Steam Controller ditches its touchpad, supports up to 16 players

The innovative controller that will ship with the upcoming range of Steam Machines has undergone an overhaul.

The two touch-sensitive circle pads remain, but the central LED touch panel has been removed.

Aside from the fact that touch controls on a physical controller are often criticised, Valve also wanted to ensure that the device will be compatible with Steam’s vast library of back-catalogue games.

The design has not been finalised but the mock-up from Valve above gives you the idea.

Other confirmations include its use of AA batteries and the ability to support up to 16 simultaneous players.

Here are all the new controller details, as per Valve’s spec sheet:

  • The retail controller will no longer have a touchscreen. It’ll have a DPAD and ABXY buttons for backwards compatibility
  • The retail controller will use AA batteries, this means the user can also use rechargeable batteries
  • Biometrics are important, but the hands are not the best place to capture them
  • The controllers have gyroscopes, but these are not implemented in the firmware yet
  • 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

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