Word of Valve’s brand new Steam Machine has people interested in the general future of gaming as well as the capabilities of online streaming. Now, Valve has revealed what the Steam Machine prototype looks like with the new controller which was revealed earlier. Valve plans on shipping 300 Steam Machines to lucky beta testers this year, and while there’s nothing too spectacular about the specs, the Steam Machine will eventually become a full customizable device since it will carry components for any normal PC, but it will still be able to fit inside of your entertainment center.
The case is designed so each part can breathe individually with the CPU releasing air at the top, the power supply out the side, and the graphics card out of the back. Apparently nothing shares airspace inside the case.
While Valve will still be tweaking the final design of the Steam Machine, but they plan to produce and sell the Steam Controller by itself. The controller is an interesting design that tries to incorporate the precision of a mouse and keyboard with the versatility of a gamepad, creating a device that truly personifies the future. Valve obviously wants something that will fit and work in the living room.
As someone who is more familiar with traditional controllers, particularly the PlayStation controller, I’m interested in seeing just how accurate the Steam Controller will be. Apparently, while the controls are unfamiliar, they are still surprisingly accurate. The Verge stated that the touchpads “make first-person shooters and other mouse-friendly games far more accessible than any analog stick can afford. You can sweep your thumb across the pad to turn on you heel, then move it a tiny bit more to line up a headshot without having to compensate for a joystick’s return motion.
“You can push a thumb to the very edge of the pad to keep moving continuously. You can even use both touchpads simultaneously in cursor-driven games to move the mouse cursor faster than with either alone.” What is interesting is the fact that Valve is crowdsourcing controller profiles for every Steam game which will allow players to vote up the best sets of controls. Players will also be able to tweak the settings after.
Look for different versions of the Steam Machine to drop in mid 2014. Prices will differ according to the size and initial capabilities of the machines. As someone who is interested in shifting over toward PC gaming, buying a Steam Machine might eventually be a nice alternative and introduce a wider ability of play. Besides… my leather couch is pretty comfy. Abandoning it for pure PC gaming would be tough.