Welcome back, D-pad
Had things gone to plan, official Steam Machines would have already begun flooding the market by now, though those plans got put on hold when Valve decided to delay the initiative so that it could have extra time to tweak its Steam Controller. Valve dropped the bombshell just shy of seven months ago, and while there’s still no completed Steam Controller in sight, there is a new design that’s been leaked to the web.
A staff member at ValveTime.net who goes by the nick “Omnomnick” posted the updated design, noting that the most recent appearance of the delayed devices was plucked from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. It looks fairly similar to the previous version except what appears to be a D-pad has returned to the left-hand side.
“The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It’s not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it’s main purpose is, but we’d imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion,” Omnomnick said.
Unfortunately we still won’t see the controller at CES next month. That’s because Valve won’t be there. Valve is instead planning a big Steam Machine presence at GDC 2015, which takes place March 2-6.