Gabenship Down: Steam Controller Delayed To 2015

By Nathan Grayson on May 28th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

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Calm your consoles. Give your Blu-ray/DVD/VHS (???) a soothing pat. Tell your ottoman it can stop whimpering in the closest. Your living room is safe – for now. Valve’s takeover plans have been pushed back to next year, as steady Steam Machine testing progress has revealed just how far the little Linux box/controller that could still has left to go. The controller won’t be out until 2015 at the earliest, meaning that it’s now entered the hallowed chronological halls of Valve Time.

Valve explained its rationale in a brief update post:

“We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers. It’s generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we’ll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it’s also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we’re now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014.”

“Obviously we’re just as eager as you are to get a Steam Machine in your hands. But our number one priority is making sure that when you do, you’ll be getting the best gaming experience possible. We hope you’ll be patient with us while we get there. Until then, we’ll continue to post updates as we have more stories to share.”

Valve did not, however, clarify whether this affects third-party Steam Machine release dates, but it very well might given that many were set to be bundled with Steam Controllers. I’ve mailed Valve in hopes of receiving some kind of a response even though their press relations style can best be described as “what press relations style?”

So the wait continues. And to be frank, I’m kinda glad. My previous experiences with the Steam controller – both version one and two – were not particularly positive. I’d much rather Valve wait until its bouncing baby hardware bundle is at least halfway decent before unleashing it on the masses. If it really wants to bring an open yet functional ecosystem to the living room, there’s too much at stake here to risk a crash-and-burn first impression.

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25 Comments »

  1. baby snot says:

    This is just one of those things.

  2. cunningmunki says:

    “…our in-development Steam Machines”

    Hang on there a sec, is this in reference to the controllers? This phrase makes it sound like Valve are developing their own commercial machine (which they said they weren’t).

    • waltC says:

      They are most assuredly not doing that…;) Never fear–Valve is not stupid (well, uh…)…;) Valve’s seriously hoping that by 2015 everyone will have forgotten the whole thing. “Steam Machine” should have been entitled “PR machine” because it surely has done a great job of PR for Valve…;)

      After HL3 ships one fine day, it’ll be:

      “Insert obligatory Steam Machine comment here”…;)

  3. Simbosan says:

    Obligatory hl3 comment goes here

  4. rustybroomhandle says:

    Hope this does not delay Linux releases of titles that were hoping to be Steam Machine release titles, like Tropico 5.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cantisque says:

      In Valve-time, we should expect it 2016 and this would actually be a solid move, because in theory the performance of Intel’s IGP’s and AMD’s APU’s would have improved a lot by then, to the point where you could produce a device comparable in size and performance to a PS4 but at a more competitive price point than you could today.
      My main concern is OpenGL. It’s quite far behind DirectX, or will be once DX12 appears. The whole Linux-gaming drive could wind up being a dead end.

      • DanMan says:

        No. OpenGL is not FAR behind DX, if at all. See? I can do it, too.

    • Cigol says:

      Don’t see why it would? It’s not like you can’t plug in a controller and play games on Linux through STEAM right now.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Not for technical reasons, but marketing. This is why I mentioned wanting to be a launch title. I get the idea they were specifically aiming to have their game as a launch title, gaining immediate exposure with people who buy the hardware.

  5. dahools says:

    Ive read the links to the controller. But was it really that bad ? Did you get some good game time with the latest iteration.
    What makes it worse than one of the console controllers in its current state?

    • dorn says:

      It’s not worse at all. If you don’t like controllers then the current steam pad is vastly superior. I’m honestly worried it will become worse. A lot of people seem to want it to be an actual gamepad.

  6. DanMan says:

    This is disappointing. I was kind of waiting for it. Now I’m just going to get one of the new console ones, or maybe that Razer one.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      If you’re looking for a plain ol’ PC gamepad, Logitech’s current line is hard to beat. They’ve got a switch so you can have it appear as a regular USB gamepad or Microsoft’s stupid fucking redundant proprietary standard that developers have cheerfully adopted against all reason 360 pad, depending on what a particular game expects.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Cantisque says:

    If it were a typical gamepad, just with one of those trackpads on the right, I’d be totally happy with that. The trackpads are supposed to be pretty good as a mouse replacement…

    But why does it need 2 of them? No-one games using 2 mice! The left hand usually operates WASD, so it’d be far more appropriate to use an analog stick or dpad.