Valve's inaugural SteamDevDays conference has kicked off in its local Seattle, and while press have been excluded from attending, reports are still trickling out via the Twitter accounts and blogs of attendee game developers.
The always-resourceful folk at SteamDB have been collating various info
from attendees, and have caught some new information about Valve's plans for its innovative Steam Controller. Most significant is that the controller's button layout appears to have been completely overhauled, replacing the previous unique button distribution for one closer to that of Xbox and PlayStation controllers with two "button diamonds" serving as more traditional d-pad and ABXY inputs intended for smoother backwards compatibility.
The Verge notes
that several attendees have tweeted that the central touchscreen has been removed, as it was reportedly deemed too distracting for users to be looking down at their controller, and the "ghost mode" feature that shadows players touchpad movement as a screen overlay was found to make the need for a screen on the controller largely redundant. It's uncertain whether the controller will still have a PS4/OUYA style central square touchpad, or whether the haptic circles will serve that purpose.
- The retail controller will use AA batteries, this means the user can also use rechargable batteries
- Biometrics are important, but the hands are not the best place to capture them
- Core implementation of Steam Controller API is already available in the current Steamworks SDK
- The Steam Controller API supports up to 16 controllers at once
- Valve is keeping VR in mind while developing the controller
- More changes to the controller are coming, they have just started processing beta feedback
The first photo below is the Steam Controller concept as originally announced by Valve last year, followed by photos of a 3D render and a 3D printed prototype as captured by SteamDevDays attendees @TheIneQuation