Valve Releases New Video Showing Steam Controller in Action

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Valve Releases New Video Showing Steam Controller in Action

The developer demos Portal 2, Civilization V, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Papers, Please using their new trackpad controller.

For those interested in how Valve's newly announced controller will operate, the developer has posted a new YouTub video of the device used to play several PC games. The video starts off with Valve engineer Jeff Bellinghausen using the controller, which sports two trackpads instead of the conventional analog sticks, to navigate through one of Portal 2's puzzle rooms.

He then moved on to Civilization V, a game from a genre traditionally developed to use a keyboard and mouse over a gamepad. Here, the right trackpad was used to move the game's cursor around the screen while the left pad was used to move the camera. Buttons on the bottom of the pad are used to move the camera in and out.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was demonstrated to show how the controller can be used to play an FPS without auto-aim. The video concluded with Papers, Please, where either pad can be used alternately to control the mouse cursor. The controller will "blend" the inputs together which Bellinghausen says "is a very comfortable way to control games that need to move the mouse very precisely and yet over large distances of the screen."

So, that's the Steam controller in action. What do you guys think? Was it worth the big buildup, or are you still unimpressed?

Source: YouTube via Polygon

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This controller has me very excited. As someone who has never liked joysticks for controlling games I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this. I hope they demo some action games with it next, and a racing game.

It seems to work pretty good, though I imagine it will take some getting used to. It definitely looks more comfortable to use than in the initial release pictures which made the controller look a bit bulky to me. Though I'm now a bit worried, if I can play Civ V from the comfort of the couch with a controller I may never leave the house again.

Constant swiping of the thumbs in order to turn around in an FPS? Yep, those are trackpads alright. And given that he said Portal 2 was using 1:1 controls, there seemed a surprising amount of aim acceleration on display.

Not convinced.

This looks VERY interesting indeed, if it works on Civ V and pretty much any shooter with unmapped controller settings, then I think I'll be getting this whenever it gets released, especially to play it with MMOs.

I'm interested in watching how it works on an RTS, an ARPG and a MOBA (just for the lulz).

Certainly want to get my hands on one of these now and try it for myself.

I'm wondering how well it works with racing games.

Definitely interested. Still going to reserve judgment until it comes out and I can get my hands on it.

Still not interested to be honest. Even after that video. Guess this is something I'll have to try myself before I can make up my mind.

I might eventually get myself one for my PC if there will end up being many games designed with it in mind, though playing from the "comfort of the couch" is still not for me, nothing beats a recliner chair and a monitor at my desktop.

It's certainly not as accurate as a mouse, but it's certainly more accurate than a thumbstick.

You could tell he was having a little trouble headshotting those dummies in CS:GO, and I'm sure there are people that can do it faster with a thumbstick controller, but once people have had a good opportunity to use the trackpad I'm sure it'll be a wonderful controller.

Is it worth it though? In my room I have barely enough space for all my current stuff, let alone a couch, so I wouldn't even need one of these.

I'd probably still stick to mouse & keyboard for precision in FPS games, but it looks like for just about anything else I would happily use that controller. The Civ and Papers, Please demos coloured me impressed.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Constant swiping of the thumbs in order to turn around in an FPS? Yep, those are trackpads alright. And given that he said Portal 2 was using 1:1 controls, there seemed a surprising amount of aim acceleration on display.

Not convinced.

[edited due to previous harshness. my apologies jeffers.]

Portal 2 has inbuilt turn acceleration. Both the turn speed and acceleration can be adjusted in either the controls menu or the command console. So seeing a "surprising amount of aim acceleration" isn't....well....that surprising.

In fact, I'm impressed with how well the demonstration actually worked in Portal 2 given they didn't adjust the ingame controls to the controller but rather just mapped the controller to the default keyboard settings.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Constant swiping of the thumbs in order to turn around in an FPS? Yep, those are trackpads alright. And given that he said Portal 2 was using 1:1 controls, there seemed a surprising amount of aim acceleration on display.

Not convinced.

I have the same problem with this controller. I dread to see how this will perform in strategy games like Company of Heroes 2 or Total War.

yeah... uh... no.

It just looks like a laptop track pad to me, which is to say that im not overly convinced in terms of how well it will control, definitely not more accurate than a mouse, and whether or not its better than analogue sticks is still debatable.

Imma' need more convincing.

This looks cool for the Civ 5 thing. Really not liking it in FPS though. The biggest issue I have with trackpads for gaming is having to lift my finger off the pad in order to get decent mouse range, and that's present in full force. If you can't do a 360 turn in an FPS without taking your thumbs off the pads, it's not going to work in FPS games.

Edit: All of that said, no one can really judge controllers until they use them. Controllers are all about the feel. I need to get it in my hands before I render final judgment. This video didn't do much to get me excited about it though.

I was sort of wondering how it would handle keyboard & mouse games, this clears it up nicely. I just hope that there will be plenty of premade configurations available for most games through the legacy mode thing.

Not sure they synced this up right, but at least R3 won't be so fucking temperamental.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Constant swiping of the thumbs in order to turn around in an FPS? Yep, those are trackpads alright. And given that he said Portal 2 was using 1:1 controls, there seemed a surprising amount of aim acceleration on display.

Not convinced.

Not surprised you aren't convinced. The only thing aside from actually trying it that might sell you before hand would be a Nintendo logo on it. Also, Portal 2 has acceleration built into the game.

As for me, I was interested before and I continue to be interested after seeing this. If nothing else, it's the first attempt at actual useful innovation in the controller we've seen since the analog stick became a thing, and that alone makes it worth following and trying out.

"We're gonna play CS:GO to show off how precise this controller is"
Proceeds to stand still for several seconds, crouch, take time lining up a shot and still misses firing semi-auto.

I think I'll stick to traditonal KB+M unless something else comes out and impresses me.

hazabaza1:
"We're gonna play CS:GO to show off how precise this controller is"
Proceeds to stand still for several seconds, crouch, take time lining up a shot and still misses firing semi-auto.

I think I'll stick to traditonal KB+M unless something else comes out and impresses me.

I lol'd at that too.
He didn't see much quicker at aiming than with a regular controller. Mouse looks like it's still holding the throne in FPS land.

Out of curiousity i now want to see him playing a live multiplayer match of CS:GO, a RTS game of decent repute (inevitably StarCraft 2), and one of the MOBA's (probably LoL or DotA2).

Just looks like a more compact and slightly more difficult way of doing the same things I've always done with mouse and keyboard. They keep hammering home the "so you can play your computer games from your couch" idea which I have zero interest in doing.

While I probably wont be getting one (Any game that my mouse and keyboard doesn't do the job for my PS3 controller suffices), it looks like a perfectly serviceable alternative. I wonder what the price will be for one though? If it's around the same price as a controller now, 50-60 bucks, then I could see people choosing to stick with the familiar, safe bet. But if it's much cheaper, then it's less of a gamble if they don't like it, and more of a payoff if they do.

Vigormortis:
In fact, I'm impressed with how well the demonstration actually worked in Portal 2 given they didn't adjust the ingame controls to the controller but rather just mapped the controller to the default keyboard settings.

This also caught my eye. I've tried playing Cry of Fear using a ps3 controller mapped to a keyboard and mouse and its hard to walk using a stick binded to wasd keys but its weird moving in 3D with a D-pad and using a right stick to aim. It looks like the track pad would actually be work for that set up. It makes sense cause I've already used a D-pad mapped to a touch screen to play emulated games on my phone and it works pretty well

I was kinda unsure about the mouse precision while he was playing Civ 5, but after seeing him breeze through Paper's Please at the end I'm pretty convinced

PoolCleaningRobot:

Vigormortis:
In fact, I'm impressed with how well the demonstration actually worked in Portal 2 given they didn't adjust the ingame controls to the controller but rather just mapped the controller to the default keyboard settings.

This also caught my eye. I've tried playing Cry of Fear using a ps3 controller mapped to a keyboard and mouse and its hard to walk using a stick binded to wasd keys but its weird moving in 3D with a D-pad and using a right stick to aim. It looks like the track pad would actually be work for that set up. It makes sense cause I've already used a D-pad mapped to a touch screen to play emulated games on my phone and it works pretty well

I was kinda unsure about the mouse precision while he was playing Civ 5, but after seeing him breeze through Paper's Please at the end I'm pretty convinced

I'm not entirely convinced yet; in so far as replacing my keyboard/mouse for most of my games with this new controller. However, these four short, simple demonstrations proved one thing: the trackpads can work. Possibly even brilliantly.

I'm still dubious as to how accurate and responsive they are, given the promises, and I'm still not entirely sold on the layout of the buttons, but I'm definitely more excited than I was before to get one in my hands to try it out.

It's a shame the beta models won't have fully functioning touchscreens. I'm really curious to see what kind of multifaceted control functions can be mapped to it.

The sensitivity looks too low, but that's probably configurable. I certainly hope I can change that as a hardware setting, because having to use in-game settings reduces accuracy.

P.S. Thanks

hazabaza1:
"We're gonna play CS:GO to show off how precise this controller is"
Proceeds to stand still for several seconds, crouch, take time lining up a shot and still misses firing semi-auto.

I think I'll stick to traditonal KB+M unless something else comes out and impresses me.

I'm sure all downsides where just his personal skill and not the controllers fault.

In portal they have the controller emulating a trackball, he can even do 180 in single swipes, watch again you see he can swipe and release and it holds momentum, he just doesn't use it all the time. The lack od accuracy in CS:GO I can only attibute to lack of practice too, and he was using acceleration (ugh), be all the movements were amazingly responsive.

I'm sold.

Agayek:
This looks cool for the Civ 5 thing. Really not liking it in FPS though. The biggest issue I have with trackpads for gaming is having to lift my finger off the pad in order to get decent mouse range, and that's present in full force. If you can't do a 360 turn in an FPS without taking your thumbs off the pads, it's not going to work in FPS games.

It seemed as though he had the default turn speed, as seen with the mouse, applied to the trackpad. After all, as he explained, they didn't map the game to the controller but rather mapped the controller to the default k+b controllers.

So it stands to reason you could easily turn up the turn speed. I'd imagine you could set the pad to allow for a full 360 turn with any range of movement on the pad.

hazabaza1:
"We're gonna play CS:GO to show off how precise this controller is"
Proceeds to stand still for several seconds, crouch, take time lining up a shot and still misses firing semi-auto.

I think I'll stick to traditonal KB+M unless something else comes out and impresses me.

You're under the assumption that that isn't how he plays the game normally with a mouse. For all we know, FPS gaming isn't his "thing".

My point is, basing an opinion on the functionality of the controller on how one guy plays twenty seconds of a game is, if you'll pardon the pun-like vernacular, "jumping the gun".

I'm still reserving my judgment until I can get one in my own hands to test it. However, this short demonstration video proved to me, if nothing else, the potential of this controller.

Whether they realize it is another matter. Time will tell.

Vigormortis:
It seemed as though he had the default turn speed, as seen with the mouse, applied to the trackpad. After all, as he explained, they didn't map the game to the controller but rather mapped the controller to the default k+b controllers.

So it stands to reason you could easily turn up the turn speed. I'd imagine you could set the pad to allow for a full 360 turn with any range of movement on the pad.

Oh yea, absolutely. Like I said, I can't render any meaningful judgment until I've used the damn thing. It's a controller, watching people use it is the next best thing to useless for knowing how it will feel in your own hands.

It's just that this demo wasn't particularly inspiring.

i'm not convinced on this, i'd have to see this on more games (and use it in my own hands) otherwise i don't really consider myself ever getting one.

still millions of miles ahead of the wii controller though, so that's at least saying something.

Agayek:

Oh yea, absolutely. Like I said, I can't render any meaningful judgment until I've used the damn thing. It's a controller, watching people use it is the next best thing to useless for knowing how it will feel in your own hands.

It's just that this demo wasn't particularly inspiring.

I actually thought it was. Not entirely convincing, but certainly inspiring.

At least, insofar as demonstrating the adaptability and possibility of customization present in even the beta hardware. I was genuinely impressed with how well it seemed to work in Portal 2 and Civ V, especially, with little to no custom mapping or coding.

Still, as I've said many times already, I'm still reserving judgement. But actually seeing one in action has, in the very least, showed me that the pads aren't quite as seemingly awkward as they look.

Presumably.

That looks not bad, the FPS and RTS controls certainly look no worse than using a dual stick controller, albeit not really any better either. It looks intuitive, which is nice, especially compared to the last fad for motion controls.

Vigormortis:
I actually thought it was. Not entirely convincing, but certainly inspiring.

At least, insofar as demonstrating the adaptability and possibility of customization present in even the beta hardware. I was genuinely impressed with how well it seemed to work in Portal 2 and Civ V, especially, with little to no custom mapping or coding.

Still, as I've said many times already, I'm still reserving judgement. But actually seeing one in action has, in the very least, showed me that the pads aren't quite as seemingly awkward as they look.

Presumably.

This demo didn't really show anything though, which was my point. All it did was directly tie their hardware (and the parts that were shown have existed for technological ages) into the pre-existing keyboard and mouse input. Literally the only difference from a standard laptop KB+M setup is that there's a second trackpad with buttons behind it. Nothing else changed drastically except for the overall shape of it, and that's pretty irrelevant from a technological standpoint.

Sorry, but showing off a laptop keyboard condensed into a controller is not an impressive display.

There's a great deal of potential for awesome with the thing, and I'm really looking forward to where they go with it, but this video is pretty meaningless aside from the WSAD behind the left pad.

Yeah, not convinced. Aiming in an FPS looks awful and the trackpad erases the bonuses that thumbsticks give you for movement. Looked like shite to use, honestly, don't really see where the supposed upsides are.

I still want to actually have my hands on one before I decide if its any good for me but I am willing to give it a decent chance.

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