Valve's Steam Controller And Steam Link: Huge Potential, Underwhelming Prototypes

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Grognak

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I thought the touchpad worked sort of like a joystick i.e. different speeds the further you go from the center - the larger area would've offered better accuracy, a good middle ground between joystick and mouse. If it works like a laptop touchpad I can't imagine what kind of games would benefit from it. Bad move, Steam.
 

Maddux

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"To play a game with Steam Link, you need to physically start a game on the PC, then go to where the Steam Link is and play the game. The device mirrors the PC, but it only does this after the game launches. You cannot just start the game remotely from the Steam Link."

I think that's wrong. That's not how Steam's In-Home-Streaming works right now, so why would their dedicated box work that way? I think you've got some bad information.
 

qlum

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I think valve should have gome for a double air mouse type controller as it offers more flexibility and also would work better with vr in the future but that's just me
 

raudi

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The article has to be corrected and expanded in a few places.
1. The NVIDIA SHIELD devices can also stream in home from your computer if you have a GTX.
2. The NVIDIA is running Android TV and has significantly more powerful hardware and can also run any Android game on the device itself. Even Crysis 3 was ported to it (how good or bad is another discussion)
3. Since the Steam Link is basically a low power Linux system running Steam OS, it would surprise me if it can't launch games remotely since if memory doesn't deceive me, I did exactly that on a Linux system with the steam client months ago. It even let me decide if I wanted to run it remotely or locally. So you don't have to start the games on the PC and don't have to get up from your couch.
4. You can simply add a web browser to your steam library and stream it that way. This at least works for me with the NVIDIA in home streaming and Limelight on Android, so I would expect it to work with the Steam streaming as well
5. A Sensor for the controller? Don't you mean a wireless receiver?
 
I'm not sure what Mike was expecting here, but I liked the new prototype. No, it's not as accurate as a gaming mouse, but it's significantly faster and more accurate than an analog stick.
 

Merry_Blind

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Seems like the issue with the controller could have been solved just by changing the sensitivity of it either in-game or in the controller options.

Also, did it function like how Grognak described or like a regular laptop touch pad?

And what about the haptic feedback? Is it still a feature of the controller? Does it feel nice?
 
Yes, they kept the haptic feedback. It feels like you're thumbing a trackball that's bigger than what could fit in the controller. You can "fling" it like a trackball as well.

I'd like if they swapped the right trackpad position with where the face buttons are now, though.
 

Merry_Blind

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Interesting. Very curious to experience that haptic feedback myself!

However I have to disagree on the trackpad position. The upper part of most controllers is where your thumb naturally sit. A thumbstick or trackpad require much more precision than buttons, therefore they should be placed at the most natural and optimal area on a controller. It's just much more precise and ergonomic.

The Wii U controllers got that right. The Pro Controller's thumbstick layout feels amazing for shooters. Sure the button placement gets some time getting used to, but it's no big deal.
 

Merry_Blind

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What I would have done however is replace the left track pad with a thumbstick, and put an actual D-pad where the thumbstick currently is. 2 track pad is completely useless. At first they were obviously going for a symmetrical design, probably to accommodate lefties, but that was a long time ago, the left trackpad just seems like a remnant of that original prototype. One trackpad is all you need to emulate a mouse. Thumbsticks are already perfect for movement or similar input.
 


That's a sweeping statement on a topic I imagine you're in the minority on, given the design of most analog-besticked controllers. Regardless, I did say I'd like it if they were swapped instead of generalizing like that. The position the right trackpad is in was not natural for me.

The left trackpad might be unnecessary, but for lefties and ambidextrous people. Personally, my left hand can't muster the fine motor control to make the difference in precision between an analog stick and the trackpad worth a damn.
 

firefoxx04

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I have been saying all along that the pads would suck for FPS. People just say "mouse is better anyways". Perhaps it is for you. I know before I got used to mouse and keyboard I was very good with a controller. Turn the sensitivity up and I was just as good as I am now with a mouse. Maybe not as good as some people but I certainly do not see a difference between the two when I am used to them.

If they want people to use the controller, why not use a joystick? Maybe I am wrong and the pad gives good control. I doubt that though. Open to being proved wrong.
 

SonSon1

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"Nvidia Shield has the advantage of being able to do substantially more without a PC, and because games are processed on a server, the video settings for games could be significantly higher if your PC cannot run games with maxed-out settings."

Great, another writer that either is shilling or has no idea how streaming works. As for Valve's hardware, the only impression I get is, more mediocre and terribly unsupported implementations, at this point they are just using branding as their business scheme.
 

back_by_demand

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I already have a HTPC, why would I use this? I install Steam on the HTPC and stream the game to that, also allows me to launch it "remotely" and don't have to buy yet another device to go in the living room. This Steam Link device just seems like a 5 year old idea only just implemented. Too slow, must try harder.
 

raudi

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I already have a HTPC, why would I use this? I install Steam on the HTPC and stream the game to that, also allows me to launch it "remotely" and don't have to buy yet another device to go in the living room. This Steam Link device just seems like a 5 year old idea only just implemented. Too slow, must try harder.
The Steam Link is for people without a HTPC who don't want to spend a fortune or want a small and quiet device. Otherwise it can do exactly the same as your HTPC with steam. The price should be included in the article. I believe it is $50 which is not much.
 

agentboolen

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I hope I can use my Xbox 360 controller with pc receiver with the steam link because this steam controller looks a little bit too out there for me. I'd also like to not have to spend the extra dough on it.
 

back_by_demand

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I already have a HTPC, why would I use this? I install Steam on the HTPC and stream the game to that, also allows me to launch it "remotely" and don't have to buy yet another device to go in the living room. This Steam Link device just seems like a 5 year old idea only just implemented. Too slow, must try harder.
The Steam Link is for people without a HTPC who don't want to spend a fortune or want a small and quiet device. Otherwise it can do exactly the same as your HTPC with steam. The price should be included in the article. I believe it is $50 which is not much.
Except I have to get off my ass, walk across the house, launch the game, walk back, sit down and play. Then if i want to play another game I have to get off my ass, walk across the house, launch the game, walk back, sit down and play. Rinse and repeat. The last HTPC I made from scratch cost me £180 ($270) and it can do 4K video very nicely, to be just a receiving box for Steam would cost me a LOT less and a lot of people will pay for the convenience. If anything has been learned about how tech works and what people pay for then convenience ranks way up up the list. This tech is inconvenient and awkward.
 

Merry_Blind

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It's not a question of opinion though, the upper part of a controller if objectively more ergonomic. The Xbox and GC controllers were made the way they are because at that time, the second analog stick was a secondary input in most games, so buttons were always more important, and thus they were placed at the best placement on the controller; the upper part. However, these days, most games make extensive use of the right joystick, and given that an analog input like a joystick requires much more control and precision than digital buttons, it's just logical to put the right joystick on the upper part of controllers like Wii U controllers and Steam controllers.

You are asking for something only because of habit, but that's silly because you just have to get used to another placement. it's not that big of a task for an objectively better solution.
 
At the time? You're implying that design is only on old devices. The XBOX one and PS4 controllers are designed with the same placement, as are brand new controllers from Logitech, Madcatz, and most 3rd party controller vendors you'd care to name.

Even Nintendo makes 2 versions of the wii u pro controller with low right analog sticks, the classic controller and one that uses the gamecube design.

I haven't noticed any carpal tunnel yet; my guitar playing hasn't suffered at all, but maybe you're right. However, until you back your opinion up with significant legitimate research citations, it's still just an opinion. The world is already too full of people claiming fact without much evidence. Please don't add to that pile.

The only fact presented so far is that the vast majority of ergonomics research funding (as spent by the companies listed above) has led to the placement of the right analog stick below the face buttons.

My opinion is I like it there.
 

termathor

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This Steam Controller pre-review is very disappointing. It's not like Valve had worked only one year on it, but, what, 2 years on this right now !

If it's not perfect today, then, the future is really dark for this.
 
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