't really look too much better (tesselation helps) but the effort the hardware needs to put in is lower for the same visuals.
d0mino
Posted 08:00am 13/10/13
Groganus, just out if curiosity how much did your 4 year old rig cost to put together? When do you think you will upgrade?
BladeRunner
Posted 10:41am 13/10/13
Looks interesting, Wouldn't mind trying it out.
ph33x
Posted 01:36pm 13/10/13
Groganus, just out if curiosity how much did your 4 year old rig cost to put together? When do you think you will upgrade?

If you're doing what I think you're doing, you can't directly compare cost because the visual output on a decent computer is far superior without a doubt. For some, including myself, consoles are aged to the point where almost no game is fun to play because the graphics are just that bland and slow, regardless of cost. We could extend the argument further to say, why not use a PSP? They have the same games, who cares about graphics, and screen size? And you can get one for $100 with games on ebay second hand in great nick.

As John Carmack and several nVidia employees have conceded, when the original NES came out it was several orders of magnitude faster than the best computer. They were insanely fast, computers had no chance.

That is no longer, and never will be again. Fact is consoles are the cheap gamer now and always will be, the only reason it's not accepted is because the mainstream users of consoles have no technical knowledge to compare, nor do they care, and even if those pieces of the puzzle were there, they won't accept it.
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